Bakers, Fieldfisher and Three Crowns among firms to win spots on BP’s niche panel

BP has appointed nine firms to its specialist legal panel, including Baker & McKenzie and Hill Dickinson.

Fieldfisher, Holman Fenwick Willan, Reed Smith, Stevens & Bolton, Sullivan & Cromwell, Watson Farley & Williams and recently-established arbitration boutique Three Crowns have also won spots on the niche roster. 

Each of the firms has been appointed for three years, effective as of this month.

Earlier in July, BP unveiled its revamped core legal panel (9 July 2014). The roster expanded from eight firms to ten. Fieldfisher missed out on a spot on the core panel, but continues to advise in a specialist capacity. Meanwhile, BP reappointed each of its existing advisers as well as granting first-time panel positions to Ashurst, Simmons & Simmons and Addleshaw Goddard.

BP’s core panel firms are set to pick up the energy giant’s UK-instructed work, covering all aspects of its activities. 

Sullivan & Cromwell has emerged as the sole US-based firm to win a role on either BP’s core or specialist legal panels, following speculation that a number of firms applied for panel spots this time round.

The company overhauled its core panel review process for its latest exercise, adding a reverse auction element and putting an emphasis on cost efficiency. 

The energy giant’s managing counsel Andrew Stewart said that the auction process was “very successful”. He added: “Although it was just one part of our process it helped us to benchmark the offered hourly rates to ensure that we had the right spread of capability at different prices.” 

BP is also conducting a parallel US panel review, which is due to be completed later this year (12 June 2014).