Reuters appoints new head of legal in international internal restructure

Reuters has undergone an internal restructuring, resulting in a shifting of the legal roles

Andrew Garard is now head of legal, reporting to Stephen Mitchell, who remains the main contact for the board of directors.
After the promotion of Tom Glocer to chief executive officer (CEO) in July 2001, the existing Reuters model was put under the microscope and new strategies have been put in place.
Mitchell was made head of the risk management group at Reuters, which comprises legal, corporate governance, internal audits, ethics and compliance, and commercial risk. Each has its own non-legal head who reports directly to Mitchell.
“We decided to put in place a new role and needed someone to head the legal department,” says Mitchell, “Andrew has picked that up.”
Reuters has a legal presence in 10 locations, which are split into four geographical areas, all headed by Garard. He is responsible not only for the company’s 20 lawyers in the UK, but nine in Europe, 20 in the US and eight in Asia. Previously, all of the divisions had reported to Mitchell.
Garard is also head of a division named Contract Strategy, which looks at the contracts formed with Reuters’ customers. The contract strategy team has managed to condense the contracts by 50 per cent since its inception 18 months ago.
Reuters does much of its legal work in-house. It took on an employment specialist Jo-Ann Semple from DJ Freeman in 2000 to complete the picture of competition, M&A, litigation, technology and data protection lawyers.
When work is outsouced, there is no fixed panel to speak of, instead, a variety of firms are instructed based on the reputation of individuals. The company uses Nigel Boardman at Slaughter and May for M&A work, Vanessa Marsland at Clifford Chance for intellectual property, IT and some antitrust work, and Peter Dickinson at Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw, also for M&A and some day-to-day Treasury work.
In the US, the pattern is much the same. Reuters uses a combination of firms including Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, Sullivan & Cromwell, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Cravath Swaine & Moore. In September 2001, Reuters completed a £30m acquisition of Bridge Information Systems, which had gone into bankruptcy. On this deal it used its New York lawyers Weil Gotshal & Manges.