Bevan Ashford woos drinks giant lawyer

Leading regional firm Bevan Ashford has recruited an in-house lawyer from Allied Domecq as a partner in its Bristol office.

Jeanette Darby has worked for the drinks giant for about 15 years and was responsible for setting up its Bristol legal department.

Bevan Ashford has been one of Allied Domecq's external legal advisers for seven years.When Darby moves to the firm she will bring much of Allied Domecq's high value group property and pension investment work with her.

Head of property Peter Scott says: “We are extremely pleased that a lawyer of Jeanette's calibre has joined us.

“She will continue to handle Allied Domecq's property work while placing us in a better position to service similar work from other clients.”

The sale of Allied's retail arm earlier this year means the bulk of property legal work was taken over by Punch Taverns.

Allied Domecq's company secretary David Mitchell says: “We wish to continue using her [Darby's] services, so this is a very happy situation.

“She will be the sole lawyer dealing with our day to day pension fund and property work from now on.”

Last week The Lawyer reported exclusively that Mitchell is to step down as company secretary, as Allied Domecq's legal department undergoes a strategic review.

Bevan Ashford has also made two internal promotions to partnership. Rhian Lewis will become a partner in the Plymouth office, and Scott Lee will be made up to partner status in the residential property department in the Taunton office, bringing the total number of partners in the firm to 69.