Allied Domecq's company secretary David Mitchell is planning to step down after 38 years as its legal department undergoes a strategic review.
Allied's legal advisers include Linklaters & Alliance, which advised the company on the sale of its retail arm, Ashurst Morris Crisp, Bevan Ashford and Edge Ellison.
The move comes as Allied slims down to concentrate on its spirits business after the £2.7bn sale of 3,500 pubs to Punch Taverns this year.
Mitchell says: "We are undergoing a corporate review, half of which has been announced. The other half will include legal matters. We are going to look for a general counsel who would replace me in due course. I would be thinking about stepping down at some point."
Mitchell says of the progress of the strategic review: "We are relocating and we are changing our focus."