Amazon swoops in on City in bid to build Europe legal capability

After overhauling its European legal advisers last February, e-commerce giant Amazon is now looking inwards. The Seattle-based business is on a mission to beef up its European legal capability, with lawyers from Allen & Overy (A&O), Eversheds and Moneygram the latest to join.

Lucy burton
Lucy Burton

Having recently lost a major trademark battle with Lush in the High Court – understood to be particularly vicious due to Lush’s high-profile contempt for Amazon’s business practices – it’s no surprise to see the group beef up its in-house legal team this side of the water. As Snapchat learnt earlier this year, every fast growing technology business needs a good lawyer (or hundred) behind it.

Then again, maybe the legal armoury was in Amazon’s blood long ago. According to various media reports Amazon.com was initially called “Cadabra” – short for abracadabra – but this was changed when CEO Jess Bezos’ lawyer misheard it as Cadaver.

So as Amazon circles the City for its next big hire, be sure to listen out for some abracadabra.

Also on The Lawyer:

  • When Britvic ‘borrowed’ Clare Thomas as GC during its bid for AG Barr, she didn’t envisage it would be permanent, but the mix of responsibilities, from product development to company strategy, was too tempting to throw away
  • Clydesdale Bank has launched its first panel review since appointing general counsel Jennifer Darbyshire in 2012 and overhauling its legal team
  • Shearman & Sterling is making its presence felt in the City, squaring up to magic circle firms and looking to muscle in on key relationships. Private equity house Bridgepoint is one outfit that has had its head turned by the US firm