Lloyds Banking Group kicks off review of customer pay panel

Lloyds Banking Group has launched a review of its customer pay panel for the first time in three years.

The roster, used by Lloyds when its corporate and business clients require specialist legal advice, is known within the bank as the ‘pass-through’ panel.

It covers legal advice to the bank’s clients on transactions, with fees passed directly onto the client, rather than paid by the bank itself.

Tender documents were sent to panel firms last week, with the line-up set to be finalised in December.

Firms including CMS, Addleshaw Goddard, Osborne Clarke, Reed Smith and Hogan Lovells won spots on the panel in 2014, when the bank formalised arrangements for customer pay work for the first time.

A Lloyds spokesperson told Legal Week: “The bank’s commercial banking pass-through panel is reviewed and re-tendered on a rolling basis and is currently under review. Such review is determined based on a rigorous and competitive tender process. Our focus is about ensuring we work together with firms in a strategic partnership to ensure that we deliver the highest quality of service for our clients. We anticipate making a decision on confirmed panel members in December.”

Lloyds’ main legal panel was reviewed last year, with eight firms making the cut.

Group general counsel Kate Cheetham led that process, which saw existing panel firms CMS, Eversheds, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, Linklaters, Allen & Overy, Ashurst and Addleshaw Goddard retain their places. DLA Piper and Norton Rose Fulbright both came off the roster.

Earlier this year, 24 firms including Berwin Leighton Paisner, Simmons & Simmons, Bond Dickinson and Reed Smith won places on Lloyds’ specialist sub-panel following a review.

A 2015 review of its sub-panels saw Lloyds state that it wanted to give more work to its core panel of advisers.

Other bank panels recently reviewed include Standard Chartered’s global panel, on which Dentons won a first-time spot, and HSBC’s UK panel, to which around 10 firms were appointed, including CMS and Eversheds Sutherland.