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In-house: Transocean finds replacement general counsel after year-long search

Swiss-based offshore drilling contractor Transocean has appointed a new general counsel (GC) and senior vice president over a year after former legal chief Nick Deeming left the role.

Former GC, vice president legal affairs and secretary of Swedish-American automotive safety systems manufacturer Autoliv, Lars Sjöbring, will join Transocean next year when his current notice period expires.

Prior to joining Autoliv in 2007, Sjöbring – who has master of law degrees in Sweden, the Netherlands and the US – held the role of senior legal counsel and subsequently director legal, M&A at Nokia since joining the telecoms group in 2003.

Between 2000 and 2003 he worked as foreign legal counsel and associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

President and CEO Steven Newman said: ‘Lars’ background and experiences make him an outstanding addition to our management team and I look forward to his contribution. As we welcome Lars, I want to thank Allen Katz for his service as interim general counsel. His expertise and guidance has proven invaluable since he began advising the company in June 2010.’

Sjöbring will take over from Katz, who had served as an advisor to the company since 2010 and took over the role in November 2012, shortly after Deeming departed the company with immediate effect less than two years after joining the Swiss offshore drilling group.

Deeming, who held a number of in-house roles over the course of the 30 years prior to his departure including group GC and company secretary of auctioneer Christie’s between 2007 and 2011, received a lump sum severance payment of £430,000 among other reimbursements upon his departure.

International provider of offshore contract drilling services for oil and gas wells, Transocean specialises in technically demanding sectors of offshore drilling with a focus on deepwater and harsh environment services, operating a fleet of, 80 mobile offshore drilling units.

The Swiss-based company settled with the US government earlier this year to pay $400m in criminal penalties and a $1bn civil fine after pleading guilty to violating the Clean Water Act when the Deepwater Horizon rig it owned and operated exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.