Simon Farrant is taking on the mantle of company secretary in addition to his role as senior legal adviser at precious metals and drugs company Johnson Matthey.
Farrant replaces Gordon Thorburn who is to retire because of ill health. He will officially take over at the company's annual general meeting in July.
Farrant remains head of Johnson Matthey's three-strong legal team.
The company expects Farrant to be admitted to the New York State Bar in July.
A spokesman for Johnson Matthey, says that the qualification will be useful, as 60 per cent of the company's profits and employees are based in the US.
FTSE 250-listed company Johnson Matthey, capitalised at u1.2bn, spends u2.5m on legal services, with Taylor Joynson Garrett and Herbert Smith as its law firm panelists.
Farrant joined Johnson Matthey as senior legal adviser in 1994 from Taylor Joynson Garrett, where he was an assistant solicitor.
He left the City firm after seven years, which included his articles.>