Freshfields and Ashurst among 12 firms to win places on SocGen's new global panel

French banking giant Société Générale has concluded a review of its global legal panel, with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Ashurst and Dentons among the firms making the cut.

The new roster, which will take effect from 1 January next year, also includes Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), Simmons & Simmons, Baker McKenzie and French firm Gide Loyrette Nouel.

In total, 12 firms have been appointed for six-year terms on the panel.

HSF, Simmons, Bakers and Gide were all on the bank’s previous global panel, which has been in place since 1 January 2012.

Other long-term advisers to SocGen include Allen & Overy (A&O), Clifford Chance (CC), Paul Hastings, Jones Day, Norton Rose Fulbright and Shearman & Sterling.

A&O, which won places in each of the bank’s last three panel reviews in 2005, 2008 and 2011, is understood to have opted out of this year’s process. It is not clear at what stage the firm decided to withdraw, but sources involved in the review told Legal Week that the reverse auction process used for the final round had prompted some concerns.

A partner at another firm in the process said: “The auction process was quite a nightmare. There were only about €30 between firms in the end.”

The review was led by France-based Olivia Brunet de Viry, a director within the bank’s law firm policy group.

The bank’s last review in 2011 saw 12 UK and international firms appointed for six-year terms, before which panel appointments lasted for three years.

Firms appointed in 2011 included A&O, Bakers, HSF, CC, Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose, Simmons, Shearman, Jones Day and Paul Hastings, Gide and PwC.

SocGen declined to comment. All firms declined to comment.