Alliance Boots plots legal team expansion

Alliance Boots will bolster its in-house legal team over the next year and will recruit a dedicated head of M&A to cope with its expansion plans.

The newly privatised company’s head of legal Marco Pagni told The Lawyer that he is also looking for one more lawyer for the wholesale division of the legal function, which is currently 15 lawyers strong in the UK and has an additional eight across Europe and Russia.

Pagni, who has been named a director, group legal counsel and chief administrative officer of the high street chain, said he would also consider hiring trainees for the first time as a means of bolstering the legal team. He said that it would be “a good way to attract and retain talent”.

The M&A function is currently headed by David Foster, Pagni’s deputy, who is also general counsel of the retail sector of the business.

“David has a wide spread of responsibility,” explained Pagni. “The company has ambitious plans overseas and we need someone embedded within M&A and completely dedicated to it.”

The plans come as Pagni is launching a panel review, as first revealed by The Lawyer (23 July). He aims to appoint around five firms.

Slaughter and May advised Alliance Boots on its recent buyout, which was backed by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, a key Clifford Chance private equity client. Slaughters also advised Boots on its £8.1bn merger with Alliance-Unichem, which completed in the summer of 2006, opposite Allen & Overy.