Eversheds hires Comet GC in wake of retailer’s collapse

Eversheds has hired the former general counsel of collapsed electrical goods retailer Comet as extra support in its dispute resolution team.

Richard Annett has joined Eversheds as a principal associate on a fixed-term contract due to the team being “very busy”, a spokesperson for the firm confirmed.

Eversheds had a long-standing relationship with Comet. In 2008 the firm was selected as Comet’s sole legal adviser after Annett conducted a beauty parade (24 November 2008), seeing off competition from Addleshaw Goddard and Pinsent Masons.

However, SJ Berwin acted for Comet’s management three years later when Anglo-French company Kesa sold off 250 Comet stores in the UK for just £2 (9 November 2011).

When Comet went into administration in November last year (5 November 2012) Macfarlanes confirmed it had been advising the company, while Mayer Brown and Bingham McCutchen won roles acting for its administrators at Deloitte. Eversheds provided real estate advice on the administration (19 December 2012).

The general counsel at struggling businesses HMV and Blockbuster, Elaine Marriner and Andrew Ellis, are both understood to still be in their roles as administrators for the companies look for a way to save the businesses. Both are still trading, although uncertainty hangs over thousands of jobs.

Camera chain Jessops, which closed its doors earlier this month (9 January 2013) is understood not to have had an in-house legal team, in common with a number of other recently collapsed businesses including Clinton Cards, Town Centre Restaurants, Ethel Austin and Manganese Bronze, all of which went into administration in 2012 (14 January 2013).