ISS adds to sole in-houser with swoop for Total solicitor

International facility service provider ISS has beefed up its UK legal team via a hire from oil giant Total, and plans further expansion in the coming months.

Until now the legal function has numbered just one, with general counsel Richard Reade taking responsibility for all legal issues. In a newly created role, Elena Zachariou, formerly a solicitor in Total UK’s legal team, will join as UK legal counsel in January.

Zachariou’s main focus will be overseeing contractual work, freeing up Reade to update the company’s risk management system and take more of a management role.

ISS clients include Lloyd’s of London, Tube Lines and Hampton Court Palace, the contracts of which Zachariou will be reviewing.

The company has also hired paralegal James Cooper, who is due to start a training contract with go-to firm Pinsent Masons in 2009. This hiring strategy is likely to be repeated in the future.

ISS, which has grown significantly through acquisition in recent years, outsources all legal work relating to employment contracts and corporate transactions, running up a bill of £1m last year. The intention is to bring some of these functions in-house.