In a January issue of The Lawyer (16th January 2012), there was an article about how the relatively new FD (Lucinda Bell – daughter of a former BL CEO – was formerly head of tax) was given the brief to review relationships with outside law firms.
It seems that a formal panel – as Hammerson’s have – was ruled out). Historically, the bulk of BL’s work went to S J Berwin (where the Metliss brothers – sons of a former BL board member – were partners).
It is anticipated that Freshfields will keep the corporate work (Allen & Overy, S J Berwin and Jones Day have done deals since 2007) but it’s unclear how the property work will go.
The Lawyer anticipates that S J Berwin will continue with the retail property work but notes that Ashurst has recently won more office work (e.g. Baker Street site acquisition in 2010 and purchase and redevelopment of Marble Arch House in 2011).
We’ll have to wait to see how this one pans out.