The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
Trading performance at British brands powerhouse Premier Foods was at its worst when Andrew McDonald joined as general counsel in 2011 from food manufacturer Uniq.
A year later and McDonald has helped the company raise more than £370m - well ahead of Premier’s target of £330m by 2014 - by leading its legal team through a number of divestments - which so far include the sale of Sarson’s vinegar, Branston sweet pickle, Hartley’s jams and Elephant Atta flour - in a bid to cut the company’s debt mountain from a whopping £1.27bn.
Despite Premier’s lawyers working at the centre of the food maker’s recovery plan, with legal responsibilities including terms of purchase, brand protection, advertising and product development, McDonald then had to find a way to cut Premier’s legal budget. The cuts - part of a company-wide efficiency drive - saw McDonald and his five-lawyer team take most of Premier’s commercial work in-house.
“If I had to pick out a highlight [from last year] it would definitely be the delivery of a successful divestment programme,” McDonald says. “This is at the same time as growing our eight core ‘power’ brands [including Mr Kipling, Hovis bread and Ambrosia creamed rice] and restructuring the business. We’ve now got stability and we’re at a terrific place to focus on trading.”