Ladbrokes rejigs legal team as GC quits

Ladbrokes general counsel and company secretary Jonathan Adelman has left the business, with deputy Annabel Bannerman taking on the top legal role.

It is not known if Adelman is moving elsewhere, although according to Linkedin he has already left the FTSE 250 company. The former SJ Berwin solicitor joined the gambling business in 2008 from Hilton Hotels, where he was vice-president and senior counsel. 

During this time he oversaw two legal panel reviews, one in 2010 which saw Ladbrokes cut its legal roster from more than 100 firms to around 50, and another in 2013 in which the panel shrunk further to 22 firms (13 January 2013).

Clyde & Co, Slaughter and May, SJ Berwin and Southampton-based Trethowans were appointed as Ladbrokes’ primary advisers alongside an additional eight core panel firms: Dickinson Dees, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Gateley, Harold Benjamin, Jonathan Rose, OnSide Law, Reed Smith and Scotland’s Burness Paull.

Adelman took advice from Olswang business development head Michelle Elstein for the review, which gifted member firms a deadline of 1 January 2015 for panellists to have shifted away from hourly billing – part of the company’s ‘Legal Strategic Plan’ to increase efficiency.

That efficiency plan is not expected to change now Bannerman has taken on the general counsel role. She replaced Adelman last month, having joined Ladbrokes as senior legal counsel in 2010.  

The moves comes months after the legal chief at gambling rival Betfair left the company, with legal director Justin Hubble leaving the business weeks after company secretary Martin Cruddace resigned (17 January 2014).

Ladbrokes did not respond to requests for comment.