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In-house revolving doors: Senior hires for Co-op, Powa Technologies and Autoliv as BMA loses group legal director

A series of senior in-house moves and hires has this week seen The Co-operative Group appoint Lloyds Banking Group company secretary Claire Davies as group secretary, Yahoo’s senior legal director Manu Kanwar move to Powa Technologies, Swedish automotive safety systems manufacturer Autoliv appoint Andrew Nellis as interim general counsel and the British Medical Association (BMA) lose its legal director Jonathan Waters.

At the Co-Op, the appointment of Davies, who has worked for more than 27 years in-house in a variety of legal, compliance and company secretarial roles, including at Ernst & Young, The Woolwich and Legal & General, follows the retirement of Moira Lees earlier this month.

Davies will take up her new role in early March, reporting directly to group chair Ursula Lidbetter. Her hire comes after the Co-op and its beleaguered banking arm split in November, after a bondholder bail-in led by a group of US hedge funds saw the group lose majority shareholder control. Last month Brona McKeown was appointed as the bank’s legal chief and company secretary, while group GC Alistair Asher remains in that role.

Asher said: ‘I’m delighted to welcome Claire to the group. I know she will be a great addition to the senior team, especially as we work our way through the crucial governance review that the board is undertaking.’

Meanwhile, at Powa Technologies, former Osborne Clarke lawyer Kanwar will join as chief legal officer for the group, which provides e-commerce solutions to major brands as well as small and medium business enterprises.

Kanwar, who joined Powa as legal counsel from Osborne Clarke in 2004 and became a senior legal director in 2011, will officially begin his post on 13 January. He will sit on the board and report to Powa’s high profile CEO Dan Wagner, who at 21 years old founded M.A.I.D (market analysis and information database), which floated for £120m ten years later.

Elsewhere, following the move by Autoliv’s general counsel Lars Sjobring to replace Nick Deeming as Transocean’s legal chief, the Utah-headquartered company has appointed Asia legal head Anthony Nellis to act as its interim vice president of legal affairs and general counsel. Having served at the company since 2001, China-based Nellis will begin the role on 1 January 2014.

In other in-house news over the past week, the BMA is set to lose one of its longest standing members, as group legal director Jonathan Waters announced he has resigned from the professional body after 24 years to create a HR and legal consultancy to be launched next year.

Waters will officially step down on 15 January, with the BMA yet to announce his successor.