shell-helix-ultra-5w30-ect-conditionnementOil giant Royal Dutch Shell has dramatically scaled back its global legal panel, with just six firms making the cut out of an original field of 250.

Shell’s panel review was conducted over six months under the leadership of the company’s Canada-based associate general counsel for disputes, strategy and coordination Gordon McCue. As the global panel will work across all jurisdictions and practice areas for Shell’s operations around the globe, Mr McCue indicated that selecting firms with a ‘large footprint globally’ was an important criterion in whittling down candidates.

Data security and privacy programs, availability, “advice hotlines” for Shell lawyers to outside counsel and fee rates were also among factors considered in the review process, he said.

“Based on our experience in the last three years we’ve taken the opportunity to reduce the number of firms we have a formal relationship with,” McCue told London-based The Lawyer. “The goal of the new panel is to align our interests better with our law firms and put in place a partnership with them that adds value both ways.”

Though the chosen six firms work globally, the bulk of their activity will be concentrated in the UK and the United States. The global panel will be supported by 12 local panels in a number of jurisdictions, to be comprised of three to five firms each.

Source: The Lawyer