Lucozade Ribena Suntory to launch first legal panel under new general counsel

Lucozade Ribena Suntory is to create a formal panel of legal advisers for the first time.

It is the first legal review carried out by general counsel Mary Guest, who joined the company last November from Linklaters.

Lucozade sent out documentation to firms at the start of March, and the review is expected to be completed in June.

Although it does not yet have a formal panel, the company’s regular advisers include Clifford Chance (CC), Foot Anstey, K&L Gates, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, Stephenson Harwood, Mishcon de Reya and Addleshaw Goddard.

CC took a lead role on the deal, which created Lucozade Ribena Suntory in 2013, advising Japan’s Suntory Beverage & Food on its £1.35bn acquisition of the Ribena and Lucozade brands from GlaxoSmithKline. The magic circle firm also advised on its 2009 purchase of soft drinks producer Orangina Schweppes.

Guest told Legal Week earlier this year that she was considering setting up a formal panel. “There are a number of benefits to having a panel, in terms of support, fees, secondments and things like that, but how we manage to get those things and if we create a formal panel or if we just try and firm things up with the current firms we use, I am not clear on yet.”

On arrival, she inherited an eight-person legal team set up from scratch by her predecessor, Mollie Stoker.

Guest has now moved in-house from private practice twice from two different magic circle law firms. She was a senior associate at CC before spending six years at the Football Association, heading back to Linklaters in late 2015 before joining the drinks company last year.