De Beers set for legal rejig as corporate head moves

Diamond giant De Beers has lost its head of corporate legal, with incumbent Merlie Calvert landing a position as commercial director of the De Beers Group’s newly separated marketing business.

De Beers has not yet confirmed Calvert’s successor, although it is likely to be a member of the existing De Beers legal team. However, the company is also considering splitting her role into two separate positions, senior counsel for competition and legal group manager for corporate services.

Calvert said: “Nothing’s confirmed at the moment, but it’s certainly a possibility. My role’s a bit of a hybrid, so it might make sense.”

Calvert joined De Beers in 2002 from SJ Berwin as the company’s first in-house competition lawyer and its third in-house lawyer for the northern hemisphere operation. She was promoted to legal services manager (North) in July 2004 and heads a legal team of 13 fee-earners.

Calvert said the shake-up would be unlikely to disturb the company’s relationships with panel firms for the northern region, which comprise Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, DLA Piper, Linklaters, Osborne Clarke and SJ Berwin.