Jaguar sale sees legal function overhauled

The company is ­launching its own IP group in the UK to cover patent and invention law while also bolstering its teams in Brazil, China and the US.

Benjamin, who was appointed group legal director for the iconic British carmaker in ­February 2009, is charged with spearheading the global changes.

Jaguar’s legal function had previously been ­subsumed into Ford’s larger global team before the US giant sold the company to Tata in March 2008.

The past six months has seen Jaguar hire Roberto Martini to head the Brazil legal team and Yin Yun Yu to do the same in China. In the US Anna-Lisa Corrales was hired last year to lead the team, with two more lawyers expected to join shortly.

In the UK the company is adding to an existing team of three with the appointment of its first patent attorney on a contract basis. There is also a plan to add a number of permanent appointments to the team.

“It’s an exciting job,” said Benjamin. “We’re filling the void that was once provided for by the Ford team.

“We want to bring as much work as we can in-house and set up centres of excellence in various areas of legal expertise. The strategy’s about servicing the global company and bringing it under one umbrella.”

Herbert Smith is ­currently Jaguar’s go-to firm for external advice.