Birds Eye looks to DLA Piper for advice on IT implementation

DLA Piper and Wragge & Co have won significant new instructions from Birds Eye Iglo, the frozen food manaufacturer that was spun out of Unilever for £1.16bn in November last year.

DLA Piper is advising Birds Eye, a business with an annual turnover of around £1bn, on a major IT procurement following the company’s acquisition by private equity house Permira.

The IT scheme, known as ‘Project Pioneer’, involves the wholesale build-out of IT infrastructure across the UK and eight European countries.

Kit Burden, the DLA Piper partner who is leading his firm’s team on the project, said Birds Eye was having to move from using Unilever’s legacy IT system to implementing its own infrastructure.

“Now Birds Eye effectively has no IT and is looking to implement from scratch,” he explained.

DLA Piper will assist Birds Eye in the negotiation of the contractual arrangements necessary to implement the IT infrastructure. It will also advise on the selected outsourcing of elements of its operation.

Meanwhile, Birmingham giant Wragges has successfully pitched against five firms to become Birds Eye’s first port of call for general commercial work.

Birds Eye’s sole legal counsel Anthony Barratt, who joined the business from O2 Airwave last year, said he was looking for one firm to provide day-to-day support across a range of commercial areas. “It would be wrong to call this a panel review,” said Barratt. “There was no panel in the first place.”

Clifford Chance, which advised Permira on last year’s acquisition of Birds Eye, is advising on the company’s trademark portfolio.