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Slaughter and May wins main corporate adviser role as John Lewis Partnership cuts legal panel to four

High Street retailer John Lewis Partnership (JLP) has cut its external legal panel to just four firms comprising Slaughter and May, Burges Salmon, Dentons and Eversheds, naming Slaughter and May as its main corporate adviser, following a review of its existing arrangements.

Led by general counsel (GC) and company secretary Keith Hubber, Slaughter and May has been appointed to provide the legal team with strategic advice ‘in a number of complex and high-profile areas’ and to provide support on corporate governance matters.

There is also a new appointment in Burges Salmon, which joins Dentons and Eversheds, who have been reappointed to the roster, to provide a broad range of legal services ‘outside Slaughter and May’s remit’.

Hubber said the review was implemented to establish ‘closer, longer-term relationships with a smaller number of firms who are committed to investing in their relationship with the partnership’.

Under the leadership of former company secretary and director of legal services Margaret Casely-Hayford, who stepped down from the role in 2014, the JLP legal team’s preferred advisers have included Eversheds, Hogan Lovells, Pinsent Masons, Reed Smith, Shepherd and Wedderburn, and Wragge & Co.

Corporate lawyer Hubber succeeded Casely-Hayford after 13 years at BG Group where he served as deputy GC.

On the overhaul of the JLP external panel, Hubber said in a statement this morning (7 December): ‘The company identified firms with proven sector experience who understand the partnership’s culture and demonstrated a desire to work collaboratively to support the in-house team.’