Despite the trend for smaller panels, Diageo has expanded its UK roster, with Slaughter and May, Pinsent Masons and Addleshaw Goddard reappointed while it is understood Bond Dickinson has made the panel for the first time.
Legal Business first revealed last June that Diageo was assessing its UK roster, after its current panel was due to expire that month. The global drink’s brands previous panel was launched in March 2014 and consisted of Slaughters, Addleshaws and Pinsents. At that time Diageo consolidated its general preferred suppliers for the UK following a four-month review. The new panel has been appointed for three years.
CMS is also understood to be Diageo’s preferred supplier in Europe since 2009, but is not on the UK roster. The company does also retain some specialist approved suppliers for work such as intellectual property, and some commercial and contentious work.
Diageo’s in-house legal team is led by GC Powerlist 2016 member Siobhan Moriarty (pictured) who joined the company in 2013. Moriarty oversees a 140-strong legal team, having previously worked for Clifford Chance before joining the drinks business.
Diageo, whose brands include Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker and Guinness, has previously worked extensively with Slaughter and May.
Slaughters and May corporate partner Simon Nicholls advised Diageo on the sale of shares to Heineken in 2015, netting the drinks giant £515m, and also acted on a £2.4bn transaction for a majority stake in Indian brewer United Spirits in 2012.
Diageo declined to comment.