BA to boost competition law capacity

British Airways (BA) is bolstering its in-house legal team with the appointment of a senior competition lawyer.

It is understood that the appointed lawyer will advise on a range of regulatory matters and will have autonomous control of the area.

The new head of legal will also have responsibility for coordinating BA's outside lawyers in Brussels, the US and worldwide.

However, it is not clear how the appointment will affect those panel firms which currently handle competition law for the company.

The law firms concerned include Linklaters, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Slaughter and May and Simmons & Simmons.

Romano Subiotto, partner specialising in EU law at Cleary's Brussels office, says: “As far as I understand they are looking for someone to organise all the regulatory matters in BA but I do not think the need for external advisers will diminish.”

He adds: “I think for a company as large as BA there is a definite need for a solid competition lawyer within the enterprise.”

The appointment will make up the number of in-house lawyers to 10.

BA declined to comment as The Lawyer went to press.