Legal Business

Search for BP legal head begins as Bondy departs for Reckitt Benckiser

Search for BP legal head begins as Bondy departs for Reckitt Benckiser

BP’s group general counsel (GC) Rupert Bondy, one of the most high-profile in-house leaders, is to step down from his role by the end of the year to head up Reckitt Benckiser (RB)’s global legal team as senior vice president (SVP), GC and company secretary.

Last month BP announced internally that Bondy would step down at the end of 2016 to pursue another opportunity, with no current replacement for the role.

Legal Business

High-profile BP general counsel Bondy to move to Reckitt Benckiser

High-profile BP general counsel Bondy to move to Reckitt Benckiser

BP’s group general counsel (GC) Rupert Bondy, one of the most high-profile in-house leaders in the community, is to step down from his role by the end of the year to join Reckitt Benckiser, Legal Business can reveal.

A spokesperson confirmed BP had announced internally that Bondy (pictured) will step down at the end of 2016 to pursue another opportunity. Reckitt Benckiser has confirmed he will join as senior vice-president, general counsel and company secretary.

Bondy, who joined BP as group GC and a member of the executive team in 2008, oversaw the company’s risk management strategy following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, effectively steering its emergency response from the beginning of the crisis through to the eventual financial settlement.

Responsible for legal and compliance matters across the BP group, Bondy started his career at US law firm Morrison & Forester, before working at Lovells and joining (then) SmithKline Beecham as senior counsel for M&A and other corporate matters. He was appointed senior vice president and GC of GlaxoSmithKline in 2001.

Earlier this year Legal Business revealed that BP had informed its current external advisers that they would now be required to pitch for instructions worth over $1m in legal fees, in a bid to curb costs. In a rule overseen by Bondy, go-to law firms will no longer be instructed for high-value instructions but must pitch against each other for the work. This comes on top of panel fee arrangements, encouraging law firms to drop their fees further to actually win work once on the legal panel.

The order came as firms prepare to compete for coveted positions on BP’s upcoming UK panel review in 2017. Currently, the list comprises Linklaters, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills, Norton Rose Fulbright, CMS Cameron McKenna, Ashurst, Simmons & Simmons, Pinsent Masons, Olswang and Addleshaw Goddard.

kathryn.mccann@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Reckitt Benckiser’s group GC Bill Mordan exits after 12 years for pharma giant’s ‘wonderful opportunity’

Reckitt Benckiser’s group GC Bill Mordan exits after 12 years for pharma giant’s ‘wonderful opportunity’

Reckitt Benckiser’s group general counsel (GC) Bill Mordan (pictured) is set to leave the consumer goods company to take up the role of GC and company secretary at pharmaceutical giant Shire.

According to Mordan, who will also sit on Shire’s executive committee, his start date is still to be determined while his replacement at Reckitt Benckiser will also be announced in due course. Speaking to Legal Business, he added: ‘It’s a very positive transition, Reckitt Benckiser has been extraordinarily supportive and helpful and after twelve years I am going back to the United States for a wonderful opportunity with a growing and vibrant pharmaceutical company.’

Mordan joined the multinational, which owns household brands including Vanish, Nurofen and Dettol, in 2003 following a six-year stint as associate GC at Procter & Gamble. He is currently based at Reckitt Benckiser’s headquarters in Slough, but will relocate with his family to Shire’s US operational headquarters in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Mordan was named as one of Legal Business‘ original GC Powerlist in 2013 and most recently the 70-strong team at Reckitt was included in the GC Powerlist 2015: The Team Elite for its innovative approach to both internal clients and external counsel. The group pioneered a sophisticated contract management system called I-Legal which enables the client to create their own contracts from non-disclosure agreements to supply agreements.

In 2014 Mordan led the team on the acquisition of the global rights to the K-Y brand from Johnson & Johnson; discussions with rival pharmaceutical company Merck & Co regarding an offer for the brand’s consumer health business; and the demerger of RB pharmaceuticals, subsequently rebranded Indivior and floated on the London Stock Exchange in December.

In January this year, Shire carried out its biggest acquisition with Slaughter and May advising it on a $5.2bn purchase of biotech NPS Pharma, represented by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

kathryn.mccann@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Reckitt Benckiser

  • Senior vice president and group general counsel: Bill Mordan.
  • Team headcount: 70 lawyers.

The innovative approach of the legal team at multinational consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser (RB) to dealings with its internal clients and external counsel is well known among peers.

The group legal function, which comprises the corporate team, global trade marks and global patents is located in the UK, but the majority of the lawyers sit in offices across 20 different locations around the world.

Led by senior vice president and group GC Bill Mordan, the group has pioneered a sophisticated contract management system called I-Legal, which enables the client to create their own contracts – anything from non-disclosure agreements to supply agreements. The tool is even tied into the company’s compliance function.

‘There are only a few companies that have fully automated systems and I only know of one company – that’s ours – that is tying it into the compliance function. I am the chief compliance officer as well as the GC, so I have to be responsible for both.’

However, Mordan is careful to ensure that the advent of this new technology does not diminish the technical polish of the legal function, rather it frees up the team to allow them to work on more exciting and challenging things.

In 2014 this included the acquisition of the global rights to the K-Y brand from Johnson & Johnson; discussions with rival pharmaceutical company Merck & Co regarding an offer for the brand’s consumer health business; and the demerger of RB pharmaceuticals, subsequently rebranded Indivior and floated on the London Stock Exchange in December.

In early 2015, Mordan confirmed that he was making plans to carry out a UK legal panel review and formalise the company’s current panel arrangement.

Legal Business

In-house: Reckitt Benckiser group GC Mordan looks to review and formalise panel

In-house: Reckitt Benckiser group GC Mordan looks to review and formalise panel

Reckitt Benckiser (RB) is making plans to carry out a UK panel review, with Bill Mordan, senior vice president and group general counsel (GC), also looking to formalise the company’s current panel arrangement.

The multinational consumer goods company currently has an informal panel arrangement in the UK, which consists of a two-tier system of seven firms. Tier one comprises Magic Circle firms Slaughter and May, Allen & Overy and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, while tier two includes firms such as Eversheds and, in particular, Thrings‘ office in Swindon, which support contract work, negotiations and some civil disputes.

It is understood that following the future panel review, the number of firms is likely to stay around the same, with the overall goal to make the process of using external counsel by RB’s 70-member legal team more transparent, rather than a plan to drive cost efficiency.

There is also a desire to reflect the changing structure of the company, which is spinning out its RB Pharmaceuticals business into a newly incorporated company called Indivior. The demerger saw Slaughters advise RB, while Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison handled US law matters. The target is to carry out the panel review by the year end, though it may take longer given the major restructuring of the business.

Speaking to Legal Business, a staffer at RB said: ‘We are continuing to work on the operating model and corporate structure of the company and we are trying to reflect in our legal services how the company is changing structurally.

‘We recognise that what we have done informally, while from a cost standpoint has been highly effective and best in class, from a process standpoint could be more transparent.’

kathryn.mccann@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Reckitt Benckiser group GC Mordan looks to review and formalise panel

Reckitt Benckiser group GC Mordan looks to review and formalise panel

Reckitt Benckiser (RB) is making plans to carry out a UK panel review, with Bill Mordan, senior vice president and group general counsel (GC), also looking to formalise the company’s current panel arrangement.

The multinational consumer goods company currently has an informal panel arrangement in the UK, which consists of a two-tier system of seven firms. Tier one comprises Magic Circle firms Slaughter and May, Allen & Overy and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, while tier two includes firms such as Eversheds and, in particular, Thrings’ office in Swindon, which support contract work, negotiations and some civil disputes.

Legal Business

Bill Mordan – Reckitt Benckiser

Bill Mordan – Reckitt Benckiser

Bill Mordan

Senior vice president and group general counsel

Reckitt Benckiser

 

Bill Mordan manages a team of 58 legal professionals in offices in 19 countries for the global company. In 2011 he received the Association of Corporate Counsel’s award for ‘Excellence in corporate practice’, with the ACC describing him as:‘an invaluable asset to Reckitt Benckiser, Bill has built a strong legal department, developing a departmental structure that not only ensures worldwide compliance, but does so at costs well below the industry norm.’