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Board level appointment for incoming Tui general counsel

Leading European travel group Tui AG has become the latest major corporate to announce a board level legal appointment as former Clifford Chance (CC) lawyer and Demag Cranes head of legal Hilka Schneider joins as general counsel (GC).

Schneider, who in 2008 took over as head of the legal department at Demag and in 2011 saw the company through its $1.4bn hostile takeover by New York Stock Exchange-listed heavy equipment manufacturer Terex, will join the management board of TUI and will assume responsibility for group legal affairs, governance, risk and compliance.

German-headquartered Tui’s three business sectors are TUI Travel; TUI Hotels & Resorts; and Cruises, with its 2011/12 group turnover standing at €18.3bn.

As of mid-2014 Schneider, a corporate lawyer who started her legal career at CC in 2000 before joining DAX-listed Deutsche Post DHL in 2005, will also head the executive board office of the company.

Schneider’s appointment will take effect on 1 March 2014 but she joined the legal department of TUI in the New Year to ensure a ‘professional transition in the weeks ahead’, a company statement said yesterday (7 January).

Chairman of the TUI executive board, Friedrich Joussen said: ‘In her roles with Deutsche Post DHL and Demag Cranes, [Schneider] worked in other listed companies and brings extensive experience in transactions and the capital markets to us. It is important to me that the TUI management board has a good mixture of experienced TUI managers and managers who bring expertise from elsewhere. This enriches the company’s diversity and our ability to make decisions.’

Schneider takes over from retiring veteran Andreas Göhmann and Joussen added that he was ‘particularly grateful’ to the outgoing lawyer, ‘who has served for 16 years as head in-house counsel, providing significant support and contributions to the development of Preussag and TUI.’

Other recent high profile in-house moves have seen pharma giant Pfizer’s influential GC and executive leadership member Amy Schulman in December step down from her role just weeks before she was expected to assume a new role as head of vaccines, oncology and consumer healthcare business, while the former chairman of failed New York firm Dewey & LeBoeuf has secured a heavyweight role as legal advisor to the government of Ras al Khairmah, one of the seven emirates of the UAE.