Barclays launches review of Emea legal panel

Barclays is set to launch its next panel review this week to form a single roster covering Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

Erica Handling
Erica Handling

The bank is currently sending out tender documents to law firms across the regions, following a three-month review earlier this year of its panel of advisers in the UK and US (1 July 2011).

The latest review is being led by Barclays Capital Emea general counsel Erica Handling and Barclays deputy group general counsel Michael Shaw, and is expected to be finished by the end of the year. An African advisory panel is due to be reviewed and appointed separately.

The tender process for the EMEA panel is expected to be more straightforward than Barclays’ previous panel review, which saw US firms Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Shearman & Sterling and Sullivan & Cromwell added to its 11-strong general advisory panel. A total of 68 firms were appointed it total across all sub-panels.

A partner at one of the bank’s current advisory firms said: “I would’ve thought they’ll continue the trend towards international or global firms. There were more US firms on their previous panel and that’s the trend we’ll see across the new Emea panel. [Barclays] is currently focussed on being a global bank and also building up in Asia.”

Other than international reach, competitive pricing is expected to remain near the top of the agenda for Barclays as it forms its latest roster.

The partner continued: “All banks are continuing to come down heavily on pricing and wanting more for less. They need to improve the efficiency of their own businesses, and part of that is their legal spend.”