Legal Business

Centrica

  • General Counsel: Grant Dawson.
  • Team headcount: 200 lawyers and paralegals globally, including compliance.

The past year has seen the 200-strong legal team at Centrica align its governance, compliance and reporting processes across its devolved businesses: British Gas, Centrica Energy and its North American business, Direct Energy (DE). All of the businesses report in to general counsel (GC) Grant Dawson (pictured) and within Centrica itself the legal regulatory, compliance and company secretarial function all now fall under the legal team umbrella.

The UK’s largest gas supplier last year acquired Ireland’s state-owned Bord Gáis Energy (BGE) for £920m in a deal that saw Centrica enter a new jurisdiction and required a change of legislation in Ireland to facilitate the sale. The hugely complex transaction saw BGE split into three, with Centrica taking its gas and electricity supply business in Ireland and the Whitegate gas-fired power station, while consortium members iCON Infrastructure and Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners split the other parts of the business.

Other headline work includes the group’s response to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)’s energy market investigation, a process being led by British Gas GC Justine Campbell, who joined in 2013 from Vodafone. Dawson comments: ‘It’s a huge piece of work that will be ongoing for six to seven months.’ Centrica’s legal team uses a menu of fee arrangements and last year refreshed all of its protocols as part of its annual review of external law firms.

Other high-profile lawyers in the Centrica team are head of secretariat Nicola Carroll; Centrica Energy GC David Isenegger; and DE’s GC Carol Graebner.