Legal Business Blogs

In-house: Nationwide replaces GC Kelly with HSBC’s European legal head

Nationwide Building Society has appointed HSBC’s European legal chief Keith Ford to replace group general counsel Liz Kelly, who announced last autumn that she is leaving to spend more time with her family and pursue outside interests.

Ford, who is currently HSBC’s global general counsel for Europe, with experience in retail, wealth management and commercial legal work, will start the new role in July.

Kelly, meanwhile, left the role in recent weeks, having assisted in finding her own replacement after pulling together a slimmed down legal adviser panel, in a process that concluded on 31 January.

Addleshaw Goddard and Linklaters will sit alongside incumbent advisers Allen & Overy and Eversheds on the new-look panel, the building society’s first review since it put together its first-ever roster in 2009.

Burges Salmon, Nabarro and Olswang all lost their place on the group-wide legal panel, which started its review process last summer, led by Kelly.

In a statement at the time the panel was unveiled, the building society said: ‘Nationwide…has consolidated the work undertaken by its core panel so that the panel is able to provide full support across the range of legal and compliance services required by the Society going forward. Crucially, these firms will forge close relationships with Nationwide, becoming an extension of the in-house function and partnering business success.

‘The review follows a strategy of ensuring the panel suitably reflects the nature of the work being undertaken by the business now and in the future.’

Kelly was appointed general counsel in 2009, building the legal team up to around 50 lawyers, including seven litigators.

A spokesperson for Nationwide said today (28 April): ‘Nationwide Building Society has appointed a new group general counsel. Keith Ford, who will start his new role within the compliance leadership team in July, replaces Liz Kelly, who has left Nationwide after 11 years. Keith joins the Society from HSBC, where he is currently global general counsel for Europe. He has extensive experience within retail, wealth management and commercial.’