Legal Business Blogs

In-house: Mothercare’s Ashby set to succeed de Souza as group GC of Land Securities

FTSE 100 company Land Securities has appointed Mothercare’s group general counsel (GC) and company secretary Tim Ashby as its group GC, following the resignation of Adrian de Souza (pictured) in October.

Ashby, who has been group GC and company secretary at Mothercare for over five years, has worked in-house since 1993. After a five year stint at legacy Denton Wilde Sapte, he held the role of senior international counsel at multinational food and beverage company PepsiCo, and then spent 12 years as regional counsel for Europe and Africa at Yum! Restaurant International, owner of brands including Pizza Hut and KFC. It is not known exactly when he will take up the role at Land Securities.

Legal Business powerlist member de Souza, who is currently on gardening leave, will formerly leave Land Securities in October, following a 12 month notice period. By the time he leaves he will have served five years as the company’s first group general counsel following his appointment to the position in 2010.

After qualifying and working for a year at legacy firm Lovells, De Souza spent five years as a senior associate at Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance before making the move in-house to brewing company SABMiller where he spent seven years, first as senior counsel and then as head of legal at SABMiller Europe before joining Land Securities Group after Land Securities’ company secretary Peter Dudgeon announced he was stepping down after a decade in the role.

When De Souza took the position in 2010, he was immediately charged with slashing the property company’s roster of more than 100 firms. Land Securities now has nine law firms on its panel, split into a two-tier system with firms on either panel A or B.

Both panels deal with property work, construction, planning and real estate litigation work across the UK. Panel A is made up of Berwin Leighton Paisner, Eversheds, Freshfields Braukhaus Deringer, Hogan Lovells and Nabarro.

Dundas & Wilson and Herbert Smith Freehills secured spots on panel B during the last review in January 2013. A firm is typically placed on panel B for a number of years until it has fully learned the processes and procedures of the company. There is also an additional specialist panel that contains Allen & Overy for finance and Clifford Chance for corporate work.

The appointments last three years, with the next review due in 2016.