Vodafone calls up key advisers for first panel review since 2014

Vodafone has kicked off a review of its legal panel, with the process set to be completed by the end of the year.

The panel covers work for Vodafone Group, Vodafone’s UK business and Vodafone Group Enterprise, which provides telecoms services to large corporations.

It is understood that panel firms have already submitted written proposals, with in-person interviews scheduled for later in the month.

The current seven-firm line-up comprises Linklaters, Slaughter and May, Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose Fulbright, DLA Piper, Eversheds Sutherland and Osborne Clarke. However, the company is known to go off-panel for specialist work.

The panel was last reviewed in 2014, in a process led by group general counsel and company secretary Rosemary Martin and Vodafone Global Enterprise legal director Kerry Phillip.

A Vodafone spokesperson said: “Vodafone has started a planned three-yearly review of the legal panel which supports its Group, Group Enterprise and UK legal teams.

“The review will not necessarily change the composition of the panel, but will assess whether Vodafone has the right mix of support for its current business needs. The review is expected to be concluded by the end of the calendar year.”

Linklaters, Slaughters, Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose, DLA Piper and Osborne Clarke have all been part of the panel since 2011, with Eversheds joining the line-up in the last review in 2014.

One partner at a panel firm said: “They did quite a large consolidation a few years ago, so like many of these big organisations they will review and see if there are any holes in the service they are receiving, but I am not sure this is going to be a huge overhaul this time around.”

Separately, a recent job advert posted by Vodafone on jobs website Glassdoor stated that the company was looking to recruit a procurement specialist within the company’s legal and financial services team.

The description of the role stated that the successful candidate would also be responsible for putting in place new legal panels in countries which Vodafone operates but does not have panels set up, such as Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand.

Last year, Vodafone Global Enterprise completed an overhaul of its in-house legal team after an 18-month transformation project that saw the company introduce new technology and set up several offshore teams, a process also led by legal director Phillip.

The company is using new contract management technology from Riverview Law, called KIM, which frees up lawyer time for more complicated work by making more straightforward contracting more efficient.

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