BA legal boss takes on a broader remit

British Airways (BA) head of legal Maria da Cunha is set to extend her role following the departure of the director of government and industry affairs Andrew Cahn.

Cahn quit his position after six years to become chief executive officer of government body UK Trade & Investment.

BA has opted not to recruit a replacement, instead increasing the responsibilities of its legal director da Cunha, who will become head of government and legal affairs on 1 April.

As head of legal, da Cunha will continue to report to BA’s general counsel Robert Webb QC.

Webb told The Lawyer: “I’m confident [da Cunha] will retain the team’s reputation as being the best in the industry.”

The reshuffle comes after BA chief executive Willie Walsh, who replaced Rod Eddington on 1 October last year, announced plans to make BA leaner and more efficient. He has already axed 600 managerial posts.

Formerly competition head at BA, da Cunha took over as legal director in 2002. She trained as a barrister but later joined Lovells as a corporate lawyer. Da Cunha left for Lloyd’s of London in 1996 and joined BA in 2000.