Nationwide gears up for wholesale panel revamp

Nationwide Building Society is set to launch its first general panel review in the new year with five coveted spots up for grabs.

Liz Kelly
Liz Kelly

It is the first wide-ranging panel review for the building society since it set up its inaugural panel in 2009.

That time around Allen & Overy (A&O), Burges Salmon, Eversheds, Nabarro and Olswang were all successful in their bids. A&O retained its place after advising Nationwide on major corporate issues throughout the economic crash (14 July 2009).

The review will be led by general counsel Liz Kelly, who has developed Nationwide’s in-house legal function after being appointed in 2007. She set up an in-house training scheme while also formalising the building society’s panel arrangements.

In 2010 she led a review of its commercial lending panel, cutting the number of firms from 60 to 17 (22 October 2010). This came little more than six months after it cut 300 firms from its conveyancing roster.

A spokeswoman for the building society said a review of the general panel would begin early next year, although how this would be structured is yet to be decided.

She said: “Like any prudent business we’re in regular discussions with our panel partners to ensure a good working relationship and consistent service.

“We’ve had the current panel in place for the last three years and have taken the decision to undertake a review, which we expect to commence in early 2013.”