LAWFUEL – Law News & Business – DLA Piper announced that it has …

LAWFUEL – Law News & Business – DLA Piper announced that it has been selected by The Linde Group, the leading international gas and engineering company, as its main legal provider for all global work, except strategic corporate matters. The combined Linde/BOC organisation previously used more than 150 legal providers following its merger in September 2006. Nick Deeming, Chief Legal Officer at The Linde Group led an extensive four month review of the internal legal services team and its external legal providers. Following the review Linde has dramatically reduced the number of legal providers it uses from over 150 to just five.

Under the radical, new model introduced by Linde, DLA Piper will advise on a range of matters across Europe, Asia Pacific and the US, which amounts to 80 per cent of legal spend. This single solution approach incorporates matters such as commercial and compliance work, IP, employment, litigation, property, data protection, regulatory, product liability and non-strategic acquisitions and disposals. DLA Piper will work closely with the 65-strong internal legal services team at Linde to deliver quality legal solutions and obtain more value from its outsourced work.

The other law firms retained by Linde are Linklaters, which will advise on all corporate issues outside the US; the German law firm Hengeler Muller, which has retained an advisory role on company law issues; Simpson Thacher, which has been retained to advise Linde on strategic corporate work in the US and Shearman & Sterling which will handle the Group’s antitrust matters.

DLA Piper will provide a range of value added services across several jurisdictions in order to deliver greater accountability and consistency throughout. DLA Piper will also commit a substantial investment into the IT infrastructure to support its services, including a global legal intranet/extranet which will be integrated into Linde’s existing knowledge systems.

“We are delighted to be able to work alongside The Linde Group on this venture which will see the Group break new ground in the way it manages its legal risks,” said Danelle Dinsdale, partner at DLA Piper who led the review discussions with The Linde Group.

“Our approach and commitment to providing a range of coordinated global services to clients who need them enables multinational companies like Linde to use our reach and expertise to best advantage.”

Nick Deeming, Chief Legal Officer at The Linde Group, spearheaded the extensive four month review of legal services across the global organisation, formed in September 2006 by Linde’s takeover of The BOC Group.

Nick said: “I initiated this review with an open mind as to what the end structure might look like, though I had one clear aim – to identify one or two leading law firms in each continent that would work in partnership with our internal legal services team and deliver high quality services across all the areas we are likely to outsource.”

“The more innovative part is around the appointment of just one firm, DLA Piper, to cover the day to day requirements. This gives us, we feel uniquely, a globally effective solution and better risk management across a diverse range of disciplines. This approach is key to our broader strategic goal of delivering world class legal services to Linde, and we will use the model to fundamentally reshape the approach to legal issues in our key markets.”