FORMER British Petroleum legal chief Ken Walder has taken charge of British Airways' in-house department.
Walder, a barrister, has been appointed legal director in place of Mervyn Walker who is now the director of purchasing and supply.
Walder also takes over as secretary from Gail Redwood who, at her own request, is resuming her role as deputy secretary.
Called to the Bar in 1966, Walder joined British Petroleum's exploration department the following year.
In 1979 he became deputy head of legal and took over as group legal adviser in 1982. Walder spent a further two years as group general counsel before standing down and working on a consultancy basis from 1993.
Walder will be in charge of nine lawyers working in a centralised BA department.
He rules out an immediate review of the running of the department which he says “on initial observation” appears to be working “very smoothly and satisfactorily”.
During the last year, Walder has been working on the disposal of BP's nutrition business.
One of the reasons he stood down as general counsel was because he had been edging away from law and towards administrative and managerial responsibility.
“I wanted to get back to more hands-on transactional work,” he says.