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‘Looking for new challenges’: KPMG’s GC to depart after 18 years in the role

Vanessa Sharp, KPMG‘s general counsel (GC), is to retire from the partnership after 18 years in the role. The process to replace Sharp, who departs in May is currently ongoing, and Legal Business understands that the replacement is likely to be an external one.

Sharp, who joined the big four accountancy firm in 1996, has been instrumental in building the UK GC role and legal department, as well as leading the KPMG European merger in 2007 and subsequently becoming the company’s first GC for the UK and Europe. She has also helped to oversee the response to European reforms to statutory audit in the wake of internal market and services commissioner Michel Barnier’s investigation of the sector.

Prior to joining KPMG, Sharp was a solicitor at Ince & Co. She also currently holds a number of non-executive roles, including an advisory board member role at Eversheds, which she has held since 2000.

Commenting on the resignation, a KPMG spokesperson said: ‘After 18 years with us, Vanessa Sharp has decided to retire from the KPMG partnership and her role as General Counsel in May this year in order to take a well-deserved sabbatical and then explore other opportunities. Vanessa has provided tremendous service and counsel to KPMG in her time here. We will miss her when she leaves and wish her all the very best for the future.’

Sharp added: ‘After 18 years at KPMG and as General Counsel of KPMG LLP and KPMG Europe LLP, I am taking a short sabbatical to enjoy some travelling, devoting some time to reading and writing on current issues in governance and legal business and on my non-executive roles. I will then be looking for new challenges in the autumn as the next step in my career.’