EasyGroup to shake up City advisers as in-house team flexes its muscle

EasyGroup, the vehicle launched by entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou, is undertaking a radical review of its external lawyers to significantly reduce the amount of legal work it outsources.

The move follows the appointment of head of legal Della Burnside earlier this year from Altheimer & Gray, where she was head of the the intellectual property (IP) and technology department.

Burnside said: “Historically, a large amount of our legal work has been outsourced, but with my appointment the intention is to reduce the amount of legal work outsourced considerably, and where we do outsource to ensure that we do so efficiently and cost-effectively.”

EasyGroup is already close to concluding a review of its IP advisers, which include Norton Rose, Denton Wilde Sapte and, it is understood, Campbell Hooper. A wider review of all its external advisers is also underway. Existing relationships are understood to include Herbert Smith and SJ Berwin, in addition to Norton Rose and Dentons.

It is unclear how the review will affect budget airline easyJet’s lawyers. While the airline is no longer part of easyGroup, it is understood that the make-up of easyGroup’s panel may impact on which firms easyJet instructs in the future.

“The aim of the review is to ensure that we maintain a panel of external advisers who share our passion for our business and brand and understand our aims and ambitions,” said Burnside.

EasyGroup’s in-house legal function comprises Burnside, a dedicated franchising lawyer and a US-qualified lawyer. Burnside is also in the process of hiring a trademark attorney to join her team.