Credit Suisse global legal panel review delayed as UK and EMEA rosters scrapped

Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse’s global legal panel has been delayed, with firms still waiting to hear whether they have been successful in winning spots on the roster that will replace the bank’s UK and EMEA panels.

The bank has decided to scrap the EMEA and UK panels and instead rely on a global line-up of external law firms. It is currently almost two months behind schedule in confirming the firms to have been appointed, according to partners involved in the process.

One partner told Legal Week: “Any delay causes nervousness.” He added that Credit Suisse most recently told firms it would be in contact last Monday (25 September), but said that this did not happen.

According to a source close to the matter, the delay is in part due to the fact that a number of firms are yet to return all of the required information. It is understood that the bank is now aiming to finalise the line up by the end of this month.

It is unclear how many firms Credit Suisse plans to appoint to the roster; however, a core group of five firms is expected to be selected to look after the bulk of its work. Its EMEA panel previously consisted of some 18 firms.

The partner said: “The bulk of the work will be given to a core group of five firms. They want to drive significant global revenue through those.”

Credit Suisse’s Zurich-based corporate general counsel Julian Gooding is leading the review, with the panel expected to run from the start of 2018 for two to three years.

The delay at the Swiss bank comes as firms also await the results of Societe Generale’s global legal panel review. Partners told Legal Week that firms expected to learn whether they had been successful “in the next few weeks”.

The French bank launched the tender process in June, with the new line-up expected to run from January 2018 for a six-year term.

It is understood that France-based Olivia Brunet de Viry, a director within the bank’s law firm policy group, is leading the review.

Earlier this year Standard Chartered renewed its global legal panel, with Eversheds Sutherland and Dentons picking up first-time spots. Herbert Smith Freehills, Baker McKenzie, Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Hogan Lovells, Slaughter and May and Linklaters were all reappointed to the roster.

Meanwhile, Lloyds Banking Group recently completed a review of its specialist sub-panel, with 24 firms winning places including Berwin Leighton Paisner, Simmons & Simmons, Bond Dickinson and Reed Smith.

Credit Suisse and Societe Generale declined to comment.