Legal Business Blogs

Under fire Walker to step down as Deutsche Bank’s general counsel by year-end

After a management reshuffle earlier this summer that saw legal affairs chief Christian Sewing reassigned, Deutsche Bank has confirmed that general counsel (GC) Richard Walker will leave the bank at the year-end.

Walker, a former partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft and director of enforcement at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, will be replaced by his two deputies Simon Dodds and Christof von Dryander. Both take on the role having previously served as joint deputy GC since 2013.

In a statement the bank said: ‘At his own request, Richard Walker will retire from his role as General Counsel, effective at the end of the year. He will become a senior adviser to the Bank in the role of Vice Chairman. He will also remain on the Group Executive Committee. Richard Walker helped the Bank navigate exceptionally challenging times during his fourteen years of service as General Counsel.’

Deutsche Bank’s management, including Walker came under criticism from German financial regulator Bafin, in a report published by the Wall Street Journal, over its handling of the Libor manipulation saga and investigations it carried out.

The German lender was fined £1.7bn for Libor and Euribor misconduct in April by US and UK regulators with the Financial Conduct Authority saying the size of the fine was partly due to the lender providing ‘misleading information’ and giving ‘a false attestation’ regarding the adequacy of its Libor controls. The bank also suffered a sharp fall in profits after setting aside litigation expenses of €1.5bn in the first quarter of this year.

The news comes after the bank in June realigned responsibilities on its managing board which included moving legal affairs chief Christian Sewing, to head of private and business clients, succeeding Rainer Neske who departed the bank on June 30. At the time, the bank didn’t respond to requests for comment over whether Walker would remain in his role.

Last month [July 2015], a raft of firms bagged spots as the bank finalised its legal panel arrangements. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Allen & Overy, Hogan Lovells, White & Case and Ashurst, were among those to have retained their spots.