The term “panel of law firms” is mostly used by European law departments (See my post of April 18, 2005 on the term and its American counterpart, “preferred provider.”). The smaller number of firms on a panel makes decisions as to which to instruct easier (See my post of Nov. 13, 2006 on decision paralysis.). In Australia, panels account for the most common method of selecting outside counsel (See my post of July 4, 2006.).
Sprinkled throughout this blawg are references to 11 law departments that have created panels of law firms (See my posts of Nov. 13, 2005 on RHM and its four firms; Feb. 15, 2006 on Daimler-Chrysler and Euronext.liffe; March 30, 2006 on Societe General and its 9 global firms and sub-panels; Nov. 19, 2005 on Serco; April 18, 2005 on Barclays and its 37 law firms; April 16, 2007 on General Electric with 62 panel firms; May 19, 2006 on the Nestles competition for a panel; March 3, 2007 on Pfizer and its products-liability panel; March 9, 2006 on ABN Amro and its employment law panel; and April 4, 2006 #3 on Heritage and savings – but see June 7, 2007 on the “dismal failure” of panels to bring benefits to law departments.).