EADS hires Svenska lawyer as it loses general counsel

EADS’ general counsel Eric Thomas is to leave the European defence company.

He is being replaced by Diane de Saint Victor, the European general counsel of German paper and hygiene products company Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget (SCA), who is due to join EADS in May.

Prior to joining SCA, Saint Victor was the European general counsel for Honeywell. It is understood that she left Honeywell after the European Commission blocked the company’s merger with General Electric and because she wanted to return to Europe.

In her new role, Saint Victor will lead a team of 20 Paris-based lawyers and a further 100 globally.

It remains unclear how her appointment will affect EADS’ relationship with external legal advisers. Currently, the company outsources work to Clifford Chance and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and a number of French firms.

EADS declined to comment. SCA did not return calls for comment. Thomas was unavailable for comment.