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Adviser reviews: Lucozade Ribena Suntory completes first post-merger panel

Eversheds Sutherland has won the role of primary UK and Ireland adviser in Lucozade Ribena Suntory’s (LRS) inaugural legal panel review, with nine other firms also making the cut.

The review was a first for general counsel (GC) Mary Guest since joining the drinks giant from Magic Circle firm Linklaters in June 2017, and it is also the first since LRS was formed after Lucozade and Ribena were acquired by Suntory for £1.35bn in 2013. Eversheds will be top of the list for general matters, with the remaining nine firms offering more specialist advice.

Clifford Chance (CC) is in place to offer M&A counsel, while Addleshaw Goddard will offer support with competition matters. Norton Rose Fulbright is on hand to deal with data protection and Stephenson Harwood will oversee IP and litigation.  McCann FitzGerald and Philip Lee have won spots offering Irish advice and completing the roster was DWF, TLT and Walker Morris.

Guest began the review process in April, starting with an initial shortlist of 23 firms which was whittled down to ten during the tender process. The new panel came into effect on 1 September 2018 and it will run for a two-year period.

Eversheds Sutherland partner Julia Woodward-Carlton, who leads on the LRS relationship, told Legal Business: ‘It was a long and challenging tender process with questions around cultural fit and values. Being awarded the primary adviser role was a particularly good outcome as it showcased our deep sector expertise and ability to maintain a trusted advisor relationship.’

Previously owned by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Allen & Overy were on hand to advise as Lucozade was sold to Japanese consumer goods company Suntory in 2013.

Corporate partners Edward Barnett and Andrew Ballheimer took the lead for A&O as the represented GSK. CC, led by corporate finance partner Joel Ziff, advised Suntory on the deal.

In other recent panel reviews, education company Pearson selected 14  firms to inhabit newly-created ‘preferred’ and ‘general’ rosters in July.  Among the chosen firms were Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills, DWF, Bird & Bird, Pinsent Masons and DLA Piper.