A&O usurps Freshfields on reduced National Grid panel

Allen & Overy (A&O) has replaced Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer as one of two corporate advisers to National Grid after the utility giant reduced its roster of legal advisers by a quarter following a panel review.

CMS Cameron McKenna has also lost its role as a corporate adviser but won places on the general commercial, employment, energy and regulation, and health, safety and environment rosters. Linklaters retained its place alongside magic circle rival A&O on the corporate list.

Wragge & Co and Hammonds both lost their places on the commercial panel, as Camerons joined existing members Berwin Leighton Paisner and Eversheds.

Pannone, which advised on employment matters, and Bristol property specialist Davies & Partners were the other firms to have lost their place on the panel.

The review follows a beauty contest and comes three years after the last panel was appointed. The energy supplier will seek to introduce fixed pricing and other innovative billing solutions as part of the new arrangement, which comes into place in April.

National Grid general counsel Helen Mahy said: “The appointment of this new panel following an extensive and rigorous selection process reinforces National Grid’s key requirement for high quality, cost effective and innovative law firms to support our own professional in-house team.

“We’ve conducted a similar review and selection process to support our US legal function in parallel with this process.”

The full list of advisers is as follows:

Commercial, construction and disputes: BLP, Camerons, Eversheds

Corporate: A&O, Linkaters

Debt recovery: Irwin Mitchell

Employment: Camerons, Eversheds

Energy and regulation (including competition): Camerons, Dundas & Wilson, Linklaters, Martineau, SNR Denton, Walker Morris

Health, safety and environment: Camerons, Hammonds

Property and planning: BLP, Bircham Dyson Bell, BrookStreet des Roches, DLA Piper, Dundas & Wilson, Field Fisher Waterhouse, Hammonds, Needham & James

Trademark and patents: Hammonds