Thames Water appoints new Managed Legal Services provider

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Thames Water has today announced that Eversheds Sutherland will become its new Managed Legal Services provider from 1 April 2018.

The global law firm has been awarded a five year contract to advise on, and manage, Thames Water’s day-to-day legal work following a thorough and highly competitive tender process.  

Eversheds Sutherland will take over from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP (BLP), which has been responsible for the majority of Thames Water’s legal services since 2010.

To ensure a seamless transition and business continuity for the UK’s largest water and wastewater services provider, there will be a three month transition period and the existing Reading-based legal team will transfer from BLP to become part of the wider Eversheds Sutherland legal team advising Thames Water.

Thames Water will also launch a new legal panel of five specialist law firms, including Eversheds Sutherland, Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and Pinsent Masons LLP. The panel will compete for major projects, which sit outside of the Managed Legal Services arrangement.

Sarah Sear, Thames Water’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.”

“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.”

Sharpe Pritchard LLP provided strong support to Thames Water during the tender process.