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Outsourcing company Mapeley has appointed its first in-house general counsel as part of a recruitment drive to consolidate its executive management
The appointment of Michael Wilson is a new step for Mapeley. Its in-house legal requirements were previously serviced by secondee Joe Conder, who has now returned to Linklaters. Wilson takes up the new role after 15 years at Wates City of London Properties, where he was legal adviser and company secretary. The company's key developments during that time included City Point, occupied by Simmons & Simmons, and Deutsche Bank's European investment banking base Winchester House. Wilson also advised Wates's board in conjunction with Clifford Chance, when the company was taken over by Pillar Property last year. Pillar lacks an in-house capability and Wilson was made redundant from his post. Wilson said his new role at Mapeley is a very general one. The role will include property, corporate and funding matters, overseeing litigation and advising on Mapeley's bids for fresh outsourcing contracts. He reports to Mapeley's executive board. Wilson said: "It's a fascinating organisation with some outstanding people and it's a real challenge. The job is very different from what I've done before, but with some commonalities. "My experience feeds through, but I'll be using it in a different way. This is a more senior role than I had before and that too brings challenges. It's very exciting." Mapeley's first outsourcing contract win was Steps, with the Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise, which was signed in March 2001. Mapeley also won the private sector's first outsourcing deal with the £460m Project Columbus sale-and-leaseback for Abbey National in 2000. Both deals generate plenty of ongoing legal work. Wilson said: "Their space requirements are growing and shrinking all the time. We're the preferred supplier and have an obligation to take space back within certain criteria, so there'll be a constant flow of issues from that." Mapeley's key legal relationship is with Linklaters, and Wilson said he is happy with that arrangement. Mapeley severed ties with its other longstanding adviser Nabarro Nathanson last year following a row over fees (The Lawyer, 10 September 2001). A number of firms handle local issues for Mapeley, including Wragge & Co and DLA. Wilson said he has no plans to change these arrangements, but may consider setting up a larger in-house team.