The legal department of Britain’s Sainsbury recently chose a panel of 11 law firms to serve for an initial three-year period. Previously, the department had informal relationships with around 20 law firms. The department invited thirty firms to compete for places on the roster. According to Legal Week, Vol. 10, Jan. 24, 2008 at 4, the law department expects to spend approximately was £13 million ($25 million) on external counsel.
The article also mentions that head of legal Nick Grant said his department “plans to hold a conference between its advisors and its in-house team in an effort to push for a higher level of collaboration and sharing of best practice.” I have previously commended such gatherings and suggested topics for them (See my posts of Dec. 3, 2005: Wal-Mart’s conference for its key law firms; June 19, 2006: another discussion; and Dec. 10, 2007: suggestions.).