Barclays has reduced the size of its law firm panel by nearly two-thirds, announcing that it has placed innovation at the heart of its latest review.

The banking giant currently has around 350-400 preferred and approved firms. From Friday, 140 firms across three new tiers will handle litigation globally. No names of the firms were released. 

Barclays’ general counsel Bob Hoyt said: ‘Our focus is on the match of skills and coverage; a more innovative commercial construct; and a deeper level of partnership between Barclays and these firms. While our model will continue to evolve, we are excited about the progress this new panel represents.’

Barclays said today that the two objectives of its latest biennial review were to achieve the most efficient, commercial structure, ‘but more importantly to identify partners who will change the provision of legal services both with Barclays and in the broader market’.

Barclays will have 30 panel and core specialist firms. Around 110 specialist firms will be retained outside of the 30 ‘strategic partners’.

Barclays’ announcement states that the panel firms will ‘invest in and partner with us’ on legal project management, alternative fee arrangements, innovation and eBilling.

‘This will require a significant commitment across practice areas and jurisdictions, and might not suit a firm we use in more selective areas,’ the bank said.

Core specialist firms will undertake targeted matters as recognised experts in selected practice areas in certain jurisdictions and markets. The bank said they will be ‘ideally placed for consideration for panel in the future’.

Specialist firms will be used less regularly than their core specialist colleagues.

A 13-strong legal executive committee will review the lists every six months. The next panel review will take place in 2018.