Freshfields and Links win coveted places on BP’s UK panel

Magic circle rivals Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters have maintained top spots on BP’s new UK legal panel, which was announced today after a six-month review.

Rupert Bondy
Rupert Bondy

The firms are joined by CMS Cameron McKenna, Field Fisher Waterhouse, Herbert Smith, McGrigors, Norton Rose, and Olswang.

Other specialist firms have been selected for niche roles. The engagements will start in June.

BP group general counsel Rupert Bondy said in a statement: “We’ve selected the very best from a broad base of world-class legal firms to support BP’s UK-instructed work.”

Industry sources have described cut-throat bidding by firms during the review, with several offering very low rates and generous allocations of free partner hours.

“It’s been seen as one of the few really big mandates at the moment, so firms have been desperate to make the panel,” an insider at one of the firms said.

Firms that bid for places but were unsuccessful include Allen & Overy, Baker & McKenzie, Clifford Chance and Eversheds, although it is believed that some firms will continue working for BP in other jurisdictions.


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