Beachcroft set to assist John Lewis revolution

Beachcroft could be the big winner in retailer John Lewis’s panel shake up.

Beachcroft has appointed to advise on property issues as the company prepares to launch an aggressive expansion prpgramme, which will see the company significantly increase its 26 department stores and 184 Waitrose supermarkets.

The retail outlet appointed Beachcroft, Eversheds amd Pinsent Masons for the first time but dumped Dechert and Freeman Box.

Key adviser Lovells retained its place on the panel, with Eversheds, Pinsent Masons and Travers Smith all gaining all-purpose roles. Wragge & Co will handle property litigation for the group.

The panel of firms will advise the John Lewis Partnership and its trading divisions, which include Waitrose supermarkets, John Lewis department stores and its new direct services company, Greenbee.

Lovells is a longstanding adviser to John Lewis, having acted for the company on most of the property work that it has outsourced, I ncluding the £104m acquisition of 11 Somerfields stores in 2000.

The review, which was led by John Lewis director of legal services Margaret Casely-Hayford, comes as the company moves to create up to 35000 new jobs, open 10 John Lewis stores and a string of Waitrose supermarkets as part of a 10-year expansion plan.