Retailer Littlewoods has ditched Herbert Smith, its long-standing corporate adviser, in favour of Lovells.
The move follows the takeover of Littlewoods by billionaires the Barclay brothers last November, resulting in the end of the Moores family’s 80-year ownership of the company.
Herbert Smith was Littlewoods’ principal corporate adviser from 1996 and has advised the company on £2bn-worth of deals, including the sale of the company to the Barclay brothers for £750m.
Herbert Smith corporate partner Stephen Wilkinson, who led the Littlewoods sale, said that the move was a “natural consequence of the takeover”.
Eversheds, however, confirmed that it has been retained by Littlewoods to advise on property work. The firm relationship with the retailer through its Manchester office dates back to 2001, when it advised the company on a disposal programme.
As revealed in The Lawyer (28 July), Littlewoods’ group legal director and company secretary Neil Ogilvie left the firm to join electrical goods retailer Dixons as head of legal. It is understood that Littlewoods currently has no plans to replace him.