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In-house: Clifford Chance and Slaughter and May lawyers take senior roles at CMA, Shell and PwC

Magic circle lawyers have this week filled a number of senior regulatory and in-house positions, with a Slaughter and May partner unveiled as general counsel of the new Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and a former lawyer named Shell‘s UK legal head; while Clifford Chance‘s head of employee benefits has joined PwC as a director in its employee rewards team.

The CMA – the new body which brings together the Competition Commission and and some consumer functions of the Office of Fair Trading- yesterday (12 September) announced the appointment of former Slaughter and May partner Sarah Cardell as GC as it completes its leadership team in time for its official launch on 1 October.Cardell most recently occupied the role of partner for legal markets at energy watchdog Ofgem, having left her position as competition partner at Slaughters in March 2011. She will join new CMA executive director, Sonya Branch, who moves across from her role as the executive director at the OFT, where she has been since 2007 having left role as corporate partner at Clifford Chance.

Business secretary Vince Cable said of the appointments: ‘The appointment of this executive team is another milestone in the creation of the new CMA. [They] complete our senior executive team and are a major step in creating the new organisation.’

Shell meanwhile, has appointed another former Slaughters lawyer as its UK legal chief, as Michael Coates takes over from current head Bob Henderson. Henderson is relocating to the US next month to take up the post of associate GC of integrated gas and new business development as part of a reorganisation of the energy giant’s senior legal team.

Coates, who will assume the new role on 1 October, most recently worked as secretary to the company’s executive committee and as executive assistant to Shell chief executive Peter Voser, a role he took in 2011, having joined Shell from Slaughters in 2004.

The restructuring was led by group legal director Peter Rees QC in a bid to expose senior lawyers to different areas within the business.

The news comes shortly after Shell concluded a review of its external legal advisers in May, ‘prequalifying’ more than 150 firms to its global network, a number which will then reduce as Shell’s lawyers form closer relationships with certain firms.

Elsewhere, PwC continues to expand its 140-strong reward team with the appointment of Clifford Chance’s former head of employee benefits Daniel Hepburn. Hepburn has advised on employee rewards for over 20 years and has worked with many leading UK and multinational companies on their employee incentive arrangements. In his new role, he will advise on the design and implementation of a wide range of employee and executive incentives, including share, cash, bonus and other arrangements.

Carol Dempsey, a partner in PwC’s reward team, said: ‘Daniel joins at a crucial time as many companies are re-evaluating the way they reward their employees of all levels, while dealing with ever increasing regulation on remuneration structures and practices.’