Nomura loses transaction head amid legal reshuffle

Japanese investment bank Nomura International has lost the head of its transaction management office as it overhauls its entire legal function.

Linda Sutherland, who headed the bank’s 30 to 40-lawyer heavy transaction management department, has left to set up her own consultancy.

The department, which is responsible for advising the bank’s financial product groups, including derivatives and corporate finance, will now be led by David Benson.

Benson will take responsibility for the group while continuing to oversee the risk management department.

The new director, legal is Makoto Kojiro, who was previously head of legal. Kojiro reports to David Mee, who became head of legal when Stephen Ball, general counsel and managing director, left the bank in February. After a couple of months break he joined US firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.

Previously both Kojiro and Mee both reported to Ball.

It is understood that Sutherland headed the transaction management department for 14 years. Her reasons for leaving the bank are unclear.

One source says: “I think that she wanted to move on to bigger and greener pastures. It is a very buoyant market for financial service consultants at the moment and her skills are in demand.”

While Sutherland is not a lawyer, she was responsible for negotiating contracts at all levels. Her remit included being both a project and risk manager by identifying legal risk as part of complex contracts.

Benson takes on responsibility for the department as the bank is embroiled in a number of high-profile deals.

It is battling with Western Power Distribution for Welsh utility company Hyder after the US giant trumped Nomura’s offer of 260p a share by offering 300p.

The Japanese bank is also one of the bidders for the troubled Millennium Dome. It is currently fighting with Legacy UK for the Dome, which was handed £738m by the Government to remain open before being sold off to a private company.