Thomsons takes on in-house technology lawyer

Leisure giant Thomson Travel Group has appointed its first in-house IT specialist.

Karen Goh has joined the company from Masons. Her appointment comes after a radical overhaul of Thomsons' legal function last summer.

Until then the group had separate legal provisions for each division, such as Britannia Airways, Thomson Holidays and Lunn Poly.

But under plans initiated by group general counsel Richard Churchill-Coleman, a central legal division was established (The Lawyer, 31 July).

Part of the overhaul was to appoint a team of in-house specialists in IT, aviation, employment and property – Goh is the first one to be appointed. Her remit will include IT, intellectual property, e-commerce and data protection.

Goh joined Masons 15 months ago from Herbert Smith. “I really like doing my work, but partnership takes you into a different dimension,” she says. “A lot of solicitors think that's what they should strive towards, but the lifestyle element is very important to me and I began to realise that private practice was not want I wanted.”

As well as providing legal advice, Goh will take on a management strategy role that will see her working on the forthcoming panel reviews with Churchill-Coleman.

Although the reviews for the specialist panels will not begin until all the in-house roles have been filled, Goh says there are a range of firms she is already interested in. Masons, she says, is a possibility.

It is understood that Churchill-Coleman will shortly begin a review of Thomsons' central panel. Core firms used by the group include Allen & Overy and Norton Rose.