Legal Business Blogs

In-house: Sainsbury’s unveils new panel; Lloyds brings in insurance GC; Ladbrokes promotes deputy to GC role

A trio of significant in-house moves and announcements yesterday (6 May) saw King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin and TLT awarded a first-time spot on Sainsbury’s latest panel, as Lloyds Banking Group appointed RSM Tenon’s former group general counsel (GC) Joanne Jolly to lead its insurance group and outgoing Ladbrokes GC Jonathan Adelman handed over the reins to his deputy.

Sainsbury’s recently concluded the third review of what it refers to as its ‘legal community’: a 12-strong collaborative law firm panel which saw reappointments for Addleshaw Goddard; Bond Dickinson; CMS Cameron McKenna; Croner; Dentons; DWF; Wragge Lawrence Graham; Linklaters; Shepherd and Wedderburn; and Winckworth Sherwood.

Linklaters has extended its remit working for the major retailer and is now working on commercial work in addition to competition, the area for which it was originally instructed.

Firms that were not reappointed, having been awarded a place when Sainsbury’s last overhauled its panel in 2011, include Simkins Solicitors and Charles Russell, although a spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said it would continue to work with Charles Russell on ‘a bespoke basis’.

While a number of firms named on the 2011 panel have since merged and been reappointed under an altered name – including legacy SNR Denton, Bond Pearce and LG – McGrigors has not been reappointed following its merger with Pinsents in 2012.

The review, which Sainsbury’s said ‘ask[ed] all firms involved to demonstrate expertise, appetite, value for money and an understanding of the demands of the retail sector and Sainsbury’s values’, focused heavily on costs management and a willingness to work collaboratively with in-house teams to deliver legal services to the business.

Head of legal, Nick Grant (pictured), said: ‘We take this opportunity every three years to look at the quality and range of firms in the Sainsbury’s legal community to ensure the company continues to receive the best possible service.

‘I’m very pleased with the outcome – we’ve managed to both bring in new talent and retain the expertise and experience of long-standing Sainsbury’s firms.’

The process was run by Clare Russell and Paul Jenkinson from the Sainsbury’s in-house team, in partnership with Phil Sykes from its procurement team.

At Lloyds Banking Group (LBG), meanwhile, Jolly has taken over as GC and company secretary of the insurance group from Catriona Herd, who has become regulatory and conduct risk director for the insurance group.

Barrister-trained Jolly joined legacy RSM Tenon – which was acquired last year by Baker Tilly – in 2012, taking on the role of group GC and company secretary, having previously acted as GC of Aviva Group between March 2010 and December 2012. Prior to that she was a reinsurance and international risk partner at Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, which merged with Clyde & Co in 2011.

At RSM Tenon, which went into administration last year, Jolly led the sale of its business to the Baker Tilly group and, according to her LinkedIn profile, ‘assisted with the integration of both firms and the legal issues arising’.

There have been further leadership changes at Ladbrokes, where GC and company secretary Jonathan Adelman has left, with his role split between Annabel Bannerman, who takes over as GC, and Adrian Bushnell, who assumes the company secretary role.

Bannerman was a senior associate at SJ Berwin until August 2010, when she joined Ladbrokes as senior legal counsel, becoming deputy general counsel in February 2013.

Bushnell, meanwhile, joined Ladbrokes as head of secretariat in January 2014, and has a longstanding career in company secretary roles, working for companies including Greene King and LBG.

Adelman joined Ladbrokes in 2008 when there was no internal legal team and a high external spend. In four years, he transformed the gaming company’s in-house offering, cutting a roster of around 100 firms to less than a dozen, reducing the typical legal spend of £8m-10m down to £4m-6m at the last count.