Not so much all change for TFL

Four firms – Bird & Bird, Clifford Chance, Manches and Travers Smith – have alighted from Transport for London’s (TfL) legal roster following the body’s first panel review in five years, which has seen it cut places from 12 to 11.

Lewis Silkin, SNR Denton and Trowers & Hamlins are the panel’s new boarders, but it’s not a case of all change as Ashurst, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Eversheds, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills, K&L Gates, Simmons & Simmons and Wragge & Co hold onto their seats after first being appointed in 2007.

The latest panel review was launched earlier this year with appointments lasting for four years and including work for the Greater London Authority. But chosen firms should not expect success to mean a gravy train. TfL legal director Andrea Clarke said in a statement: “We have to manage our costs ever-more cautiously and the legal directorate has a big part to play in that, so we need to ensure that the external firms we work with meet our expectations to maximise the value they deliver.”

Still, TfL did keep Freshfields on the panel despite London Underground Ltd suing the firm in a contested £140m negligence claim concerning PPP advice, so you can’t accuse the body of holding grudges.

But then, you’d expect it to know a fare deal when it saw one.


Also on

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  • The Lawyer takes a look at the many mergers, tie-ups and other forms of unions between firms this year and takes a punt on which will succeed and which will merely buy partners some time before another deal is required

  • And The Lawyer has noticed a trend at companies at which Nick Deeming has taken an in-house role, and it’s not exactly encouraging for private practice firms