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De Souza resurfaces as GC for Goldman Sachs-backed property firm

Former Land Securities Group general counsel and company secretary Adrian de Souza has joined student accommodation firm Vero Group as interim general counsel and company secretary.

De Souza (pictured) took up the role in February having announced his resignation from FTSE 100 company Land Securities in October 2014 and serving a 12 month notice period.

Vero was formed as a £2bn joint venture at the beginning of this year, between Goldman Sachs and Greystar owned Prodigy Living and Wellcome Trust owned iQ. Vero now operates 54 accommodation sites and has 23,500 beds, making it the second largest student accommodation group in the UK after FTSE 250 company Unite Students.

De Souza spent five years with Land Securities, having previously worked at drinks manufacturer SABMiller as the company’s head of legal. He qualified as solicitor at Lovells and subsequently spent five years as an associate at Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance.

During his time at Land Securities, de Souza set about cutting the firm’s property roster of more than 100 firms, action which was continued into 2016 when the company changed its roster, with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer choosing not to bid and adding Pinsent Masons joining the panel.

Land Securities’ in-house team is now headed by group general counsel Tim Ashby, who took up the role following de Souza’s departure from the firm last year.

Other recent in-house moves have seen Kingfisher legal chief Clare Wardle move to newly-formed soft drink entity Coca-Cola European Partners as GC and company secretary in June. Meanwhile, Merlin Entertainment, which owns property and entertainment assets at Alton Towers, Legoland and Madame Tussauds appointed Matt Jowett to GC in April from packaging giant DS Smith.