Shoosmiths scores Thomas Cook coup

Shoosmiths scores Thomas Cook coup” /> Travel giant Thomas Cook has appointed Shoosmiths as its main adviser for all procurement, employment and property work following its £3bn merger with MyTravel.

Shoosmiths is understood to have fought off competition from Addleshaw Goddard, Allen & Overy and Hammonds to win the contract from Thomas Cook UK & Ireland.

Legal director Michael Hallisey said the company marked out procurement, employment and property as key areas where it needed to secure legal advisers.

“We are well down the integration route, but there were questions of how we deal with these key areas,” he said.

Following the merger last February, Hallisey said there will be employment issues as the company looks to downsize in certain regions. He added that the company is in the process of disposing of offices where it doubled up with its former rival.

Thomas Cook is also combining its supply base in areas where it duplicates with MyTravel.

Shoosmiths was invited to tender for the work in September. Partner Sebastian Price said the firm has been a preferred supplier to Thomas Cook since 2003.

“We put a lot of emphasis on the range and depth of work we’d done in the past,” said Price. “We were very keen to understand how the business worked, and it has paid off.”

Shoosmiths partners Deborah Gordon Brown and Peter Duff will lead the property and employment teams respectively. Michelle Sherwood, who will be promoted to partnership in May, will lead the firm’s procurement team.

“This is a significant account for Shoosmiths, there is potential for us to do a lot more work for Thomas Cook,” said Price.