Lend Lease reviews panel as construction group seeks to drive down legal spend

Lend Lease has revamped its roster of legal advisers after asking its go-to advisers to reduce their rates.

The construction giant’s first panel review since 2007 has seen Nabarro added to its stable of firms.

Firms were asked to re-tender for the panel late last year, and directed to offer lower rates, following an internal review of legal spend at Lend Lease.

The company’s preferred firms now include Linklaters, Eversheds, Pinsent Masons, Herbert Smith Freehills, DAC Beachcroft, DLA Piper along with newcomer Nabarro.

The panel was first established in 2004, when Allen & Overy was also among its advisers. However, the magic circle firm was not included following the 2007 review.

A client partner at one of the panel firms said: “Last year the departing COO wanted to cut the number of firms on the panel putting the GC under lots of pressure to downsize. The legal team didn’t want to do this so rather than cut back, the existing firms were asked to re-tender and offer better value for money, which we did.”

Before the review a number of senior figures at Lend Lease left the business. These included senior legal counsel Alistair Cutts. Lend Lease EMEA general counsel is Patrick Gloyens.

Nabarro earned its place on the refreshed list after the firm won several mandates for Lend Lease including a lead role on a £1.3bn Olympic legacy development project in Stratford City.

Construction of the International Quarter project – a joint venture between Lend Lease and rail company London & Continental Railways (LCR) – included four million sq ft of office space, a new hotel and 350 homes. The project was led by Nabarro real estate head Ciaran Carvalho.

Meanwhile, Lend Lease instructed Slaughter and May to advise on its negotiations with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) to develop the £2bn Olympic Village at Stratford City.

The magic circle firm also advised Lend Lease Europe on its facilities management agreements for the village and for Olympic Park infrastructure with the ODA. In March it was announced that Slaughters client relationship manager for Lend Lease Dermot Rice was joining property developers Candy & Candy as a director.

Despite not being on the panel, it is understood that Slaughters will continue to act for Lend Lease.