CMC Markets shakes up panel and in-house team

CMC Markets global general counsel Dominic Bacon is overhauling the derivatives trading company’s entire legal function in his first move since taking up the post in March.

The former general counsel of Gulf Investment Bank UK is planning a two-pronged approach, involving a dramatic expansion of the legal team followed by a panel review.

“I came into a global role and now I need to get resourced for it,” said Bacon, adding that he had spent the first five months on the job familiarising himself with the business.

Bacon’s first step will involve hiring a lawyer to fill the newly created position of UK head of legal, who will work with six in-house lawyers, a head of compliance and a lawyer to oversee legal matters pertaining to CMC’s German business.

“I’m deliberately looking for lawyers with a business and product focus rather than those with a general in-house background,” Bacon elaborated.

As such, he will be recruiting lawyers to work on CMC’s partner businesses. He will also want lawyers able to undertake due diligence for new markets and products and to work on policies and procedures, IP and IT.

The panel review, which Bacon has slated for the end of the year, will probably involve CMC’s current panel firms Baker & McKenzie, CMS Cameron McKenna and Shoosmiths.

“We’ll invite any firm that we’ve instructed to participate,” said Bacon, adding that he had instructed Berwin Leighton Paisner, Reed Smith Richards Butler and Slaughter and May since his appointment.

Bacon’s current legal muscle comprises three regional heads – Alex Daschko, Jenny Kelly, and Felix Goerlich – who oversee legal matters in America and Canada, Australia and Europe respectively. His UK-based team currently consists of one in-house lawyer, a paralegal and two secondees.

CMC, which specialises in foreign exchange and contracts for difference, posted a 25 per cent increase in turnover, from £60.1m in 2005 to £375.7m in 2006.