GWR radio group hires ex-Castrol legal counsel

Regional radio giant GWR Group has hired its first ever head of legal from oil giant BP Amoco.

Richard Manning joins the company as group solicitor. GWR, which has a market capitalisation of £800m, owns 32 radio stations across the country, as well as national station Classic FM.

Manning was legal counsel at Burmah Castrol but was made redundant after last year's acquisition of the company by BP Amoco. He says: "The takeover of Burmah Castrol by BP meant there were too many lawyers for the available jobs." Manning, however, went straight from his former job to GWR.

GWR's principal external advisers are Nicholson Graham & Jones and Osborne Clarke. Nicholson Graham is the main corporate adviser, with Osborne Clarke acting on industry matters.

Manning says that assessing the roles of the two firms is high on his agenda. "It seems to work quite well, but it's something that I will be looking at," he says. "I plan to bring a focused approach to the provision and purchase of legal advice to ensure the company gets the best possible service at a competitive cost."

Manning will also look at the company's overseas operations and decide whether different firms are needed to cover its international requirements. He will also examine the internal needs.

Manning joined Burmah Castrol in 1993. He remains confident and relaxed about moving into a new, heavily regulated industry.

"I've always seen myself as a corporate and commercial lawyer," he says. "The industry specialism is useful once you get into the job, but commercial and corporate are transferable."