Legal Business Blogs

In-house: MasterCard appoints new GC; UBS regulatory chief exits for Gibson Dunn; and HSBC hires Cleary partner

The start of the year has seen much lateral movement both in-house and out, with MasterCard naming Tim Murphy as general counsel and chief franchise officer as incumbent Noah Hanft retires from the company. Meanwhile, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher announced the hire of the former Americas general counsel and global head of investigations at UBS, Mark Shelton, as a partner in its New York office, while HSBC has confirmed that Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton partner Shawn Chen officially joined the bank this week to jointly oversee its litigation and regulatory enforcement department with co-general counsel Guy Nielson.

The appointment of Murphy as MasterCard’s general counsel becomes effective on 1 April where he will also join the company’s executive committee.

Murphy joined MasterCard’s legal team in 2000 and became senior vice president and associate general counsel in 2003. He then became chief product officer, responsible for leading the management, development and commercialisation of MasterCard’s core payment solutions.

MasterCard’s president and chief executive officer Ajay Banga said Murphy’s ‘legal background, coupled with his extensive experience leading important portions of our business, makes him the ideal candidate to take our company forward.’

Beginning May 1, 2014, the retiring Hanft will become the president and CEO of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, a non-profit organisation with the objective of helping global businesses resolve complex commercial disputes.

Meanwhile, Gibson Dunn’s hire of heavyweight bank regulatory specialist Shelton is a coup for the firm. Shelton will focus on advising financial institutions on regulation, internal and regulatory investigations, financial sanctions, foreign corrupt practices, anti-money laundering, enforcement and congressional hearings. During his 10-year tenure at UBS, Shelton served in several in-house positions, having most recently served both as Americas general counsel since 2009 and as global head of investigations since 2011. He also has served as general counsel for wealth management and for the investment bank in the Americas.

A former partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr from 1997 to 2003, Shelton’s role as global head of investigations gave him responsibility for significant internal and regulatory investigations for all business groups globally. He led UBS’s global internal investigation into Libor activities and appeared before numerous global regulatory bodies and conducted settlement discussions with various government agencies.

Gibson Dunn chairman and managing partner Ken Doran said Shelton ‘gained exceptional depth and breadth of experience’ during his time at UBS ‘related to multi-jurisdictional regulatory and other sophisticated legal issues facing large, global financial institutions.

‘Gibson Dunn has a significant practice representing financial institutions in bank and securities regulation, litigation, investigations, corporate governance and public policy matters. Mark will significantly enhance our financial institutions capabilities.’

Moving in the opposite direction, former Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton partner Shawn Chen has joined HSBC where he will share global responsibility with joint general counsel Guy Nielson for the bank’s exposure to litigation and regulatory enforcement risk, as well as the financial crime compliance advisory department, the global internal investigations group, and the employment and human resources advisory group. Both will report to current chief legal officer Stuart Levy.

The Washington-based Chen focused on white-collar criminal defence, securities enforcement, and complex civil litigation during his time at Cleary. His move in-house also comes just months after former senior White House lawyer Preeta Bansal exited HSBC after only a year-long stint as head of litigation and regulatory affairs, one of several top-level hires made by the bank following a US Senate investigation into its financial improprieties.