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Clifford Chance has recruited Ian MacDonald, group legal counsel at CGNU, to its global financial institutions group.
MacDonald will be the senior manager of insurance and will lead corporate transactions for the firm's insurance and reinsurance clients.
His fee-earning role will also include coordinating global initiatives such as the development and delivery of client care programmes.
A Clifford Chance source says: "MacDonald has had 20 years of experience, and during that time he's made plenty of contacts in the industry. He effectively instructed Clifford Chance while at what was CGU, so a relationship was always there."
Clifford Chance was the principal legal adviser to CGU for a number of years and continues to play a lead role as one of the external advisers to CGNU.
MacDonald spent 14 years with CGNU and its legacy companies, beginning his career at General Accident in 1987. He was appointed as group legal counsel at CGU in 1998 following its merger with Commercial Union. His task at Clifford Chance will be to lead corporate transactions for the firm's insurance and reinsurance clients.
MacDonald says: "I felt it was time for me to go back into private practice. I'd worked in commerce for 14 years. In private practice, one gets more involved in the nitty gritty details. At CGNU I was really a project manager with a legal context, but now I am being managed."
MacDonald has been replaced at CGNU by two new lawyers - Lee Callaghan, who joined from French chemical company Rhodia, and German Rodriguez Mormeo, who left the corporate department of the London office of US firm LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae.