Selecting external law firms—a guide for in-house banking and finance lawyers
Selecting external law firms—a guide for in-house banking and finance lawyers

The following Banking & Finance guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Selecting external law firms—a guide for in-house banking and finance lawyers
  • Selection of external lawyers where a legal panel is in place
  • Selection of law firms where there is no legal panel
  • Factors to be considered in each instance

This Practice Note sets out the factors that an in-house lawyer should consider when selecting an external law firm to advise in relation to a banking and finance transaction. It is written for in-house banking and finance lawyers working in banks or other financial institutions. It covers the selection of law firms from an existing legal panel, the circumstances where it might be appropriate to select an off-panel law firm and what to do where the bank or other financial institution in question does not have a legal panel. The Practice Note also sets out some general considerations that will apply to any proposed law firm selection, regardless of whether a legal panel is in place or not.

For information on issues to consider when agreeing the engagement terms for the selected external law firms, see Checklist: Agreeing engagement terms with external law firms—a checklist for in-house banking and finance lawyers.

Selection of external lawyers where a legal panel is in place

Using the legal panel

Most large banks and other financial institutions have established panels of legal advisers. These panels are reviewed periodically (often bi-annually) and provide in-house lawyers with a group of pre-approved external law firms which they can use to obtain legal advice.

Where a bank or other financial institution has a legal panel, instructing external counsel is likely

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