Harrods lawyer quits for top job at Topshop empire

Philip Green’s Arcadia Group has poached its new general counsel from arch-rival Mohamed Al Fayed’s Harrods. In-house lawyer Mary Geraghty will join Arcadia in July as group general counsel after working her notice at Harrods.

She will replace outgoing general counsel Julie Crossland, who is leaving to join Expedia as a lawyer in the London office. Crossland had spent six years at Arcadia.

Geraghty said: “It’s obviously a great step up. The company’s growing and it’s really a great move for me.”

Geraghty trained at Herbert Smith and spent three years in the firm’s real estate department before leaving to join Harrods in 2003. She will be Arcadia’s only in-house lawyer.

At Harrods Geraghty handled general commercial work, but will have a mixture of duties at Arcadia, which owns Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge.

Last year the company fought accusations of breaching the Disability Discrimination Act by wheelchair user Joanne Holland.

Arcadia has also had a raft of IP disputes over its high street brand Dorothy Perkins.

Geraghty’s move could present an opportunity at Arcadia for Harrods advisers such as Burges Salmon IP partner Jeremy Dickerson, who handles Harrods’ IP work.

Arcadia has used a variety of firms in the past, including Beachcroft and Field Fisher Waterhouse.