Former South Western Electricity lawyer joins Mitsubishi Motors

Mitsubishi Motors UK has appointed South Western Electricity’s former company secretary and solicitor as its new company secretary, with an additional remit covering legal and insurance matters.

Robin Edmunds takes up the position at the Cirencester headquarters of the Colt Car Company, Mitsubishi’s official UK importer. He replaces Deidre Robinson, who is taking a career break.

Edmunds joined South Western Electricity as a solicitor in 1978 and was closely involved in its privatisation and flotation in 1990, as well as the takeover by Atlanta-based Southern Company in 1995. His responsibilities included legal matters, insurance claims and company secretarial issues. Edmunds left South Western Electricity in March 2000 following the sale of the supply business and the restructuring of the remaining business. Its in-house legal department was scaled down and now instructs external counsel.

Edmunds says: “South Western was rethinking what it wanted to be. It became a much smaller business and needed to have a clearer focus on costs.” Edmunds, however, remains a director of two South Western Electricity subsidiaries, which provide insurance services.

He says of his new position with Mitsubishi: “I’m looking forward to learning about the challenges that the motor industry presents. Much of the legal work is contract-related because of Colt’s business relationships with suppliers and those it supplies. It’s an importer and distributor, and there’s a fair amount of legal work associated with that, including issues stemming from European competition law.” Mitsubishi has 125 dealerships around the country.

Colt does not have any other in-house lawyers and instructs Field Fisher Waterhouse on litigation, corporate, commercial and intellectual property, and local firm Davey Son & Jones on property and smaller litigation work. Edmunds say he has no immediate plans to change those arrangements. “I’m already very impressed with the grasp they have of the business,” he says.

Edmunds will continue to work as a consultant with Bristol firm Burges Salmon, where he provides in-house training and works primarily with the pensions team. He is also company secretary of electricity trading advisers St Clements Services, and a member of the International Risk Management Advisory Committee of US insurer Aegis.