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In-house: Biffa turns to GSK for new general counsel

Waste management company Biffa has hired a new general counsel and company secretary, taking on GlaxoSmithKline’s interim assistant company secretary Rachael Hambrook.

With over 30 years of experience in-house, Hambrook (pictured) has worked for a number of FTSE and International blue chip companies including BT, foodservice and support services organisation Compass Group, oil and gas company Ruspetro, Centrica and DHL Express UK.

Her appointment comes during a time of change for the company. In October Biffa priced its initial public offering (IPO). The company listed on the London Stock Exchange pricing at 180p per share, giving a market capitalisation of £450m; a lower than expected level following the Brexit vote. The IPO had previously been expected to list at between 220p and 270p per share. Linklaters advised the waste management company on the float with Clifford Chance advising the underwriters.

‘This role encapsulated all the previous experience that I had. It’s so wide ranging and it’s something I could really get my teeth into,’ Hambrook told Legal Business. ‘Obviously with the IPO as well, it was the perfect time to join. Setting up the company secretary PLC function was something new we had to do but we’re up and running now.’

Hambrook replaces Keith Woodward who is retiring. He joined the Biffa as its company secretary in April 2006 having worked in-house for businesses such as Pimms, British Sugar and John Mowlem.

Hambrook said Biffa would continue to use preferred UK legal advisers Linklaters for corporate matters and Nabarro for litigation and corporate contracts along with ‘a number of provincial lawyers’. Ahead of Nabarro’s merger with CMS Cameron McKenna and Olswang, Hambrook added: ‘I’ve got no reason to believe at the present time we wouldn’t continue with them in the new entity.’

Earlier this week it was revealed social media football start-up Dugout has appointed its first in-house counsel from Perform Group as it gains backing from some of the sport’s biggest clubs.

The company has made Adam Lovatt its first in-house lawyer from Perform where he was group legal counsel until September 2016. Lovatt trained at Scots firm Maclay Murray & Spens before moving to IMG as a legal counsel.