Diageo shores up in-house nous

Bucking the trend of in-house consolidation, global drinks giant Diageo has moved to expand its worldwide in-house legal function, hiring its first Indian-based regional counsel and creating two new positions in China.

The company hired Chetan Nagendra from the Bangalore office of local firm Amarchand Mangaldas. He becomes the fifth Asia-Pacific in-house lawyer for the company.

Diageo has undergone a global shake-up of its in-house function in recent times, sparked by the resignation of North America general counsel Wally Martinez, who returned to private practice as managing partner of US firm Hunton & Williams in February. The North America position remains vacant, while Latin America general counsel Doug Fremont was reassigned to the Asia-Pacific.

The company is also expanding its US IP team following the relocation of IP chief Bruce Proctor from London to Connecticut, where he will develop a US IP practice to match the strength he has established in the UK.