M&S puts legal team at heart of growth strategy

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has ramped up its legal department with two crucial hires that will put the team at the centre of chief executive Stuart Rose’s new expansion strategy.

Head of legal Robert Ivens has hired property lawyers Sara Wain-Heapy from Clifford Chance and Steven Haynes from Nabarro Nathanson. They will join M&S as the company prepares to extend the Simply Food chain from 187 outlets to 400, with another 200 small Simply Food outlets on BP petrol forecourts.

Property legal head Tony Roberts is part of a legal team of 20. He has always been keen to keep as much work as possible in-house, and with the new lawyers taking up their positions at the beginning of March, he will be better placed to do just that.

Osborne Clarke, SJ Berwin and Wragge & Co had all been instructed by M&S on the rollout of the Simply Food stores and will continue to advise, but the extra resources will provide greater effectiveness in identifying sites for the new stores.