Two new faces gain membership to reshaped Co-op legal panel

Two new faces gain membership to reshaped Co-op legal panel

Seven firms have won spots on a revamped Co-op Group legal panel which sees its corporate, commercial and property panels combined to work alongside primary adviser Allen & Overy (A&O).

Newly-appointed firms Fieldfisher and Squire Patton Boggs join Addleshaw Goddard, Pinsent Masons, Hill Dickinson, Brodies and Paris Smith for a three-year term, following a review which began last year.

The group’s head of legal operations, Helen Lowe, and head of legal and digital Peter Horsfall, led the review with procurement manager Peter McHugh. TLT and Weightmans had both previously held panel spots with the group.

A Co-op spokesperson said: ‘Following an extensive panel review, the Co-op has appointed seven law firms with a wide range of specialist knowledge and legal expertise in the areas of commercial, litigation, property and corporate matters to support its in-house legal team. They join A&O, the incumbent City firm.’

The group has five core businesses in the food, electrical, insurance, funeral care and legal services sectors, spread across 3,750 outlets. It began reviewing its panels last year around the time former Dixons Carphone group general counsel (GC) Helen Grantham replaced Alistair Asher in the top legal role. Asher, a former A&O partner, moved into a new role as director of special projects for the business.

Asher first got involved with the Co-op in spring 2013, when he was drafted in to help with the bank’s £1.5bn capital shortfall.