Bank of America Merill Lynch (BofA Merill) has selected a battery of top-end law firms to represent their legal interests but being on the legal panel comes at a price.

According to Legal Week, BofA Merill has included Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Clifford Chance, Linklaters and Allen & Overy to represent it in legal matters.

Other firms that are in the legal panel of BofA Merill are Mayer Brown and Simmons & Simmons. Cahill Gordon & Reindel and Morrison & Foerster are also handling some of the bank's legal matters.

However, being on the roster comes at a price: The law firms on the panel must be willing to bill trainees at paralegal rates. They must also agree to accept no payment on certain aborted deals and offer general discounts on their fees.

Separately, French banking giant Credit Agricole has named around 10 firms to advise it on legal matters. The bank's new legal panel includes stalwarts such as Baker & McKenzie, Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Ashurst, Norton Rose, Hogan Lovells and Gide Loyrette Nouel, Legal Week said.

Several French law firms have also been retained to represent the bank in domestic matters.