RBS dumps procurer Ariba as it finalises legal panel

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has ditched procurement group Ariba, as the banking giant puts the finishing touches to its new roster of legal advisers.

Ariba (formerly FreeMarkets) handled the grossly unpopular online tender for RBS in 2003, when the bank created the legal panel that is currently under review.

As first reported by The Lawyer (21 July 2003), RBS took the unprecedented move of writing to a number of law firms to appease them following the arduous bidding process run by FreeMarkets. At the time, firms also complained about RBS’s squeeze on fees.

RBS has opted to use e-tendering for some of its specialist panels (general legal, transactional, litigation, property and recoveries) in the current panel review, but is understood to be handling the procurement process in-house.

The review, which is being handled by deputy general counsel Chris Campbell, is expected to be completed by the end of the month.

Linklaters is the lead corporate counsel to RBS. The bank’s others advisers include Allen & Overy, Ashurst, Denton Wilde Sapte, DLA Piper, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Norton Rose.

Ariba declined to comment.