Ladbrokes GC and company secretary steps down

The general counsel and company secretary of bookmaker Ladbrokes, Jonathan Adelman, has stepped down and handed over the reins to his deputy, Legal Week has learned.

Adelman is understood to have left last week and will not move into another role until after the summer.

His deputy, Annabel Bannerman, who joined the company four years ago as a senior legal counsel, has been promoted to general counsel.

“I had a really rewarding time as GC and latterly also as company secretary,” Adelman said. “But after 6 years the time is right to move on to the next challenge.”

“I am weighing up various opportunities and am really excited about the next step but for now I plan to enjoy the World Cup and a great summer of sport.”

Between 2003 and 2010, Bannerman trained and worked as an associate at legacy SJ Berwin, the same firm Adelman was based at before transferring to an in-house roles at the Hilton Group, where he spent five years.

Adrian Bushnell, who joined Ladbrokes in January as head of secretariat, has assumed responsibility for the company secretary role. For six months in 2013, Bushnell acted as the head of secretariat for Lloyds Banking Group.

During his five years at Ladbrokes, Adelman oversaw two major law firm panel reviews, cutting the bookmakers’ advisory roster from more than 100 firms to 22, and insisting all legal advisers drop hourly billing.

The second of those reviews, which concluded in January 2013, saw Slaughter and May, SJ Berwin, Clyde & Co and South West firm Trethowans appointed to the core advisory group of firms.

Other firms which advise Ladbrokes include Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Reed Smith.

Under the terms of the review, Adelman required all appointees to move away from hourly rate billing by 1 January 2015, the half-way point of the four-year panel.

Speaking to Legal Week last year, Adelman said the reviews had helped him manage and reduce the company legal spend and “[enhance] the legal team’s credibility within the business”.