HSBC closes in on completion of UK panel review

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HSBC is in the final stages of a review of its UK legal panel, with the roster expected to be reduced in size.

The panel shakeup comes after the bank’s global advisers were reviewed at the end of last year, with US firm Davis Polk & Wardwell winning a first-time appointment.

HSBC’s UK legal team is led by UK general counsel Hugh Pugsley, who joined from Lloyds Bank in 2015.

UK law firms to have worked with HSBC in recent years include Pinsent Masons, which advised the bank in 2015 on the financing of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s £1.1bn acquisition of student accommodation company Liberty Living.

Eversheds advised the bank in 2013 on a facilities outsourcing agreement with real estate services giant Jones Lang LaSalle, and in 2015 took a lead role on the deal that saw HSBC move its UK headquarters from London to Birmingham.

Other firms likely to be involved in the review include Simmons & Simmons, which in 2013 advised HSBC and Numis Securities as joint bookrunners on a £25.6m placing of shares in marketing group Chime Communications.

HSBC’s chief legal officer is former US government lawyer and litigator Stuart Levey, who succeeded Richard Bennett in the role in 2012. Last year’s global panel review saw existing panel members Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters reappointed alongside Norton Rose Fulbright.