BAE Systems' new head of legal to squeeze value from law panel

A new head of legal at BAE Systems has pledged to examine his legal panel to ensure that he is getting the best value possible from the chosen firms

Michael Scrimgeour, previously a senior legal adviser at BAE Systems Aircraft Services Group, has been appointed legal director of a newly reorganised division, BAE Systems Regional Aircraft. He replaces Philip Perrotta, who was legal director of the Aircraft Services Group until October 2001, when he joined Eversheds' aviation department.
The decision to reorganise came in late November 2001 as a result of 11 Sept-ember and a slowdown in the economy. Production of the BAE RJX aircraft – a range of regional jet aircraft with 70-110 seats- also ceased that November.
Scrimgeour will now be responsible for managing a team of lawyers in various sites. He will be responsible for three lawyers in Washington DC, two in Hatfield and one in Woodford in Cheshire. He is currently recruiting lawyers for the Prestwick site. He will also sit on the senior management committee of Regional Air-craft under managing director Alan Fraser.

“I&#39ll be looking to leverage as much as possible, not only in relation to fees, but in other services”
Michael Scrimgeour, BAE

Scrimgeour is also responsible for the company's external law firms. “I'll be actively looking to leverage as much as possible from our law firms,” he said. “Not only in relation to fees, but in other services that firms can offer us.”
While much of the operating lease and finance work is done in-house, Scrimgeour also uses Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and CMS Cameron McKenna for this work. Linklaters has been instructed on disputes and Addleshaw Booth & Co for general commercial and supplier termination.
Aircraft Services Group has an office in Toulouse which undertakes marketing, sales and customer support for the RJX aircraft. It has now been proposed to shut this down and move the operation to BAE's Preswick site.
Roger Wiltshire, previously an aircraft finance lawyer at Aircraft Services Group, has been seconded to Toulouse to coordinate the French labour law issues.
Wiltshire is working alongside McDermott Will & Emery and French firm Flichy & Associés. The company also uses a variety of foreign firms, including Haight Gardner Poor & Havens in New York, Wistrand in Sweden and Ventura Garces & Lopez-ibor in Spain.