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In-house: Berendsen hires first general counsel as textile firm expands

FTSE 250 company Berendsen has appointed its first general counsel with the appointment of Alice Darwall from Proxmity Advisors.

Joining last week, the appointment is Berendsen’s first general counsel as the company expands in terms of revenue. June 2016’s half-year report reported a growth in revenue from £500m to £534m, a 7% change.

The experienced adviser joins after 10 years as group general counsel of French Connection Group and a two-year tenure as director of legal affairs at Proximity Advisors.

Darwall oversaw a small team of five people at Proximity Advisors, and offered advice on international corporate and commercial transactions, brand protection, intellectual property rights and privacy law.

Darwall trained as a solicitor at Hogan Lovells, and began her career at IBM before moving to MTV Networks.

This latest GC hire adds to a steadily-growing list of similar appointments at the beginning of 2017, with long-time Playtech adviser Alex Latner joining the publicly traded gaming company from Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP). Latner replaced former GC David McLeish, who also moved from BLP to the Israeli gaming firm.

BP also revitalised its legal team with the appointment of David Nitcher as GC on 1 January. The 26-year-old veteran of the oil giant replaced former legal head Rupert Bondy, who quit to join FTSE 100 company Reckitt Benckiser at the end of last year.

Waste management company Biffa also hired a new GC at the start of 2017, taking on GlaxoSmithKline’s interim assistant company secretary Rachael Hambrook.