Cost cutting

It’s panel review season for the nation’s housebuilders, it seems. First up is Taylor Wimpey, which slashed its roster of external firms from 13 to six in a recent revamp.

DAC Beachcroft, Eversheds, Gateley, Osborne Clarke, SNR Denton and Wragge & Co have all won spots on the slimmed-down panel, which will be in place for three years, following the company’s decisive step to move away from having regionally focused panels.

Others such as Balfour Beatty have taken a slightly less orthodox approach, with the focus of its upcoming panel review not being on cutting its number of legal advisers, but to cut legal spend by up to a third.

For firms such as Pinsent Masons and Berwin Leighton Paisner, which are understood already to be on the construction giant’s panel, the news that it intends to cut external legal spend by outsourcing low-value work to one single bidder rather than making cuts to its existing roster will come as some relief.

With the bidder expected to be announced before December, Christmas may also be coming early for one law firm or LPO provider.