Another Shell shock as HR chief takes on legal

With just one week to go before Peter Rees QC leaves oil giant Shell, HR chief Hugh Mitchell has been put in charge of Shell’s 135-strong global legal team.

No pressure, this is just a $467bn (£290bn) business with estimated production levels of oil and gas equivalent to three million barrels a day.

Shell is no stranger to legal challenges, but here’s some good news for Mitchell – he won’t have to give up the day job.

Using his HR skills to track down Rees’s replacement, Mitchell is only taking on the role until a new legal boss is found, all done with the helping hand of corporate general counsel Michiel Brandjes. Less of a shell shock after all, then.

While Mitchell will surely get plenty of star applicants for Rees’s replacement, he’ll have to keep in mind that the business has reduced its legal spend by 61 per cent in the last five years – from $330m to $128m. Ouch.

And now to relax – dip your tea and biscuits into our in-house interview Shell: taking the power back.

Also on The Lawyer:

  • Nigel Savage– the visionary, combative and at times controversial president of the University of Law – is to retire from his post this spring after 18 years in the top slot, the institution announced today
  • King & Wood Mallesons(KWM) has seen two IP partners exit the firm in Melbourne, taking their 13-strong team to rival Minter Ellison
  • High-profile competition partner Julian Ellison has left Ashurst’s Brussels office to join Mayer Brown’s antitrust and competition team

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