Alliance Boots revamps in-house legal team

Alliance Boots has radically overhauled its legal and company secretariat functions following the multibillion-pound merger of Boots and Alliance UniChem last summer.

Headcount in the group has dropped by a quarter, with two members of the four-strong secretariat team being made redundant and two lawyers opting to leave the group.

Alliance Boots general counsel and company secretary Marco Pagni, who is spearheading the restructure, told The Lawyer: “I’m trying to put the right people in place and to keep things as lean as possible.”

The restructure was aimed at realigning the teams to bring them closer to Alliance Boots’ principal divisions. The legal group now has eight lawyers in the UK.

The reorganisation has resulted in new roles for David Foster and Eddie Lawson. Foster, who was Boots’ head of legal, has been promoted to general counsel for the group’s retail business and will now also be responsible for M&A work across the group. Meanwhile Lawson, the former Alliance UniChem group counsel, has become general counsel for the group’s wholesale business and commercial affairs.

In a related move, Alliance Boots has also kicked off its much-anticipated review of its external advisers. Slaughter and May and Allen & Overy, which advised Boots and Alliance UniChem respectively on the merger, will battle it out for the role of primary corporate counsel.