Standard Chartered unites legal teams

Standard Chartered Bank has overhauled its in-house legal function by combining the wholesale banking legal team with the central legal function.

The legal group and wholesale banking legal team comprise 32 and 60 lawyers respectively. The combined team will be headed by group head of legal James Ellington, who took on the role in December 2006.

Ellington said: “Bringing together the wholesale banking specialists and the legal group creates a more cohesive team and a better approach to dealing with the range of legal risks Standard Chartered deals with all the time.”

The move comes just two months before the head of the wholesale banking legal team Jeremy Walsh retires in September. Mark Badger will take over from Walsh and will become group head of legal and wholesale banking. It was Walsh’s retirement that prompted Ellington to review the way the team operated.

Last year former legal head David Brimacombe transferred to Dubai and has set up a global reporting system that has helped the bank link up various litigation cases.

Ellington told The Lawyer: “There have been a number of changes in Standard Chartered’s legal team. We’ve all worked hard to create a structure that’s aligned with the wider business and the growth of the bank for the future.”

The legal group will continue to operate via its established sub-teams of IT, IP, policy, dispute resolution, M&A and HR. The wholesale banking team will become another division in the group.

The new combined group will create a more streamlined function that is appropriate for the future expansion of the bank.