Legal Business Blogs

Moving up: RSA group makes Cope head of legal for UK and international business

RSA Group has appointed Jonathan Cope as head of legal for the insurer’s UK and international business.

Cope (pictured), who took up the role at the beginning of February, now manages a team of ten lawyers across the UK, Ireland, Western Europe and the Middle East. He reports to Matt Hotson, CFO for UK & International, with an additional matrix line to RSA’s chief legal officer Charlotte Heiss.

GC Powerlist 2017 member Cope was the lead lawyer on RSA’s £773m rights issue in 2014 and across 2015 and 2016 led the company’s disposal of its non-core businesses which involved disposals in 16 jurisdictions. He also played a key role in the largest-ever RSA contract, which covered the group’s IT infrastructure in 2015.

His promotion last March from group legal counsel to managing counsel saw him tasked with leading the review of RSA’s group legal panel with assistance from Heiss and head of financial crime Peter Townsend. The review saw the number of panel firms reduced from five to three, with Slaughter and May, Linklaters and RPC winning places. Cope also took on additional responsibilities when carrying out the managing counsel role, which included helping to manage the risk and control environment through policy and committee ownership.

After training at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Cope specialised in private equity work, including stints at Debevoise & Plimpton and Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

Recent high-profile in-house appointments include Deutsche Bank’s Emma Slatter, who joined Visa Europe as general counsel, replacing Niamh Grogan.

Legal Business GC Powerlist 2016 member Slatter will begin her role with the card provider on 20 March 2017, after spending over 20 years at Deutsche Bank in various positions. Most recently, Slatter served as the bank’s global head of strategy for six months between January and June 2016.