Severfield – Rowen appoints first-ever legal boss

Structural steel firm Severfield-Rowen, which provided steel for London’s Shard building and the 2012 Olympic stadium, has appointed its first in-house lawyer in the shape of former Pinsent Masons partner Mark Sanderson.

Sanderson took up the newly-created role of group head of legal last month, an announcement that came weeks after Severfield hired new chief executive Ian Lawson from Kier Group. Executive chairman John Dodds, the former CEO of Kier who is running the group on an interim basis after former boss Tom Haughey stood down, was behind both hires.

Sanderson was a projects partner at Pinsent Masons for more than a decade, before joining Walker Morris’s partnership in 2006. He was most recently the group legal director for utility contractor Enterprise, which merged with Oxford-based Amey in April this year (29 April 2013).

Sanderson was responsible for integrating the two legacy legal teams which together comprised 16 to 17 staff, while Amey’s head of legal Wayne Robertson took the group legal director role in charge of the merged team. 

As Severfield’s only in-house lawyer Sanderson will continue to use the group’s external lawyers for specialist legal advice, with firms used by the group including Ashurst, Eversheds and RPC. He said there was no panel review in the pipeline. The main areas of focus will be risk management, contracting and dispute management.

Sanderson will sit on the executive committee alongside Lawson. The revamped boardroom is expected to turn UK operations around after the group reportedly lost millions of pounds on a raft of contracts, including overruns on the Leadenhall Building in the City.