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In-house: Standard Chartered takes Barclays heavyweight as new divisional GC

Standard Chartered has recruited a top lawyer from Barclays’ legal team, with regulatory lawyer Chris Allen set to join the investment bank as its new general counsel (GC) for clients and products.

Allen (pictured) will officially start his role on 16 January and oversee legal across the bank’s main business units including corporate and investment banking, commercial banking, private banking and wealth management.

Allen, who is currently based in London, will relocate to Singapore and report to GC David Fein, the bank’s most senior lawyer.

Currently global head of regulatory policy across the investment bank, retail bank, corporate bank, wealth management and Barclaycard, Allen joined Barclays’ investment division in 2004 as managing director for legal before his promotion for regulatory head in 2013.

Other stints in-house include serving as legal adviser to the OM London Securities and Derivatives Exchange and Clearing House from 1999 until 2001, followed by a turn in private practice as a lawyer at Baker & McKenzie. Allen began his career as a barrister at 11 Stone Buildings.

Changes within Standard Chartered’s legal division in recent years included the hire of Fein in 2013 after having served as US Attorney for the District of Connecticut. The bank’s group GC office was further reorganised amid a large scale overhaul of management by chief executive Bill Winters. Two years later, Standard made several senior appointments to its legal team, bolstering its financial crime compliance unit and recruiting ICAP’s group GC Duncan Wales as deputy legal head to help manage legal affairs.

Allen’s appointment comes as Standard Chartered faces a myriad of contentious issues, particularly in the US where it remains under supervision over lapses in controls over transactions involving Iran and other countries.

Internally the bank has been seen making broader job cuts under Winters’ leadership as part of a cost efficiency drive, with the lender expected to slash around 10% of staff in its investment banking unit.