New Computer Associates legal chief to review panel

Software house Computer Associates has recruited Novell’s head of legal for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea) Nitin Maru as its new Emea legal chief.

Software house Computer Associates has recruited Novell’s head of legal for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea) Nitin Maru as its new Emea legal chief.

Maru takes charge of a growing 14-lawyer EMEA team and one of his first tasks will be to review the company’s outside counsel.

“There are plans to review our law firms once the fiscal year ends in April,” Maru confirmed.

Computer Associates’ key UK firms are Bond Pearce for corporate work, Boyes Turner for property and Olswang for employment.

Maru’s appointment completes a revamp of the company’s legal team following an accounting scandal, which resulted in the exit of previous general counsel Steven Woghin. Maru’s new boss Kenneth Handal took over in June 2004 and has managed to raise the profile of the legal department.

“There were fundamental changes, of which my appointment is indicative,” explains Maru. “The legal team in Europe was previously mainly responsible for commercial contracts, but it’s now involved in the whole business of Computer Associates.”

Maru spent 10 years at Novell and his move has prompted the IT company to move the centre of its EMEA legal operations to Germany with the promotion of Djamel Souici to Maru’s old role. Despite this, Souici is preaching continuity and will not review his key outside counsel of Clifford Chance and Lovells.

Souici said: “Nitin has put an effective legal structure in place. It’s a business-driven philosophy that works very well.”