A New Year and a new look for the Co-op

Some people start the New Year with a new haircut. The Co-op Group has opted for an altogether more radical look by completely overhauling the shape of its legal team.

Frankly it must come as a breath of fresh air after the seriously bumpy ride the Co-op endured last year. It identified a £1.5bn capital hole in the summer, then fought tooth and nail to hold onto its banking branch. Ultimately it ended up in the majority control of a bunch of US hedge funds.

Not only did the shift turn out to be a well-publicised PR nightmare, it also no doubt caused more than its fair share of headaches for the group’s legal chief, relative newbie Alistair Asher.

He and the Co-op bank’s new general counsel Brona McKeown have effectively been picking teams, sorting through the Co-op’s legal offering to figure out who works for whom. The final divide is a 60/40 split in favour of the group versus the bank, although the pair will now be doing some hiring to fill the gaps.

We’re sure they’ll be hoping for a quieter 2014, although with discussions just kicking off concerning the shape of future legal panels, it looks as if there’s plenty of wrangling still do be done at the Co-op.

P.S. Tonight is the Hot 100 party. Hope to see you there.

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