Barclays overhauls legal team to create global litigation and financial crime group

Barclays has overhauled its legal function to create a streamlined global litigation group reporting directly to its general counsel and has also launched a new global financial crime team.

The bank has promoted current senior lawyer Stephanie Pagni to a newly created role as global litigation head and put current litigation and investigations director Jonathan Peddie in charge of the beefed-up global financial crime unit.

Pagni will now report directly to general counsel Bob Hoyt and will sit on the executive committee. She was previously in charge of litigation for corporate and investment banking, one of three business areas that have now been realigned into a single global group.

Peddie will continue to report to Barclays deputy general counsel Michael Shaw. The litigator has spent the past three years as managing director of litigation and special investigations (24 May 2010).

The bank’s new global financial crime group will now take on all financial crime work, which will be split off from the rest of the litigation function as well as bribery and corruption and money-laundering matters.

The group will work closely with compliance and risk in response to the growing pressure on the bank from the growth in internal and white-collar investigations.

Peddie will take up the role in September after a three-month break beginning next week. During his break new EMEA head of financial crime Claire McLeod will head the group.

Barclays’ mass reorganisation was unveiled internally by new general counsel Bob Hoyt, who joined the bank last October (20 August 2013). Hoyt, a former White House lawyer, is understood to have outlined his plan to streamline the legal team earlier this year but only launched the new structure this week.

The two new units are part of a wider plan to move away from the legal team’s current split. The team is currently divided between wealth management, retail banking and corporate and investment banking groups, which sees lawyers reporting to deputy general counsel for each area. The bank has been moving towards a more streamlined structure for over a year as part of a wider strategy within the bank.

All litigation teams will now report to Hoyt and Shaw through Pagni and Peddie, bringing control directly underneath the new general counsel.

The bank has started recruiting for a regional head of litigation for EMEA to take on Pagni’s current EMEA responsibilities. It is also on the hunt for lawyers to join the expanding financial crime unit.

It is the latest wave of change for the bank’s legal team, which overhauled its legal panel at the end of last year. The bank launched its long-anticipated review after a 12-month extension and created a two-pronged structure with preferred and approved legal advisers (18 December 2013).

Barclays has come under increasing pressure from court cases and investigations in recent years. It settled a Libor-related case with Guardian Care Homes earlier this year (8 April 2014) and is currently facing a case against partners from now-defunct firm Dewey & LeBoeuf (4 March 2014).