Legal Business Blogs

In-house: TransferWise cashes in on competitor’s legal head as mammoth US GC pay packets revealed

In a month of significant hires and departures, online money payment company TransferWise has snapped up rival Monzo Bank’s chief legal officer Dean Nash (pictured) as its new general counsel (GC) following the departure of Jenifer Swallow in July.

Nash, who featured in the GC Powerlist 2019, has left the company after nearly four years of rapid growth to become the UK’s most recognisable mobile-only bank.

He joined the banking app start-up as head of legal and compliance in 2016, a year after the start-up was born, having already calved out a significant career as legal counsel in the banking sector. He was previously lead legal counsel at Barclays UK and before that a transaction banking lawyer at Lloyds Banking Group.

In 2018, Nash was made chief legal officer at Monzo, a broader executive-level role, with James Sullivan joining as vice-president of legal in early 2019, leading a team of 13.

TransferWise had been looking to replace Swallow, the first in-house lawyer the business hired in 2015, since the summer when she stood down.

A TransferWise spokesperson commented: ‘We are delighted to welcome Dean Nash to TransferWise as our new general counsel. As a world class lawyer and leader he brings with him a wealth of experience in the financial sector, having worked most recently with TransferWise partner Monzo. We’re excited to have him on board to help spearhead the great work our teams are doing.’

A Monzo spokesperson added: ‘Dean has been a big part of Monzo’s story so far – we wish him all the best at TransferWise, a fintech that shares Monzo’s mission to transform financial services.’

Meanwhile, retirement living developer McCarthy & Stone has hired Adam Batty as group GC and company secretary. Beginning from 20 January, Batty has taken over from Rowan Baker, who has relinquished her interim company secretariat role to continue being chief financial officer at the company.

Batty trained in corporate finance at Norton Rose Fulbright and most recently worked for the Selfridges group as GC for nearly five years and was previously GC for Domino’s Pizza.

Further afield in the US, Apple GC Katherine Adams was revealed in company filings to have earned $25.2m in compensation for 2019, down from $26.7m the year before. Adams, a former Sidley Austin senior partner in New York, joined the tech giant in 2017, replacing Bruce Sewell who retired.

Alphabet Inc’s chief legal officer, David Drummond, has meanwhile retired from Google’s parent company, effective 31 January.

Drummond has been GC at Google and Alphabet for 18 years, continuing on at Alphabet after the internet giant’s restructuring. Drummond’s annual earnings stood at more than $47m last year and news of his departure comes just a month after Google co- founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin announced they would step down from their positions as chief executive and president respectively.

Last year, an investigation was opened by Alphabet’s board into how senior executives at the company handle misconduct claims. Drummond himself has been involved in misconduct allegations related to alleged inappropriate relations with employees.