India’s ICICI appoints City-based legal director

India’s largest private bank ICICI has posted its first permanent legal director in London after massively expanding its UK services.

Priti Shetty now heads the legal function of ICICI UK, after being parachuted in from the Mumbai headquarters of India’s second-largest bank.

The news comes after the announcement that ICICI would enter the personal loan, insurance and current account market in the UK. Earlier this month it also announced that it was strengthening its Russian presence by opening in St Petersburg.

Shetty oversees legal affairs across the UK, Canada, Russia and the US, reporting directly to ICICI’s legal team in India, which boasts 120 in-house lawyers. She is primary English-law counsel to that team.

She said that, as part of the expansion plans, she is looking to hire another UK-based lawyer and a paralegal.

Her main focus will be on Treasury and derivatives work, said Shetty, who is qualified in India and England and Wales.

India and Indian companies have been in the sights of City and US firms as they target outward investment.

Firms with historic relationships with the bank include Allen & Overy, Covington & Burling, Eversheds and Linklaters.

Shetty has not set up a panel of legal advisers and is open to using firms beyond the magic circle.

“We’ve found that mid-size firms can give us very incisive advice that’s cost-effective,” she said.