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Barclays Capital has recruited a new head of legal in Hong Kong
Magnus Spencer's official title will be head of legal Asia Pacific, ex-Japan. Spencer, who joined from Toronto Dominium Bank on 22 May, replaces ex-head of legal Matthew Durkin, who returned to the London office of Barclays Capital UK to become a senior legal director. Barclays Capital has a significant presence in Asia, with four lawyers assisting the investment banking products. There is the same number of lawyers in Japan, but the largest in-house legal capacity is in the UK, with 35 lawyers. Andrew Taylor, the managing director and general counsel of Barclays Capital, recently retired, but as yet no replacement for him has been announced. One of Spencer's duties will be to manage and review Barclays Capital's relationships with external law firms in the Asia Pacific region. There is a global panel in place, which includes Allen & Overy, which advises on derivative products, as well as Clifford Chance and Linklaters, both of which provide banking advice. Jake Scrivens, head of legal derivatives in London, who used to fulfill the role in Hong Kong prior to Durkin, told The Lawyer: "We use external lawyers globally for both transactional and advisory work as and when required. We're not wedded to any particular firm but we want our outside lawyers to be close to the business." Spencer has an impressive career history that will stand him in good stead for his new position. He was at Baker & McKenzie until 1994, then joined Lehman Brothers in London until 1997. He then built up his international career by joining Credit Suisse First Boston in Hong Kong until 2001. He had been at Toronto Dominium Bank from October 2001, where he set up a share trading operation in London, until he was recruited by Barclays Capital. Barclays Capital has been active in the Asia Pacific over the last few months and has recently acted as joint bookrunner on a e750m (£475.8m) seven-year global bond offering for Petroliam Nasional Berhad, the largest Euro-dominated bond from an Asian borrower to date, which was part of a $2.7bn (£1.85bn) global bond offering.