Lloyds Banking Group is pushing an incentive scheme to its lawyers to secure new recruits into senior legal roles following a string of exits. The move comes after the bank made multiple redundancies as part of an ongoing restructure.
An internal memo circulated to the legal division in recent weeks from the office of Joanna Carver, general counsel (GC) for commercial banking, appealed to the bank’s 300-strong legal team to help find recruits to fill up to 15 management roles, promising referral fees as a reward. The bank has expressed a preference for hires from its current external adviser panel.
High-profile departures during the last 18 months include former GC for group legal, Hugh Pugsley, and head of legal for wealth management and international retail, John Pitt, who both departed for HSBC, while disputes chief Philippa Simmons left last summer.
At the same time, staff facing job cuts are understood to be appealing their redundancies, meaning the bank is likely to miss its July deadline for the new structure to go live. One internal lawyer says: ‘They can’t do anything until all the appeals are heard – you can’t put a structure chart out until this is resolved.’
The memo comes amid reports of low staff morale driven by the sweeping team restructuring.
One Lloyds lawyer told Legal Business: ‘They’ve just made all these people redundant and suddenly they’re offering referral fees to staff so that they can bring new people in. Then why are they making people redundant?
‘What was supposed to bring in structure has ruined the structure. People are so unhappy, morale is so low, and everyone wants to leave.’
Those mid-tier management roles up for grabs recently saw six internal candidates vie for three places. Successful managers included Jon Alexander, head of legal for lending support; Greg McEneny, head of legal for wholesale markets; and Lucy Purkiss, head of structured capital markets.
In recent weeks Carver, who joined from Barclays last summer, held a town hall meeting at Addleshaw Goddard for the bank’s in-house lawyers, during which she made efforts to communicate the strategy behind the restructure.
Lloyds refused to comment.