SABMiller has passed over longstanding adviser Lovells on its €816m (£583m) bid for Dutch brewer Grolsch, turning instead to Herbert Smith alliance firm Stibbe.

It is understood that SABMiller’s financial adviser ABN Amro recommended the Dutch firm over Lovells’ Amsterdam office, which has only nine partners.

Stibbe partner Marius Josephus Jitta is leading for SABMiller alongside partner Heleen Kersten.

Grolsch was advised by De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, one of Slaughter and May‘s best friends and traditional adviser to the company. Partner Paul Cronheim led the team.

SABMiller is intending to leverage Grolsch’s European strength to market its brands.

Grolsch’s beer brands are to be rolled out to the South African, Latin American and other emerging markets.

There has been speculation that SABMiller has joined the fight for Scottish & Newcastle, which has been staving off bids from a Heineken and Carlsberg consortium.

The three brewers in that bid are represented by Linklaters, Allen & Overy and Norton Rose respectively.