Northern Rock signs up Laurie Adams

Northern Rock has brought in ABN Amro’s former legal head as a non-executive director to steady the beleagured mortgage lender through its next difficult chapter.

Laurie Adams, who was global head of legal and compliance for the investment banking wholesale division of ABN Amro, will sit on Northern Rock’s board. He will not be giving legal advice but his selection relied heavily on his background as an in-house banking lawyer, The Lawyer understands.

Adams will be keeping his full-time job as a consultant at legal advisory group Outside Insight. As well as his time at ABN, Adams was Citigroup’s first European general counsel.

He originally trained at Allen & Overy (A&O) and founded Outside Insight this summer with Jeremy Thomas, a former A&O partner.

His appointment comes at a time of uncertainty for the stricken lender, which last weekend (25 November) selected a Virgin-led consortium, advised by A&O, as its preferred bidder.

Insiders told The Lawyer that the Rock is mindful of the risk of shareholder action.

The Rock’s chairman Bryan Sanderson said in a statement: “I believe Laurie has the right experience to help Northern Rock through its ongoing strategic review.”