Wragge & Co has won a place on the new Bank of Scotland banking litigation panel.
The Birmingham firm joins Denton Wilde Sapte, North West firm Davies Wallis Foyster and Yorkshire firm Walker Morris on the recently streamlined panel. It is believed that Dentons is also a new appointment.
Wragges and Davies Wallis are understood to be handling the complex banking litigation work, while Dentons and Walker Morris will be dealing with debt collection.
The Bank of Scotland is a long-term client of both Davies Wallis and Walker Morris, and while Wragges has carried out some finance work for the bank before, up until now it has been of the non-contentious variety.
Wragges banking partner Richard Ellison says the previous relationship may have been an influencing factor in the bank’s decision, but adds: “We haven’t done this kind of work for the bank before – we went in cold.”
It is believed that the selections were made following a beauty parade conducted by the bank’s in-house lawyer Graham Cooper, and that eight-partner West End firm Underwood & Co was among those that were dropped. There were originally 12 firms on the panel, which has now been reduced to four.
Senior partner at Davies Wallis Jim Davies says: “We’re absolutely delighted that we’ve been selected in this situation for something that for us is very important.” He adds that both the geographical and sector area spread of the work that Davies Wallis will now do for the bank have been extended. The firm also handles some due diligence work on lending and advises on property transactions.
Walker Morris’ head of commercial dispute resolution Gwen Davies says that the firm has worked with the bank in litigation matters for many years and enjoys a good relationship.
Brian Fisher, head of legal operations for the Bank of Scotland, declines to comment on which other firms have been dropped or on why Wragges and Dentons had been selected.
Dentons refused to comment on its appointment.
Other clients of Wragges’ banking litigation team include Lloyds TSB, HSBC, Paragon Group and igroup.