In-house lawyers at Guinness are leaving the office next month as part of a team building exercise fostered by the department.
The move is one of a number of changes initiated by legal head Dr Ken Mildwaters who undertook a review of the in-house function when he joined from Theodore Goddard earlier this year.
But Mildwaters is unsure where the group lawyers will be going because he is no longer organising the event.
“I have put in place a much flatter structure. From now on it's not my approach, it's a team approach,” he says.
A further significant development is that overseas business units, using external lawyers, will be able to make their own choices from a selected panel without having the decision referred to head office.
“That's a unique feature of what we are doing. Our contribution will be to control the lawyers not the business units,” says Mildwaters.
The in-house team will shortly be bolstered with the appointment of Adam Duthie from Ashurst Morris Crisp.
Duthie's move is one of a series of personnel changes, including the arrival of Paul Lister from Theodore Goddard. Guinness will shortly be seeking a replacement for David Wallis, who is joining Freshfields.
Duthie will be working within mergers and acquisitions, which Mildwaters is keen to keep in-house where possible.
The trademarks team has been reorganised, with a lawyer now assigned specifically to enforcement and compliance.
The legal head's review of the department was aimed at “adding value to the business”.
“There is no point in just having a service which a law firm can provide,” he says.
The department now has eight lawyers and three para-legals with a further five in the US, two in Venezuela, one in Spain and one in Ireland.