Trio of firms win United Biscuits’ panel selection

United Biscuits has completed its first major panel review, with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Nabarro and Wragge & Co bagging the three coveted places.

All three firms will advise on M&A work. Freshfields will advise primarily on corporate matters, while Nabarro and Wragges will provide full-service offerings, including commercial, competition, litigation, property, employment and IP advice.

United Biscuits head of corporate legal affairs Simon Rose said Freshfields was appointed for its “vast food law experience and massive international presence”.

Nabarro and Wragges were attractive for the “good-value rates” of their respective Sheffield and Birmingham offices.

Corporate partners Sundeep Kapila at Freshfields and Andrea Cropley at Nabarro and commercial partner John Burns at Wragges are leading the teams.

Nabarro is the only one of the three firms that the company has worked with previously on property. Rose’s background at Freshfields meant he already had good knowledge of the firm.

United Biscuits manages its commercial, contract and employment-related work in-house. Prior to this move external advice was sought if there was a volume overspill or where the legal team of four lacked the relevant specialisms.

However, the profile of the panel is not set in stone. Appointments are non-exclusive and the likely exit of venture capital owners Blackstone and PAI within the coming years will have an impact.

The panel places will last for three years.