CC and DLA cement roles on Kraft roster after Cadbury takeover

Slaughters bypassed for Kraft work; Cadbury GC heads to Reed

Kraft Foods has bypassed Slaughter and May to appoint Clifford Chance (CC) and DLA Piper to its roster of UK advisers following its £11.5bn hostile takeover of Cadbury last year.

Slaughters – which was legacy Cadbury’s principal corporate adviser in the UK – has not been appointed alongside Kraft’s existing UK advisers following the review, and will continue to advise only on ongoing Cadbury matters.

The company’s US-based general counsel and company secretary Marc Firestone kicked off the review last year, with chief UK counsel Clive Moore leading the process.

CC has a longstanding relationship with Kraft on major corporate mandates, while DLA Piper was appointed as Kraft’s preferred provider in 2010 to advise on day-to-day legal matters including advertising, commercial, employment, food law, IT, litigation and real estate.

The news comes 18 months after Cadbury’s takeover was agreed by its board following months of negotiations, during which CC and Slaughters acted for Kraft and Cadbury respectively.

One Cadbury adviser said: “Slaughters acted for the target, so it was to be expected that it would not be retained by Kraft as one of its principal advisers. It is likely that the firm will now be phased out, with more matters going to Kraft’s preferred firms.”

The merger of Kraft and Cadbury’s respective legal teams has led to a number of departures, primarily on the legacy Cadbury side.

Cadbury’s former chief legal officer and group secretary, Henry Udow, has joined FTSE 100 information provider Reed Elsevier as chief legal officer and company secretary, succeeding general counsel Steve Cowden, who is set to retire later this year.

Other senior in-house counsel to leave Cadbury following the takeover include Americas GC Bruce Futterer, who has joined General Electric as GC for its Canada business, as well as director of group secretariat John Mills, who is now deputy company secretary at RSA Insurance.

European legal director Dale Kimbal, meanwhile, has taken a role in private practice as a consultant at Mexican law firm Cacheaux Cavazos & Newton.

Kraft was unavailable for comment as Legal Week went to press.

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