Legal Business Blogs

Lloyds former head of legal Pithouse takes on deputy GC role at Visa

The former head of legal at Lloyds Banking Group, Prini Pithouse, has taken the deputy general counsel (GC) role at Visa Europe, following a year serving as the payments business’ executive director of commercial law.

Pithouse (pictured) joined Visa Europe in May last year, after a lengthy career in-house at Lloyds, which saw her hold the roles of head of legal and commercial for group IT and head of legal for group operations. Pithouse first joined Lloyds in 2006 as a senior lawyer.

In her new role, Pithouse will report into Visa Europe’s GC Niamh Grogan, who has held the posts of chief legal and regulatory officer as well as company secretary since January 2014. Grogan is also a Lloyds alumni, having served as the bank’s group director of competition and consumer policy for three years. Previous to this, Grogan was an EU and competition partner at legacy SJ Berwin. Other big names in the Visa team include Stephen McCue, director of commercial law and Hugh Stokes, who heads up competition.

Visa Europe, an association owned and operated by over 3,000 European financial institutions, has annual payment volumes of over $1.5trn and processes over 18 billion transactions each year.

In November last year, Visa Europe turned to Linklaters to advise on its €21.2bn acquisition by US company Visa. Macfarlanes acted for Visa alongside Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in a transaction with up-front consideration of approximately €16.5bn and the potential for an additional earn-out of up to €4.7bn.

In 2014 Linklaters also advised Visa Europe on high-profile litigation work, alongside Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, to secure a judgment in favour of the company after 12 major UK retailers led by the Arcadia Group sought damages in relation to Visa’s setting of interchange rates.

Last month Legal Business revealed that Lloyds was pushing an incentive scheme to its lawyers to secure new recruits into senior legal roles following a string of exits. The move came after the bank made multiple redundancies as part of an ongoing restructure.