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Key themes and trends:

  • The senior end of the legal market has been busy since the beginning of the 2016. We have seen changes at the top at a number of banks and also a broad range of financial services businesses
  • Some legal departments are currently restructuring with redundancies likely at several of the leading universal banks. One example of this will see up to 25 per cent of staff being cut from legal, compliance and risk in Q2
  • There have been asset management firms hiring new regional heads of legal, but we have also seen some of those positions being cut at other asset managers. This has often been where a business has decided to remove a layer of management and more junior staff find themselves reporting directly to a global head based in a different jurisdiction
  • Despite the restructuring outlined above the general sentiment in the legal market is good. There are certainly more opportunities for senior lawyers than there have been for a number of years

Key moves:

Global Banking Groups

  • Michael Shaw joins RBS as General Counsel. Shaw joins RBS from Barclays where he held the role of Deputy Group General Counsel and replaces John Collins who resigned from the bank in December to join Santander UK. Shaw is responsible for the bank’s legal team which handles matters including litigation, competition, capital markets, corporate strategy and employment law.
  • Victoria Hardy steps into the role of General Counsel for the UK, Europe and Middle East region at Barclays. Hardy has been internally promoted to replace Simon Croxford’s previous role as Croxford replaces Barclay’s outgoing Deputy GC Michael Shaw. Hardy joins the investment banking Global Legal Management Committee and reports into Global GC and GC for the Americas Mark Shelton.
  • Maria Leistner is the new General Counsel for UBS’s Wealth Management division and joins the bank from Credit Suisse where she held the role of Managing Director and General Counsel for international wealth management. Leistner replaces the former Wealth Management General Counsel Andrew Williams who has left UBS. Maria will now be based in Zurich reporting to the General Counsel Markus Diethelm and President Wealth Management Jürg Zeltner.
  • Michael Ruffieux is appointed General Counsel International Wealth Management at Credit Suisse. Prior to this he held the role of COO for the General Counsel Division and Head of Corporate Legal Group.
  • Julian Gooding, former Asia Regional General Counsel at Credit Suisse, relocates to Switzerland to take over the role of General Counsel COO reporting to Romeo Cerutti, General Counsel.
  • Jonathan Santelli joins Raymond James as General Counsel. He moves from First Republic Bank in California, replacing Paul Matecki, who announced his retirement in September 2015.

Retail Financial Services

  • Mark Chapman steps into the role of General Counsel for Barclays UK. Chapman was formerly Global General Counsel for Personal and Corporate Banking, Barclaycard and Operational Technology.
  • Nathan Butler moves to Lloyds Banking Group as General Counsel for Group Legal. Butler replaces Hugh Pugsley who previously held the role and joins from National Australia Bank where he was previously General Counsel, Governance, Corporate & Enterprise Services. Lloyds has had an Interim Group Legal General Counsel in place and Butler was appointed at the start of this year.
  • Victor Dorado moves into the role of Legal Director at Santander. Dorado joins from Andbank, where he held the role of Global Chief Legal Officer and will be based at the firm’s headquarters in Madrid.
  • Julia Cattanach joins Experian as UK General Counsel. On joining Julia will report into Darryl Gibson, Group GC and joins from Tesco Bank where she held the role of Compliance, Conduct and Regulatory Director.

Buy Side and Asset Management firms

  • Eva Sanchez, General Counsel and Head of Compliance at Citadel, Europe, retires from the firm. Eva’s successor as General Counsel and Head of Compliance will be appointed in due course.
  • Joseph Kagan steps into the role of Head of Legal for Hermes Investment Management. Joseph was promoted post the departure of Michelle Green, former Chief Legal and Risk Officer. Michelle joined Neuberger Berman in October of last year as General Counsel for EMEA and Latin America.
  • Abi Thomas departs from Columbia Threadneedle. She most recently held the role of Head of Legal for EMEA and APAC regions.
  • Andrew Fowler moves into the role of Director of Legal & Compliance at Digital Moneybox. Andy joins from AllianceBernstein where he most recently held the role of European Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer.

Exchanges and Brokerages

  • Edward Stadum, former US General Counsel for Fidor Bank, joins bitcoin exchange Kraken as the company’s first General Counsel.


  • Penny Dudley moves into the role of Director of Legal & Corporate Affairs at Bupa. Penny succeeds Paul Newton the former Chief Legal Officer who retires – she has been promoted into the role. Prior to joining Bupa in 2010 Penny held senior legal roles with Macquarie and Investec.
  • Maaike de Bie steps into the role of Group General Counsel at Royal Mail. Maaike steps into the role post seven months as Interim Group General Cousnel. Prior to this Maaike was Deputy General Counsel for the firm and joined from EY where she held the role of Global Corporate Counsel.
  • Horacio Gutierrez joins Spotify as General Counsel following Jared Grusd’s departure to AOL. Gutierrez was previously General Counsel for Microsoft.
  • Rob Chesnut joins Airbnb as General Counsel. Chestnut, a former eBay executive joins from where he was General Counsel.
  • Nancy Axilrod joins Coach as General Counsel after Todd Kahn was promoted to President, CAO and Secretary for the firm.
  • Alexander Vellandi joins Money360, the commercial real estate online marketplace lending platform, as General Counsel from Sabal Financial Group.