TSYS lures Global Switch GC for UK legal head role

Payments processing company Total Systems Services (TSYS) has snared Global Switch general counsel Solomon Osagie to head its new UK-based legal team.

Osagie will build the US company’s UK legal team from its current offering of three lawyers to oversee the non-US operations of the company.

“TSYS is a relatively new company to this part of the world and I’ve come in to develop its legal function in line with its planned growth across the globe,” said Osagie.

The UK legal team was created in January, with Atlanta-based corporate legal counsel Michael Peck being seconded to the UK to oversee its operations. The North American legal team previously oversaw all legal matters for the group.

Osagie will take over officially from Peck in mid-2008 and will report to head of legal Chip Bright in Atlanta and UK-based group executive Kelly Knutson.

Osagie said he is currently conducting a “complete legal audit” to identify and define the needs of the group, which has operations in Africa and Europe as well as in the US.

“Following this audit I’ll build the team and establish panels accordingly,” he said.

Last month TSYS’s US parent company Synovus Financial said it would divest its 80 per cent stake in US-listed TSYS in a planned spin-off to its shareholders.

At the time TSYS chief executive Phillip Tomlinson said that, by gaining independence from its parent company, TSYS would be able to use its stock and cash holdings to take on additional debt. He added that this would allow TSYS to make larger acquisitions than in the past and to further expand its European presence.

Tomlinson cited Spain, Italy, Germany and India as possible areas for expansion.