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A royal departure: Crown Estate general counsel Vivienne King to leave amid business restructure

The Crown Estate’s high profile general counsel and director of business operations, Vivienne King is leaving as the company undergoes a restructure of the business which will create three new executive roles.

The company which has one of the most diverse property portfolios in the world said King’s departure was a result of the role of general counsel and business operations separating into two different areas. A statement added: ‘Having played a key part in delivering the transformation of the business, [Vivienne] has decided it’s time to take forward new opportunities and will be leaving the business in December 2015.’ It is not yet clear what her next role will be.

The Crown Estate said it would appoint a legal chief and company secretary, a new role that will see King’s successor report directly to the chief executive, in ‘due course’.

King has been in the role since 2007 and is responsible for the business’s legal requirements and ensuring compliance with corporate governance, and health and safety. Highly regarded amongst the in-house legal community, King and her five-strong legal team this year featured in Legal Business’s GC Power List 2015.

With assets under management totalling £13bn, The Crown Estate has made three executive appointments as part of a wider restructure of the business. Effective April 2016, the business has made its director of investment and asset management Paul Clark as chief investment officer; while director of corporate affairs Judith Everett has been appointed chief operating officer; and finance director John Lelliott is acting as interim chief finance officer for the next 18 months as the business seeks to recruit for the role.

On her departure, King said: ‘It’s now time for me to broaden my horizons beyond The Crown Estate and expand my career in other ways. I’ve had the good fortune to work with an incredibly talented team, who I’ll continue to work with until Christmas to ensure a smooth transition to the new structure.’

‘My focus throughout my time here has been as a moderniser, both as a business leader and leading the functions under my responsibility, restructuring, streamlining to ensure a focus on added value. Having led at various points a wide range of functions, including corporate affairs, human resources and sustainability, I shall be making use of this broad operational experience in taking forward my career.’