Legal Business Blogs

In-house: HSF and Beachcroft win spots as Sainsbury’s makes big cuts to adviser panel

Herbert Smith Freehills and DAC Beachcroft were among the firms to win spots on Sainsbury’s most recent legal panel, with the supermarket chain cutting its roster by a third with 11 spots reduced to eight.

Morton Fraser was the third firm to be allocated a slot, while Addleshaw Goddard, Shepherd and Wedderburn and Cleaver Fulton Rankin, which were on the previous roster, no longer feature. Meanwhile, Linklaters, Dentons, TLT, CMS and Winckworth Sherwood all retain their spots.

Sainsbury’s hopes the trimmed down panel will deliver cost and service benefits by ‘simplifying processes and concentrating volumes.’ Commented Nick Grant, director of legal services: ‘I’m pleased to be able to appoint these excellent firms to our new panel. After a rigorous tender process I’m confident that we have selected a panel that will serve Sainsbury’s brilliantly in what remains a constantly changing and dynamic retail market.’

The supermarket last revised its legal panel in 2017, when Bond Dickinson, Croner, and Gowling WLG no longer appeared on the roster. The review was the first for Sainsbury’s since it acquired Argos-owner Home Retail Group in 2016, with the panel covering the work for both retailers. The panel appointments could prove lucrative, with Sainsburys having over 1,400 supermarkets and convenience stores across the country while Argos has almost 900 stores in standalone and supermarket locations.

Dentons was yesterday named Commercial Litigation Team of the Year at the 2020 Legal Busines Awards for its work advising Sainsbury’s  in a Court of Appeal dispute against the Valuation Office Agency, a case that could have seen thousands of stores lose ATMs.

For more on the in-house market, see our new GC Powerlist UK 2020: The Change Agenda