Nationwide hires HSBC GC Keith Ford to replace Kelly

Nationwide Building Society has named HSBC’s global general counsel Keith Ford as the replacement to its longstanding general counsel Liz Kelly.

Kelly, who was appointed general counsel in 2007, resigned in October but remained in her post to oversee the introduction of a delayed general panel review (13 October 2013). Her second in command, deputy general counsel Claire Morris, was originally thought to be the front-runner for the job.

Kelly has now left the business, with Ford expected to start within Nationwide’s compliance leadership team in July.

The building society’s legal team consists of around 50 lawyers, with the general counsel in charge of eight departments – these being corporate, employment, litigation, capital markets, property retail and commercial, consumer finance and membership issues. 

In January Nationwide cut its panel of advisers to four after dropping Olswang, Nabarro and Burges Salmon from its roster (31 January 2014). The building society sent tender invitations to firms at the end of September to fill the coveted spots on its panel following the decision to delay the process back in March (4 March 2013).

It marked Nationwide’s first general panel review since its inaugural panel launch in 2009, when Allen & Overy, Burges Salmon, Eversheds, Nabarro and Olswang all obtained places (14 July 2009).

For more on Nationwide, see our 2012 interview with Kelly, Mutual Benefits.