Shell to axe global panel as adviser review nears closure

Royal Dutch Shell is set to scrap its global legal panel in favour of individual relationships with firms in different countries.

Peter Rees QC
Peter Rees QC

The move follows three years in which the energy group operated a formal cross-jurisdictional roster, with the company now realising its initial intention to end this arrangement after this period.

The new setup will also require instructed firms to have an office in every jurisdiction in which they advise Shell.

Shell legal director Peter Rees QC said in a statement: “We will no longer have a global panel of firms that will act for us. Globally it will be much more a series of relationships with firms that have capabilities in the jurisdictions we are working in.”

Rees joined Shell in January 2011 from Debevoise & Plimpton’s London office, where he was a disputes partner (11 October 2010). He recently kicked off the company’s first global panel review since 2009 (11 January 2013), with Shell expecting the revamped list of relationship firms to be finalised by the end of April.

Downstream general counsel Hans von der Linde is understood to be working with Rees on the process.

A review that concluded in early 2010 saw firms including Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Cravath Swaine & Moore and Simmons & Simmons appointed for three years (26 April 2010).