03 Oct 2013 | 09:56 am | 1 min. read
E.ON UK and Pinsent Masons have announced a new partnership that will see the international law firm effectively become sole legal adviser to the UK business on a fixed-fee basis.
Under the terms of the groundbreaking new arrangement E.ON's UK legal function will reduce its roster of legal advisers to just one. The deal will last for five years and encompass work across a full range of specialist legal services.
E.ON, which employs around 12,000 people throughout the UK, has broad-based operations in the country including electricity generation and supplying power and gas to around 5 million customers.
E.ON's in-house UK legal team will continue to carry out a significant proportion of work while E.ON's central legal function (based in Düsseldorf) and specialist legal teams, such as E.ON Exploration & Production UK (based in London) will retain separate panels including a small number of UK firms.
Graham Line, Head of UK Legal at E.ON UK, says:
"This is an exciting and innovative partnership, not to mention a first in the UK energy sector. The legal function at E.ON has a prominent role to play in ensuring that our customers are treated fairly, and giving the business confidence as it makes infrastructure investments that are helping to keep the lights on now and in the future. We want to deliver a high-quality, high-value service to the business, and Pinsent Masons demonstrated through their approach and knowledge of the sector that they are the right partner to achieve that."
Jonathan Fortnam, a Partner at Pinsent Masons who led on the deal, says:
"E.ON is an impressive business which plays a vital role in the UK energy market. This arrangement will allow us to support them through the provision of a broad spectrum of specialist legal services, and give us the ability to develop the type of long-term, sustainable relationship that is key to true partnership."
The new partnership is the second 'sole provider' arrangement struck by Pinsent Masons this year. In March the firm announced that it had won a mandate to service much of Balfour Beatty's predictable legal work in the UK – a landmark deal which led to the firms being shortlisted in the 'Client Service' category of the FT Innovative Lawyer Awards 2013.
Richard Masters, Head of Client Operations and a Board member at Pinsent Masons, says:
"We recognise that innovation is about more than finding ways to make an old model fit the new world, and are delighted that several of our clients have responded positively to our proposals to move the emphasis firmly away from the billable hour."
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