Sabre buyout instigates counsel change at lastminute.com

INTERNET travel company lastminute.com has named Sanjay Lobo as legal director following David Hickson’s resignation following the July 2005 takeover by US travel technology giant Sabre Holdings.

Lobo was Sabre’s senior lawyer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa and head of legal for Travelocity Europe, Sabre’s flagship company.

He reports to Travelocity’s global general counsel Sterling Miller, who is based in Dallas.

Lobo plans to bring more corporate and employment work in-house and rely less on external counsel. “Previously, external counsel was used a lot and the legal department didn’t have a lot of involvement in commercial activities, but I’m keen to see that change,” Lobo said.

Bird & Bird will continue to be used for IP work, while Herbert Smith was favoured for major corporate deals and litigation, while Tarlo Lyons is also on the radar. Slaughter and May has previously handled employment work for the company.

Lobo heads a team of three, which besides himself comprises IP solicitor Sophie Williamson and litigation barrister Rachel Howell.