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UK foods giant Vestey Group has given its blessing to a merger in which the group's former in-house legal team joins southern firm Osborne Clarke.
The partnership of RA Roberts - formed a decade ago from Vestey's in-house legal department - has joined Osborne Clarke's London office, taking the group with it as its major client.
Two of the partners, John Cuthbert and Jeremy Langshaw, have already commenced work with Osborne Clarke. The third, Alison Simpson, will join the firm in mid-1996 after maternity leave.
RA Roberts had served the Vestey Group for more than 20 years and had a substantial portfolio of other business.
"We have worked successfully with the Vestey Group for many years, but changes in their business mean that it no longer makes sense to continue as a small firm handling predominantly Vestey Group business," said Cuthbert.
Vestey chief executive Sir John Collins said he was delighted with the merger. "The Vestey Group will continue to receive personal service... with the added advantage of support from a major commercial law firm," he said.
Osborne Clarke managing partner Leslie Perrin said the merger gave his firm new and highly experienced practitioners and an excellent relationship with an important UK commercial power.