International Power reshuffles legal team

International Power, the recently demerged arm of National Power (NP), has undertaken a major restructuring of its in-house legal department while appointing Clifford Chance as its principal corporate adviser.

Stephen Ramsay, formerly a senior lawyer in the international projects division at NP, has been appointed as company secretary and corporate counsel of the newly demerged international arm.

Rosemary Cook, also a former senior lawyer from the international projects division, has been appointed as general counsel, specialising in asset management and project development.

Ramsay and Cook are the only members of the original NP in-house team to relocate from Swindon to London with the company. Four lawyers from the international group took severance terms.

The department has taken on assistant solicitors to shore up the department from Freshfields, Clifford Chance and Berwin Leighton to work on projects, the main thrust of the new company.

The restructure is a result of the company spinning off its domestic operations on 2 October, which will now be housed under the name Innogy.

Mike Bowden, a former NP employee, is the new company secretary and director of legal and regulatory affairs at Innogy.

He replaces former company secretary Andrew Swanson and the head of legal Stuart Wheeler, who stepped down earlier this year (The Lawyer, 14 February). Swanson has taken severance pay but it remains unclear if he or Wheeler have secured positions elsewhere.

Linklaters & Alliance, led by corporate partner Tim Clarke, advised the company on the demerger. It has been NP’s main corporate adviser since its privatisation in 1991 (see “Deals”, p10).

Under the new structure, Clifford Chance, which has undertaken some projects work for NP in the past, has become the main corporate adviser to International Power. However, Linklaters will retain its links with Innogy, for which it is principal adviser.

Clifford Chance won the client after pitching against Allen & Overy and Freshfields. It is understood that Linklaters was not invited to tender for International Power.

Ramsay says: “It was not that Linklaters could not do the job for us. The directors just felt that they wanted to change things and make a new start.”

The firm has already picked up work from Innogy, NP’s domestic division, advising on its purchase of Independent Energy last month, and will continue to advise on projects work for International Power.

Linklaters corporate partner Charles Jacobs says: “We are extremely pleased that Innogy used us on its first major instruction. A demerger is like a divorce. You will usually lose one side.”