Legal Business

Sainsbury’s

  • Head of legal services: Nick Grant.
  • Team headcount: 18 lawyers

Collaborative working is at the heart of the Sainsbury’s attitude towards external counsel, with head of legal services Nick Grant being an advocate for building strong links with the outside partners that he terms as a ‘legal community’.

According to one law firm partner: ‘The idea is that its law firms, instead of just competing with each other, co-operate together and with Sainsbury’s to mean
that two and two equals five.’

Another admiring external adviser comments: ‘Sainsbury’s has one of the hardest working in-house teams I know, which has delivered some massive projects for the business, and does so with enthusiasm, great team spirit and a good sense of humour.’

Grant’s team certainly has a full in-tray, working for the UK’s second largest supermarket chain with revenues of almost £24bn and 161,000 staff. The team covers a wide range of disciplines, including commercial litigation, construction, employment and intellectual property. Big mandates for the team over the last year include the high-profile joint venture with Dansk Supermarked to create the new Netto grocery chain in the UK and a High Court challenge against a Tesco ad campaign which claimed its own-label goods were cheaper.

In 2014, the in-house department conducted its third panel review, which saw reappointments for Addleshaw Goddard; Bond Dickinson; CMS Cameron McKenna; Croner; Dentons; DWF; Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co; Linklaters; Shepherd and Wedderburn; and Winckworth Sherwood.
The panel review focused on costs management and pressed advisers to work collaboratively. The process was run by Clare Russell and Paul Jenkinson from the legal team, in partnership with Paul Sykes from its procurement team.