Newly-merged Pricewaterhouse Coopers maps out its legal team

A Coopers & Lybrand lawyer has beaten his Price Waterhouse colleague to the top legal job in the newly-merged Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

French lawyer Gerard Nicolay, Coopers' global head of legal, has been made global legal head at Pricwaterhouse Coopers, over the head of Ian Vaile, who held the equivalent post at Price Waterhouse, but who is nearing retirement.

However, lawyers from both sides of the newly merged firm claim they are playing an equal role in forging its legal strategy.

Other key legal appointments made last week saw Coopers' UK head of tax Paul Boorman – sponsor partner for associated UK firm Tite & Lewis – become head of the new combined tax and legal services group.

Bill Harrison-Cripps, Chris Arnheim's mentor at PW's law firm Arnheim & Co, will keep his job as head of European tax and legal services.

A new role for PW's former Head of European Legal, Paul Downing, who had been playing a pivotal role building PW's network of European firms, is still being finalised.

Boorman said: “Bill and I are working together in every way. I have met Paul Downing [but] I haven't had any discussions with him. I've been working 18 hours a day getting this merger done. We will be meeting in the next few weeks.”

He said that because people would be going away for the summer shortly, he did not expect the merger of Tite & Lewis and Arnheim & Co to happen until the autumn.