Schroders slashes more than 100 from global legal panel

Schroders has completed an extensive panel review, dumping more than 100 advisers to create a roster of 11 firms.

As first revealed on news on 5 April, the 11-strong panel, which will remain in force for three years, comprises: Allen & Overy (A&O); Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP); Hong Kong-based Deacons; Luxembourg-based Elvingers; Eversheds; Linklaters; Boston-based Ropes & Gray; Shaw Pittman; Simmons & Simmons; SJ Berwin and Slaughter and May.

This is the first time the fund manager has launched a legal panel and it follows the appointment of high-profile former Barclays legal chief Howard Trust as Schroders’ group general counsel.

Talking exclusively to The Lawyer, Trust said: “We did an exercise to identify the number of firms we used worldwide and it didn’t take long to get to 150.”

In addition to the 11 panel firms, Schroders will continue to use approximately 20 other firms around the world, either because of their geographic reach or particular product focus. However, Schroders does not expect to strengthen these relationships in the future.

Clifford Chance and Birmingham giant Wragge & Co, which both failed to secure a place on the core panel, are part of this group of secondary advisers.

As part of the review, quite a large number of firms were sent requests for proposals. Schroders then decided whether or not to invite them to give presentations. Trust said that the firms were tested on several criteria, including product expertise and cost. He added that global reach was also a key factor. “Schroders is in approximately 30 to 35 countries so we wanted to see if these firms had footprints similar to our own,” he said.

Historically, Schroders has had strong relationships with A&O and Slaughters, but Trust said that the fund manager’s relationship with BLP has the most potential. “We’ve had the least to do with [BLP] in the past and I’m looking forward to working with them,” he said.

“Linklaters is a firm we’ve had a relationship with, but I think they have a very strong funds practice, particularly in the UK, and we’re quite excited at the prospect of developing that relationship,” Trust added.