Addleshaw Goddard partner joins Britvic as GC

Soft drinks company Britvic has appointed Addleshaw Goddard M&A partner Clare Thomas as its new general counsel after a period of secondment.

Thomas said Britvic had an informal panel with Addleshaw Goddard, Baker McKenzie, Barker Brettell, Linklaters selected as regular advisers in the UK. 

She said: “Every change in the business will mean appraising the panel but at the moment it is fit for purpose.” Britvic has firms in place to deal with its manufacturing needs in France and Ireland and is currently expanding in the US and India.

Addleshaws is advising Britvic on its agreement with the Narang Group for the sale and distribution of Fruit Shoot in India next year – the company’s first product launch in the region.

Thomas headed the food and drink group at Addleshaws and was client relationship partner for Britvic when she was seconded into the company. She was seconded into Britvic in September 2012 after the “the outgoing GC left Britvic in July, for reasons completely unconnected to the merger”.

Former Britvic GC Emma Thomas has since taken up a new role at home maintenance company Homeserve.

Britvic’s started merger talks with AG Barr in November 2012, at the time AG Barr’s legal chief Julie Barr was expected to become overall GC of the merged entity. However, on February 2013 the Office of Fair Trading referred the merger to the Competition Commission and the deal subsequently collapsed at a cost of £5m. “The referral period took six months and they needed someone to get them through that period, so during that time I ended up doing a hybrid role of both jobs”, said Thomas.

Dickson Minto and Linklaters were the lead advisers on merger talks between AG Barr Britvic (10 September 2012), with Dickson Minto set to receive a bonus of more than £1m from client AG Barr had the merger completed (14 January 2013).