Fujitsu frees up European counsel

IT provider Fujitsu Services is revamping its European legal strategy, ­giving more autonomy to local general counsel and hiring its first full-time lawyer in Portugal.

Fujitsu Services has hired Pedro Dias, an IP/IT lawyer at Uría Menéndez, to lead the company’s legal effort in Portugal.

The company will not replace Jason Nield, the former head of legal for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, who left for SJ Berwin in May after six years with Fujitsu Services. Nield’s tasks will be split between local ­counsel in European jurisdictions and legal ­director Jonathan Smith.

The changes are part of a move to give local lawyers more control.
Smith said: “We won’t replace Jason like-for-like because of this evolution, deciding there was scope to give lawyers in those ­countries greater control.

“It’s a much lighter touch, but ;it’s ;definitely ;an ­evolution rather than a ­revolution.

“When you’ve got lawyers of Pedro’s calibre coming into the business, you give them as much autonomy as possible.”

Fujitsu Services has expanded its legal team over the past year by taking on former Linde in-house lawyer Roger Williams at the end of 2007 to handle dispute resolution.