ABN Amro institutes legal shake-up

ABN Amro is set to radically overhaul its legal function to bring it in the line with the Dutch bank’s new group structure.

Under the new structure, all of ABN’s in-house lawyers, including deputy group general counsel John Collins, will report either directly or indirectly to the bank’s highly-rated group general counsel Eva Simon Thomas.

In his new role, Collins will take over responsibility for all of the products in ABN’s business units. Previously, he was responsible for just ABN’s investment banking business.

The new structure will also result in the launch of a 12-strong global legal management team, covering both the regions and banks. In addition to Collins, members of the group will include general counsel for global markets (investment banking) Roger Munger, general counsel for services (IT/IP/operations/outsourcing and insourcing) Helen Short and general counsel for Europe Mehran Behvandi.

The remit of the group is to ensure effective sharing of expertise and knowhow between the lawyers between ABN’s regional hubs and products.

Collins said: “The reorganisation of the legal team, with ABN to be more effectively networked and to leverage off product expertise, marks the next important step in the growth of a team that’s dynamic and energetic.”

The new structure will go live on 1 January 2006.