Director of North America and general counsel
Lloyd’s of London
Sean McGovern was initially brought in to do finance work at Lloyd’s at the age of 26. Since then, he has been responsible for all the regulatory and government issues for Lloyd’s, and three years ago he took on the task of promoting and protecting Lloyd’s business interests in the US and Canada.
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Head of legal
Kelvan Swinnerton is known for solving problems quickly. Having been a partner at insurance firm Kennedys for the best part of a decade, one private practitioner says of him: ‘Kel has a very sharp legal mind, which he couples with a drive to resolve problems proactively and practically – he always has an eye open for the most sensible solution. He also manages to maintain a lively sense of humour.’
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Senior vice president and general counsel
ACE European Group
Kenneth Underhill admits that he is no easy taskmaster. He describes himself as ‘tough but fair – and of course ever busy’. As such, he expects both his in-house and external legal teams to have a thorough understanding of the insurance industry. As one insurance partner says: ‘He expects outside counsel to reflect ACE’s own innovative and commercial approach.’
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Group general counsel
Jane MacLeod likes firms equipped with strong regulatory experience and knowledge of the current challenges facing the insurance sector. Last year, the group’s legal spend totalled approximately £6m, split equally between internal and external advisers.
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Group general counsel and company secretary
Kirsty Cooper manages a total of 270 individuals, half of whom are based overseas. This includes all the lawyers and chartered secretaries across the group. In 2011, the company spent a whopping £60m on its legal spend, excluding any UK-based general insurance claims. Of this, half was spent on external law firms.
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General Counsel and company secretary
Direct Line Insurance Group, RBS Insurance
With 20 years’ experience advising on legal risk management, corporate governance and commercial issues, and noted for his ‘calm good sense and his tremendous judgement’, Humphrey Tomlinson knows his stuff. He heads a legal team of 40 and a company secretariat team of about six at Direct Line.
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General counsel, company secretary and executive vice president global legal affairs
Tatjana May has been with Shire Pharmaceuticals, the UK’s third largest drugs group, since 2001, having spent the earlier part of her career in the prestigious surroundings of AstraZeneca, where she was assistant general counsel, and Slaughter and May. In 2008 she was also appointed chair of the corporate responsibility committee.
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Group legal director and general counsel
Since joining Bupa in 1987, Paul Newton has progressed up the ranks to become the group’s legal director and has seen the legal team grow to 70 lawyers in 11 locations, with an annual legal spend of £6.6m. Given the group turns over £8bn, serves 11 million clients and employs 52,000 staff, the size of the team is relatively modest and Newton has an extensive panel of strong firms that he uses for M&A, litigation, regulatory insurance, media, employment and IP/IT.
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Vice president, general counsel and compliance officer
Astellas Pharma Europe
With an in-house career at pharma companies spanning more than 20 years, Jerry Temko is one of the most experienced GCs in the sector.
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Gazprom Energy Marketing & Trading
Identified as a ‘smart lawyer with a broad international perspective’ and a ‘rising star of the industry’, Jacqueline Hill has been the GC for the UK subsidiary of the Russian gas giant Gazprom since 2006 after moving from EDF Trading.
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