Hammonds scoops global legal role for condom maker

Hammonds has won a new role as the global legal adviser for SSL International.

The appointment, made following a beauty parade, comes just eight months after Antony Mannion took over from Jonathan Jowett as company secretary and legal director.

SSL, a FTSE 250 company which makes products such as Durex condoms and Scholl footwear, has traditionally instructed Allen & Overy (A&O) and DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary. It is understood that A&O will retain a role advising on the largest transactions, but Hammonds will do the rest of the company’s legal work across its global network.

The firm had previously handled one small transaction for SSL three years ago, involving the sale of some of the company’s over-the-counter businesses.

Hammonds’ head of corporate William Downs said that in jurisdictions where the firm does not have an office, it would coordinate any SSL legal work with local firms, but that the company’s worldwide presence was a good fit with Hammonds’.

Downs added: “It’s a lot of work in all jurisdictions and an opportunity to work with somebody who’s got a global brand. We’re hoping to build a long-term relationship.”

A lateral hire from Theodore Goddard in 1994, Michael Hatchard is one of Europe’s leading rainmakers specialising in corporate finance, with an emphasis on cross-border mergers and acquisitions. His recent deals include the $2.4bn (£1.28bn) Honeywell bid for Melrose Nova and the complex $2.2bn (£1.17bn) Westfield bid for Duelguide Chelsfield.Garth Bray is an M&A partner, experienced in cross-border deals. Recent deals include the $15.6m (£8.3m) acquisition of Abbey by Banco Santander Central Hispano, where Bray acted for Goldman Sachs, financial adviser to Banco Santander. Bray said: “We are waiting to see how Europe changes. Until now, European banks have had a fairly protective stance.”