Asda brings in first head of legal

Asda Stores has appointed its first head of legal as the supermarket chain breaks into city centre retail.

Asda Stores has appointed its first head of legal as the supermarket chain breaks into city centre retail.

Alex Simpson, who was previously group commercial lawyer at Northern Foods, which produces Fox’s biscuits and Goodfella’s ­pizzas, will join the £20bn chain in December.

Simpson said: “This is a tremendous opportunity to be part of a dynamic and fast-paced organisation with a great team. The move represents a natural fit with my experience and understanding of the food and retail sector.”

The number two position in the 70-employee team, which encompasses trading matters, was created earlier this year by Asda general counsel and company ­secretary Eleanor Doohan.

Simpson will sit above current employment and regulatory law head Gary McHale and legal non-trading general manager Sarah Dickson, who is responsible for retail development.

Dickson is in the process of reviewing the company’s retail development panel, with firms including Beachcroft, Dundas & Wilson, Eversheds and Ward Hadaway in the running.

Earlier this year the ­company bought 194 stores from Danish supermarket chain Netto for a total of £778m in a bid to expand its presence in the market of smaller urban stores.

For more on Asda’s legal team, see In-house Interview.