Jackson reforms prompt National Grid to ditch Irwin Mitchell for Shakespeares

Last year’s Jackson reforms, which affected the recovery of legal costs among other changes, have claimed a major victim. Energy giant National Grid has dumped Irwin Mitchell for Shakespeares as its debt and damage legal provider, after the implementation of Jackson prompted an early review.


What’s bad news for Irwin Mitchell is great for Shakespeares. Litigation partner Dianne Bennett will lead the debt and damages relationship when she takes over from Irwin Mitchell next month, joining property partner Janet James who already works with National Grid.

Shakespeares has been determined to become a mid-tier heavyweight, last year expanding through two bolt-on acquisitions. Those followed a 2012 tie-up with Leicester-based Harvey Ingram which caused revenue to shoot up.

The debt recovery review is the precursor to a much bigger panel shake-up at National Grid, which is due to take place over the next year. That could also prove interesting, with soon-to-merge CMS and Dundas & Wilson both incumbent panel firms – who will take over the relationship?


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  • Scottish Power’s Glaswegian head of legal Marion Venman is driving an international agenda of integration, with language lessons at its core 
  • Private equity house HgCapital has shaken up its panel, adding White & Case to its roster for the first time
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