Legal Business Blogs

National Grid reshuffles in-house team as firms join new panel

National Grid has reorganised its in-house legal function following the £13.8bn separation of its gas distribution business.

The new business, National Grid Gas Distribution, has appointed National Grid’s former legal business partner Mark Cooper as its general counsel (GC) and company secretary. Cooper was appointed in October last year, having joined the utilities giant a year before. Formerly a legal counsel at Rolls-Royce, Cooper was in private practice at Wragge & Co between 2002 and 2008.

Cooper will head up a team of 14, including lawyers and non-legal staff. Rachael Davidson will continue to lead the legal team of National Grid as UK GC, reporting to group GC Alison Kay (pictured).

Additionally National Grid’s core legal team has been reduced from 31 to 26. The restructuring has seen four lawyers transferred to the gas distribution business.

Cooper was one of the lead lawyers for National Grid on the transaction to sell off a majority stake in the gas business, which was formally announced in December. Following various bidders vying to take a 61% equity interest in the gas distribution business, it was ultimately sold to a consortium including Macquarie Infrastructure among others.

National Grid Gas Distribution will retain the same panel arrangements with its main law firms, meaning firms will now sit on two panels. The panel was reduced in August 2015 following a review, with Herbert Smith Freehills, Irwin Mitchell and Addleshaw Goddard all winning places alongside incumbents Eversheds, Linklaters, CMS Cameron McKenna and DLA Piper.