Dozens of in-house lawyers at telecoms giant BT could move to international firm DWF under a strategic partnership announced last week.

The firm said it has won a tender to become a ‘strategic legal partner’ of BT. Under the five-year contract, DWF will provide insurance and real estate services to its partner, and staff from BT’s in-house claims and corporate property teams will transfer to DWF’s managed services practice this year.

A BT spokesperson told the Gazette that over 40 BT employees are ‘in scope’ to transfer to DWF and would become DWF employees.

DWF said the deal was a ‘first for the firm’ but declined to comment on its value or billing arrangements. It said the contract validates the firm’s ‘doing things differently’ approach, ‘by providing a full-service offering combining complex advisory capabilities with volume-driven and technology-enabled legal solutions, complemented by non-legal connected services’.

Andrew Leaitherland, group chief executive, said his firm’s selection ‘is great recognition for DWF’s differentiated offering and our strategy of transforming legal services. It provides clear evidence that our compelling global offering of complex, managed and connected services is resonating with clients’.


Sabine Chalmers (pictured), who remains in post as BT general counsel, said: ‘We are transforming and simplifying the way we work across BT – building strategic partnerships will play a big part in this. Our partnership structure with DWF will ensure we continue to receive outstanding insurance and real estate legal services, while those transferring to DWF are joining a fast-growing and innovative legal business.’

A BT spokesperson said its transformation ‘involves looking at ways we work internally, how we operate, what tech we use and how we create the right work environment for our people – a really holistic approach’.