Barclays deputy GC leads the race in scramble to replace Harding

Barclays deputy general counsel Michael Shaw is understood to be leading the race to replace Mark Harding as the bank’s legal chief.

Michael Shaw

Shaw is being considered for the group general counsel role, as is Judith Shepherd, global general counsel for corporate and investment banking. Neither are thought to have formally applied, but the duo are said to have thrown their hats in the ring.

Both were tipped for the position after the announcement of Harding’s exit in February (11 February 2013), with senior Barclays figures now said to be expecting Shaw’s appointment later this year.

Headhunters are understood to be compiling lists of outside options from rivals or private practice, but the shift of opinion is now in favour of an internal appointment.

The new legal boss is expected to be revealed in the next few months, especially if an in-house lawyer is promoted.

Shaw, a former Herbert Smith partner, and ex-Stephenson Harwood and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher partner Shepherd are Barclays’ two most senior in-house lawyers.

Others working under them, such as Barclays Capital general counsel and ex-Ashurst partner Erica Handling and global retail and business banking general counsel Mark Edwards, are now said to be less likely candidates.

Harding resigned after ten years at the UK lender, which he joined from Clifford Chance in 2005 (4 February 2013). In March it emerged he had cashed in a share bonus worth £3.6m out of a total share award of £3.77m (20 March 2013).

For more on the runners and riders for the Barclays general counsel position, see news analysis