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In-house: Aviva appoints new UK insurance head as RBS ends search for legal operations chief

FTSE 100 insurer Aviva has appointed former Bupa UK legal director Alison Gammon as its UK Insurance general counsel (GC) following the departures of Aviva UK Life GC and company secretary Monica Risam and Tim Vickers, who led Aviva’s General Insurance legal team.

Aviva recently brought its UK Life Assurance and UK General Insurance businesses together as UK Insurance, with Gammon now heading the combined legal team. Prior to joining Bupa in 2013 and becoming its UK legal director in 2015, Gammon worked at Legal & General as international legal director for nine years and was a senior associate in Allen & Overy’s financial institutions team.

Aviva group GC and company secretary Kirsty Cooper (pictured) said: ‘Alison is a very experienced GC and is a great addition to the team’.

As reported earlier this month, Risam left Aviva after six years and was widely cited for her role in making its highly-regarded legal team a pacesetter for the in-house profession. She had been responsible for all aspects of legal risk management and transactional activity across the business since her appointment to UK Life GC in 2015, leading a legal and company secretarial team of more than 60 across UK and Ireland. She is currently on gardening leave and her next move is not yet confirmed.

In other in-house news, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has appointed its head of data privacy law, Suzanne Rodway, as the legal team’s first chief operating officer (COO), ending a search that began this summer as part of a bid to shake-up the bank’s senior in-house roles.

Rodway will keep both her positions, maintaining responsibility for supporting RBS GC Michael Shaw with the bank’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) programme.

Shaw said Rodway’s operations team had simultaneously grown through the transfer of the bank’s e-discovery group from litigation and investigations.

Rodway has also joined Shaw’s executive committee, reflecting ‘the importance of the new role’.