Legal Business Blogs

Scots firms in the mix as Pernod Ricard refreshes UK legal panel

Spirits maker Pernod Ricard has appointed a mix of firms, including a handful of Scottish indies, to its refreshed UK panel.

The new panel includes DWF, Osborne Clarke, RPC and Macfarlanes, and was finalised following a review by Amanda Hamilton-Stanley, the general counsel for Pernod Ricard’s Scottish whisky and gin division Chivas Brothers.

Macfarlanes has a long history with Pernod Ricard, with managing partner Julian Howard having advised on the financing for its key acquisitions including the $5bn debt financing for the Canadian gin maker Seagram back in 2000, as well as its £7.4bn debt facility for its purchase of Bristol-based Allied Domecq in 2005.

More recently Macfarlanes acted on Pernod Ricard’s €15bn facility for the acquisition of Absolut vodka owner Vin & Sprit in 2008, a deal which made Pernod Ricard the second biggest spirits company in the world, second only to rival Diageo.

Pernod Ricard, which owns Scottish whisky brand Chivas Regal, also awarded places to several Scottish indies, including Shepherd & Wedderburn and Brodies.

The Malibu and Absolut Vodka owner also awarded Clyde & Co, which recently completed its acquisition of Scottish firm Simpson & Marwick, a place on the panel.

In other recent panel news, JPMorgan Chase has appointed the entire Magic Circle, as well as CMS Cameron McKenna, Eversheds and Norton Rose Fulbright to its panel, while the Royal Bank of Scotland also undertook a review, and appointed CC, Linklaters and A&O among several others to its roster for the next three years.

Last last year, RPC, Ashurst, Lewis Silkin and Shoosmiths were allocated spots on Coca-Cola Enterprises UK legal panel, following a competitive tender process between an estimated 35 law firms. The drinks giant also selected Devereux Chambers as its preferred barristers’ set ahead of a review of its internal legal function.