Research In Motion scraps UK GC role

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) has ditched the role of UK general counsel and reshuffled its legal structure.

The company has abandoned its hierarchy, electing instead to go for a flat structure in which all lawyers report into general counsel Karima Bawa at RIM’s headquarters in Waterloo, Canada.

RIM lost UK general counsel Adam Feare to internet telephony company SpinVox last year and decided to implement the new flat structure rather than replace him.

The company has hired two commercial lawyers to join legal counsel Michelle Shamtally in the UK. The company has lawyers in Waterloo and Texas, with its European legal team base in Slough.

RIM’s commercial and corporate work will be handled in-house, whereas IP will be outsourced.

RIM is often involved in patent litigation over its mobile email system. Last year RIM instructed Allen & Overy IP head Nicola Dagg to handle UK patent litigation against technology company Visto Corporate.