IBM's legal chief quits to launch consultancy

IBM's most senior UK lawyer is quitting the computer giant after 29 years to set up his own consultancy.

Duncan Campbell will stand down in November from his current role as senior counsel responsible for millennium Y2K issues to IBM EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa).

For seven years, until December 1995, Campbell was general counsel and company secretary for IBM UK Holdings.

Although he will be going into semi-retirement, Campbell is already in negotiations to set up his own consultancy practice.

“I'm talking to a number of law firms and companies at the moment.

“Having worked for a single employer for 29 years, I am looking forward to the challenge of working for a number of IT employers,” he says.

Campbell's role as general counsel was reduced in 1995 following a restructuring of the firm's European legal operation.

Functions were at that time divided into different European regions and special senior counsel employed to cover different practice areas.

Since then, Campbell has been responsible for all European year 2000 issues and retained the role of company secretary for IBM UK and its 30 subsidiary companies.

Campbell has also worked closely with the IBM business unit, giving legal advice on mid-range server sales and establishing commercial and distribution channels.

He has also continued to work very closely with the general counsel covering the northern region, which covers the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Campbell says that IBM is looking for three replacements to fill his various roles but that these are likely to be internal appointments.

IBM has 18 lawyers based in the UK, the largest European legal group, although Campbell refuses to comment on how many lawyers IBM employs in total.

The majority of work is handled in-house, except pensions-related work, which goes to Nabarro Nathanson, and property-based, which goes to Ashurst Morris Crisp.