Barclays loses O'Connell to legal consultancy

O'Connell will leave the bank at the end of September, two years after taking on the role.
He will be replaced by Bjarnie Anderson, whose most recent role was as the director of operations in the Washington DC office of US law firm Pillsbury Winthrop.
Anderson will take over O'Connell's role in supporting the bank's business process and legal function, both in the UK and globally.
In the last 12 months, Barclays has completed a full-scale reorganisation of the legal function; O'Connell was responsible for the restructuring of the legal department in the wake of chief executive officer Matt Barrett's promise to double the bank's economic profit every four years.
O'Connell said that restructuring the team was a fantastic opportunity. “We took a fresh look at how legal risk was managed within Barclays, and reconfigured the internal legal team and the external law firms panel to deliver a focused, cost-effective, global legal function,” he said.
Barclays group general counsel Howard Trust said that O'Connell forced the legal function to become more business-focused.
“The next stage is to develop our knowledge management and business process to support the legal teams in delivering a first-class service to every part of the business worldwide,” he said.
DLA managing partner Nigel Knowles, who is also the Barclays relationship partner, said that O'Connell made a significant contribution to Barclays general counsel's relationship with external law firms.
“Barclays is now beginning to see the benefits,” he said. “O'Connell brought discipline to the panel scheme and forced people in the group business to respect it. There may have been a panel before, but it's only now that people are embracing the system.”
Prior to his role at Barclays, O'Connell was managing partner at Biddle (now Pinsent Curtis Biddle).
The principal consultant at Sherwood said that he is the first Sherwood consultant to have held a senior management position within a major corporate legal department. “This is a significant development for us,” she added.
Globally, the Barclays legal function has 220 lawyers and support staff.