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General Electric’s (GE) protracted European panel review has reached its final stages.

The review is aiming to cut the number of firms on the panel from 270 down to just 80. Both the successful and unsuccessful tendering firms have been notified of GE’s decision, although the company is still in talks with 20 out of the 80 successful outfits over differences in expectations of costs.

All firms on the outgoing panel were invited to tender, with no invitations extended to any non-panel firms. The review will be completed in the next two to three weeks.

On Monday (27 April), GE named Hendrik Bourgeois as its new general counsel for Europe, handing him the responsibility to oversee the process.

The review, which was initiated by former Europe general counsel Mark Elborne, will see GE set up a series of practice-specific panels including preferred suppliers for litigation and regulation work.

Former Jones Day lawyer Bourgeois has been with GE for 10 years. He was previously European senior counsel for competition, regulation and government relations, before which he spent six years as senior competition counsel at the company.

Commenting on his move, Bourgeois said: “I have a lot of things to learn in the coming weeks and months and for now my time will be dominated by the panel review.”

GE’s global legal team comprises more than 1,000 lawyers worldwide and has an estimated UK legal spend of £30m.

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