Land Securities kicks off search for legal chief

Land Securities has moved to recruit a group general counsel, becoming the first major property development company to have a dedicated commercial in-house legal function.

The FTSE100 company is one of the few property investment and development companies with any developed in-house legal function. Head of legal services Clive Ashcroft is primarily responsible for property-related legal issues.

The company is now looking for a group general counsel, to report to the company’s chief operating officer Mark Collins, to oversee corporate issues as well as litigation, employment and finance issues.

The initiative will be closely watched by Nabarro Nathanson, Land Securities chief property adviser, and Slaughter and May, which has been the company’s chief corporate adviser.

Both firms have taken the lead roles on advising the property company on its conversion to a real estate investment trust (REIT), a tax-efficient vehicle which comes into effect from 1 January, 2007.