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Wells Fargo picks Cravath senior partner Parker as new general counsel

Wells Fargo has ended its search for a new legal chief with the appointment of Cravath, Swaine & Moore veteran Allen Parker, the firm’s former head of corporate.

Parker spent more than 25 years at the white shoe firm and was presiding partner from 2013 until 1 January 2017.

He will be based in the investment bank’s San Francisco office and serve on its operating committee. Parker will succeed in-house veteran James Strother, who retires after 30 years with the company. Strother will remain at the company for a transition period, with Parker starting on 27 March.

Wells Fargo chief executive Tim Sloan said: ‘Allen is well known throughout the legal and financial services industries not only for advising some of the world’s largest companies on their most complex legal matters, but also for his strong character, integrity, and high ethical standards.’

As well as Wells Fargo, Parker’s key clients included JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Covenant House and DreamWorks Studios. Under Parker’s tenure as presiding partner, Cravath saw profit per partner increase to $3.56m.

Last year, Parker was replaced by M&A star Faiza Saeed as presiding partner, who became the 16th person to hold the position and the firm’s first female leader.

Parker joins the investment bank as Wells Fargo attempts to recover from a major sales scandal, which saw as many as 2 million deposit and credit card accounts opened without customer permission resulting in a $185m fine to the US government.

Parker’s exit is the second time a veteran corporate partner has left the New York firm in the past 12 months, with Scott Barshay leaving in 2016 to join Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison as its global head of M&A.

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