Engineering giant ABB has poached a new general counsel from EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company).

Diane de Saint Victor joins ABB’s Zurich headquarters in January 2007, replacing previous incumbent John Scriven, whose departure from ABB was announced at the end of July 2006.

Scriven replaced Beat Hess at ABB three years ago after Hess was hired by Shell as its new general counsel.

Saint Victor leaves EADS after almost three years, having joined the company in May 2004 from German paper and hygiene products company Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget (SCA).

During her time at EADS Saint Victor led a team of around 120 lawyers in Paris and Munich as well as overseeing EADS’s worldwide legal function.

ABB president and chief executive Fred Kindle said in a statement that Saint Victor’s appointment was a reflection of the importance that ABB places in “excellence in legal and compliance matters”.