Panel reviews: Vodafone and Yum! Brands shake up external adviser rosters

Panel reviews: Vodafone and Yum! Brands shake up external adviser rosters

Mobile phone giant Vodafone has completed a review of its legal panel, with seven firms making the cut, while KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut owner Yum! Brands has also finalised its roster.

The number of firms on Vodafone’s panel remains the same as the last time it was reviewed in 2014, but DLA Piper and Eversheds Sutherland have lost their slots this time, replaced by Squire Patton Boggs and TMT specialist Wiggin. The firms remaining on the roster are Magic Circle outfits Slaughter and May and Linklaters, alongside Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose Fulbright and Osborne Clarke.

Vodafone general counsel (GC) Rosemary Martin told Legal Business: ‘We have been very pleased with how our legal panel has been running to date, and we look forward to working with firms going forward on this new panel as well.’

Martin also confirmed that there was no fixed term for the panel, but she envisioned keeping the roster the same for the next three years.

Meanwhile, Yum! Brands has also established a new European panel of advisory firms after a review process that took place at the end of last year.

Despite losing out on the Vodafone roster, Eversheds Sutherland has retained its place on Yum! Brands’ line-up, and will be the company’s lead European firm as well as providing real estate and HR advice.

The other firms making the cut are Bird & Bird, selected to advise on GDPR, compliance and regulation, and TLT, which will provide licensing advice. Cooley and Squire Patton Boggs have been drafted in for IP and real estate advice respectively, while Gowling WLG will provide general commercial and marketing counsel. Solihull-based Whiting & Purches has been appointed for its HR expertise, while Burness Paull will be Yum! Brands preferred Scottish adviser.

The panel will run for two years, but Yum! Brands will go off-panel if required.

Legal director Sarah Nelson Smith said that other firms in specific European markets were yet to be chosen: ‘This is the first time that we’ve done a holistic European review, rather than just a UK one. In other European markets we’re still finalising our roster, but we will have new firms in Spain, The Netherlands and Italy.’

Yum! Brands’ panel was last reviewed in 2016, when TLT was appointed for the first time and Clyde & Co lost its place. Burness Paull, Squire Patton Boggs and Whiting & Purches also retain their places from the last round.