RFU rejigs legal team as deputy head joins sports firm

Bujalski promoted to head of legal as Handford joins Couchmans

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has reconfigured its in-house legal team, promoting in-house lawyer Angus Bujalski (pictured) to head of legal following the recent departure of Polly Handford to become a partner at sports law firm Couchmans.

Former Slaughter and May lawyer Bujalski will report directly to the organisation’s legal and governance director, Karena Vleck. While Vleck has oversight of legal as well as other sports-related areas such as player discipline, Bujalski will have specific responsibility for the legal function. Continue reading “RFU rejigs legal team as deputy head joins sports firm”

In-house: Aon appoints Michael Wolf as global head of corporate as Prash Naik takes over as GC of Channel 4

In-house: Aon appoints Michael Wolf as global head of corporate as Prash Naik takes over as GC of Channel 4

Insurance giant Aon has appointed Jenner & Block partner Michael Wolf as vice president and chief counsel, corporate, in a role that will see him assume global responsibility for all corporate transactions including M&A, divestures, joint ventures, partnerships and strategic alliances.

At Aon, which in January 2012 moved its corporate headquarters to London and has 65,000 staff across 120 countries providing risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, Wolf will report to executive vice president and general counsel Peter Lieb. Continue reading “In-house: Aon appoints Michael Wolf as global head of corporate as Prash Naik takes over as GC of Channel 4”

Financial squeeze – Morgan Stanley declares a hit to net income due to $1.2bn in legal costs

Financial squeeze – Morgan Stanley declares a hit to net income due to $1.2bn in legal costs

Morgan Stanley is the latest major financial institution to declare that it has been hard hit by litigation and the ripple effect of the financial crisis after it reported a fourth quarter 78% drop in net income to $192m due to legal costs and weak fixed income trading.

Revenue for the period rose from $7bn to $7.8bn but legal costs of $1.2bn meant that earnings for the quarter were almost wiped out, the FT reported on Friday (17 January).

In its report the US investment bank declared that ‘the current quarter includes $1.2 billion of additions to legal reserves for mortgage-related matters, specifically litigation and investigations related to residential mortgage-backed securities and the credit crisis.’ Continue reading “Financial squeeze – Morgan Stanley declares a hit to net income due to $1.2bn in legal costs”

Former Times head of legal Alastair Brett suspended for six months for misleading court

Former Times head of legal Alastair Brett suspended for six months for misleading court

The former head of legal for The Times newspaper, Alastair Brett, has been suspended from practising for six months by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) for misleading a court and ‘failing to act with integrity’ in litigation over the naming of anonymous Nightjack police blogger Detective Richard Horton in 2009, an SRA statement confirmed this morning (6 December).

Brett was suspended yesterday (to take effect from 16 December) after the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) told the tribunal that in June 2009, while conducting litigation in the High Court on behalf of The Times, Brett ‘knowingly or recklessly allowed a witness statement to be served in support of its defence which created a misleading impression’.

Continue reading “Former Times head of legal Alastair Brett suspended for six months for misleading court”

In-house draw: Chris Bown third Freshfields partner to take a corporate wage as he resigns for CVC

In-house draw: Chris Bown third Freshfields partner to take a corporate wage as he resigns for CVC

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer corporate partner Chris Bown has become the third senior partner in two months to resign from the Magic Circle firm for an in-house role, with news that he is to join private equity house CVC Capital Partners.

Bown, who founded Freshfields London-based private equity practice in 1999, will be joining longstanding client CVC as a senior advisor when he retires from the 2330-lawyer firm in April next year. He will start his new role on 1 May on a part-time basis, advising CVC’s deal teams and working with both external counsel and the in-house team, which is headed by managing director Richard Perris, who joined from Clifford Chance in 2005. Continue reading “In-house draw: Chris Bown third Freshfields partner to take a corporate wage as he resigns for CVC”

In-house: HMRC appoints DWP director Gill Aitken as new GC as Sir Hector Sants resigns from Barclays

In-house: HMRC appoints DWP director Gill Aitken as new GC as Sir Hector Sants resigns from Barclays

With a long pedigree in working for the government, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) director general Gill Aitken is to replace HM Revenue & Customs’ outgoing general counsel (GC) Anthony Inglese, the body announced today (13 November).

Aitken, who will replace Inglese when he retires in January after 38 years in the government legal service, has been director general of legal services at the DWP since October 2011, after joining the team the previous year. Continue reading “In-house: HMRC appoints DWP director Gill Aitken as new GC as Sir Hector Sants resigns from Barclays”

Getting proprietorial – the client view as the battle to secure IP rages on

Getting proprietorial – the client view as the battle to secure IP rages on

From smartphone patent wars to online piracy, companies have never been more focused on protecting their intellectual property. In this special report, Legal Business teamed up with Bristows to gauge client attitudes to IP

It’s been a truism of the business world that protecting your intellectual property (IP) is an important part of success since the first laws on copyright were inked in the early 18th century. IP has not suddenly emerged as a key to a company’s long-term prospects. But, undoubtedly, numerous forces have emerged in recent years that have driven companies to more carefully consider how they protect, enforce and monetise their IP. Whether talking about the world of ‘hard’ IP, ie patents, or the ‘soft’ areas – trade marks, copyright and designs – the IP landscape has never been so dynamic or high impact.

Continue reading “Getting proprietorial – the client view as the battle to secure IP rages on”

Deutsche Bank profits dive amid €1.2bn legal provision as pressure builds on finance leaders

Deutsche Bank profits dive amid €1.2bn legal provision as pressure builds on finance leaders

If anyone still doubts the mounting legal burdens now falling on the world’s largest finance houses Deutsche Bank has this week dispelled such thoughts after announcing a fresh €1.2bn provision to cover its legal costs.

The German banking giant today (29 October) reported a 98% fall in quarterly profits after setting aside additional funds to cover its liabilities, reflecting the mounting regulatory burden facing the financial institution. The bank’s group income before taxes dropped for the third quarter to €18m, against last year’s figure of €747m for the same period in 2012.

Continue reading “Deutsche Bank profits dive amid €1.2bn legal provision as pressure builds on finance leaders”

In-house: A&O, Ashurst and Eversheds on Morrisons first-ever legal panel

In-house: A&O, Ashurst and Eversheds on Morrisons first-ever legal panel

One of the UK’s largest supermarket chains, Morrisons, has revealed its first-ever legal panel, with Allen & Overy (A&O), Ashurst, DAC Beachcroft and Eversheds are among the 15 firms selected, which was overseen by the company’s recently appointed general counsel Mark Amsden.

40 firms made the long list, which was whittled down to a shortlist of 22. Amsden divided the panel into six categories: employment, property, personal injury, licensing and regulatory as well as one panel covering ‘everything else’ – corporate, commercial, litigation, pensions and intellectual property. One more panel covers Scotland, with DWF and MacRoberts selected.

Continue reading “In-house: A&O, Ashurst and Eversheds on Morrisons first-ever legal panel”

Going buy-side: Reed Smith’s global managing partner takes over from Hoyt at PNC

Going buy-side: Reed Smith’s global managing partner takes over from Hoyt at PNC

It is still reasonably uncommon to see private practice partners step straight into a general counsel (GC) role but Reed Smith’s global managing partner (MP) Greg Jordan is to join one of the firm’s clients, Pittsburgh’s largest bank, the PNC Financial Services Group, taking over from Bob Hoyt as he prepares to join Barclays. Alexander Thomas, Reed Smith’s global chair of litigation, will take over the global MP role from Jordan.

Jordan, who was only re-elected for another three year term last year, is set to become executive vice president GC and head of regulatory and government affairs. He will report directly to PNC’s CEO William Demchak. Continue reading “Going buy-side: Reed Smith’s global managing partner takes over from Hoyt at PNC”