BT has cut its legal advisor panel down from over forty firms to just fifteen following a competitive procurement exercise. The new panel focus will on “stronger and deeper” relationships. Law firm culture also featured highly in the list of priorities.

The fifteen firms appointed to BT’s new legal panel are Addleshaw Goddard; Allen & Overy; Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner; Bird & Bird; CMS; Covington & Burling; DAC Beachcroft; DWF; Freshfields Bruckhaus Dering; Lewis Silkin; Osborne Clarke; Shepherd & Wedderburn; Simmons & Simmons; TLT and Winckworth Sherwood.

DWF was last year awarded a five year contract to become BT’s strategic legal partner of insurance and real estate legal services. A number of staff from BT’s in-house Claims and Corporate Property teams transfered from BT to DWF in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The scope of the panel exercise, led by head of vendor management Neil Willson, included all UK legal matters for external advice as well as international matters originating from BT’s head office.

Firms submitted bids across twenty-one lots representing different areas of law where BT requires external legal advice and representation.

Sabine Chalmers, group general counsel at BT, said: “We continue to transform and simplify the way we work across BT.  We hope to foster closer relationships with a smaller panel such that firms can support us more effectively. Delivery of the right advice including the correct judgement calls requires insight into our business.”