Allied Domecq cuts legal team By Dearbail Jordan

The in-house legal team will be cut from 12 lawyers to four or five following the £2.7bn sale of Allied's pub retail arm to Punch Taverns in August last year.

Since the sale, a division of the legal team, based at Allied's head office in London, has been relocated to Bristol.

David Mitchell, company secretary at Allied, who plans to retire in April (The Lawyer, 1 November 1999), says: "Instead of having a team in London and a team in Bristol we will have one merged team that will obviously be smaller.

"What we can say now that the business has been sold to Punch, is that we certainly don't need the numbers between London and Bristol. But these figures are rough.

"It depends on the view of my successor."

Russell Kelley, former general counsel and company secretary at LucasVarity, will take over from Mitchell today.

Kelley left LucasVarity in July after 18 months at the company.

Two months before Kelley's departure the aerospace giant was taken over by US autoparts and space group TRW for £4bn.

Although Kelley has never worked in the beverages sector, he says: "I think that the higher up you are the more you have in common with large organisations in terms of management."

In the UK Allied uses Linklaters & Alliance, Ashurst Morris Crisp, Bevan Ashford and Edge Ellison.