Heinz full of beans over DuPont legal capture

Food giant Heinz has raided DuPont’s respected in-house team for the appointment of its new European general counsel Janice Leiper.

Leiper was a senior in-house lawyer at DuPont, which she joined when the conglomerate acquired her former company Conoco in 1981, which at the time was the largest merger in corporate history. Leiper was DuPont’s UK head of legal before transferring to the firm’s Delaware headquarters.

Leiper has replaced Dan Vogus at Heinz, who has moved to a role in the legal department at the Heinz world headquarters in Pittsburgh.

By coincidence, DuPont has reshuffled its European team following the promotion of its former European general counsel Mareille Quirina to the non-legal role of director for Western Europe. Patrick Schriber has replaced Quirina in DuPont’s Euro-pean headquarters in Geneva. He leads a team of 30 lawyers spread throughout Europe.

DuPont is famous for its unique Legal Model, which it established in 1992. Among other things, the Legal Model takes a long-term view of law firm relationships. Over a three and a half-year period, the company trimmed its legal providers from 350 down to a streamlined list of 41 primary law firms.

In the UK, for example, DuPont’s sole law firm is Eversheds. The Legal Model also uses incentives and alternative fee structures, with the aim of distributing risk and rewarding successful work.