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Thames Water names Eversheds Sutherland as new Managed Legal Services provider

Eversheds Sutherland is to take over from Berwin Leighton Paisner as Thames Water’s Managed Legal Services provider on a five-year deal beginning in April 2018.

Thames Water has also chosen five law firms to a new legal panel.

The appointments follow what the company described as “a thorough and highly competitive tender process”.

Berwin Leighton Paisner has been Thames Water’s Managed Legal Services providers since 2010.

Thames Water said that there would be a three-month transition period and the existing Reading-based legal team would transfer from BLP to become part of the wider Eversheds Sutherland legal team advising Thames Water.

The new legal panel will comprise:

  • Eversheds Sutherland
  • Berwin Leighton Paisner
  • CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang
  • Herbert Smith Freehills and
  • Pinsent Masons LLP.

The panel will compete for major projects, which sit outside of the Managed Legal Services arrangement, Thames Water said.

Sarah Sear, the company’s Head of Legal, said: “Our managed legal services model has worked very well since we launched it in 2010 and, after a rigorous tender process, we’re delighted to appoint Eversheds Sutherland as our new legal services provider for the next five years.

“As an essential services company, it’s absolutely vital that we get things right and Eversheds Sutherland is very much aligned with our thinking as we embrace the next chapter.”

Sear added: “Our competitive new legal panel is an important addition to the legal framework at Thames Water. Made up of five prestigious legal firms, including Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, which has been a valuable asset to the company during the last eight years, the panel will ensure we have the right expertise at the right price for major projects.”

Lee Ranson, CEO, Eversheds Sutherland (International) commented: “Securing work of this size and complexity has been one of the highlights of our year at Eversheds Sutherland, and has increased significantly since the announcement of our transatlantic tie-up on 1 February. We were able to demonstrate to Thames Water the difference in our firm’s innovative and creative approach to managing complex, high value legal services for our clients.”

Thames Water said Sharpe Pritchard had provided strong support to the company during the tender process.

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