Japanese investment bank Nomura International has shaken up its legal department just as European general counsel David Mee leaves for an unknown destination
Meanwhile, Tom O'Rior-dan, who left Nomura last July (The Lawyer, 3 June 2002) to join Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, will return to his old post as head of the transactional legal department. As first revealed on www.thelawyer.com/lawyernews (2 January), the transactional legal department will now report to non-lawyer David Benson, head of risk management. The department comprises 30 lawyers and deals with global fixed income, equity and investment banking work. The other 20 lawyers who make up the corporate legal department work on intellectual property and litigation issues. City observers view the move to make the legal function report to risk management as unusual. One magic circle partner said: "It seems to go against current trends." The Lawyer understands that, following JPMorgan's merger with Chase Manhattan, the transactional team started to report to the legal department.