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Ashurst and Slaughters bag roles on Morrisons delivery deal with Ocado

    Ashurst and Slaughter and May have advised on online retail group Ocado’s delivery deal with supermarket chain Wm Morrison Supermarkets. Stephen LloydAshurst is advising Morrisons on the agreement, which will enable to start delivering grocies to customers from January 2014.It includes a technology and services arrangement and a sale and leaseback of property and equipment at Ocado’s recently opened Dordon Customer Fulfilment Centre. As part of the deal, Morrisons will pay Ocado £170m to acquire Dordon and other mechanical and handling equipment and then a further £46m to expand the centre.Morrisons will also pay service costs and a contribution to research and development expenditure on an annual basis.Ashurst’s team was led by global corporate head Stephen Lloyd and also included corporate partners Adrian Clark and Karan Dinamani, senior associate Lucy Ward and associate Dominic Ross, with additional advice from IP and technology partner Mark Lubbock, associate Mark Sweny, real estate partner Anthony Burnett-Scott and competition partner Ross Mackenzie.Slaughters acted for Ocado, putting forward Robert Stern alongside associates Jonathan Wiseman and Alex Dustan.Ocado has an existing sourcing agreement with supermarket chain Waitrose, which Ocado said would remain unaffected by the Morrisons deal. However, Waitrose has reportedly instructed a QC for advice on whether the latest deal breaches the terms of its own agreement with the delivery group.

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