The in-house litigation team at UK banking giant Barclays is taking innovative measures to combat the downturn, pushing its panel firms to offer more flexible-billing arrangements.
As reported by legalweek.com, Barclays revealed its entire portfolio of legal work for 2009 at a summit for panel firms held in February. It asked firms to consider what work they wanted and to be creative with suggested billing methods and other-value add services, suggesting that firms move away from hourly rates.
In addition to flexible billing, the bank is also attempting to ramp up its secondment program with panel firms, and is asking firms to provide top-level partners to take on secondments. Simmons & Simmons senior litigation partner Colin Passmore was the first to test-drive the new program, working part-time with the bank between January and April this year.
The changes have followed an internal shake up of Barclays in-house team, with Stephanie Pagni taking over from Jonathan Peddie as head of litigation on 1 April, and Peddie taking up a newly created role of director of litigation and special investigations.
In addition to these changes, the banking giant is currently reviewing its legal panel. It will be the first review since 2007. Firms currently on the bank's litigation panel include Simmons & Simmons, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters, Clifford Chance, DLA Piper, Allen & Overy, Hill Dickinson and Lovells.
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