Denton Hall's exclusive agreement with Sainsbury's has come to an end after the retail giant appointed Linklaters & Alliance to its panel.
According to David Thurston, head of legal at Sainsbury's, Denton Hall will continue to be the company's main legal adviser but Linklaters has been appointed to take a slice of corporate work.
Thurston says: “Denton Hall has been our sole corporate adviser for 50 years.” But adds: “In the light of expanding internationally, we decided to look at what we've got.”
Thurston says the additional appointment would not necessarily mean that corporate work would be split between the firms.
However, he adds: “It is very early days, we have only just made the choice and we will have to see how it pans out.”
Simon Mitchell, corporate partner at Denton Hall, says: “We are very pleased to remain as Sainsbury's principal ad-viser on corporate matters, as we have been for many years.”
But he denies that Sainbury's decision to go to Linklaters was based on Denton Hall's decision to pull out of the US in March, while Sainsbury's is focusing its expansion plans on the US.
Mitchell says: “It would not have been a factor. It was only a 'one man and his dog' operation in New York and we had no dealings with Sainbury's American presence.”
A spokeswoman at Linklaters confirms the firm is now advising Sainsbury's.
Thurston insists: “I don't think we have been promiscuous as we have kept Denton Hall almost exclusively for about 50 years.”