JP Morgan loses third senior in-house lawyer

US investment bank JP Morgan is losing its third senior in-house lawyer in five months.

Barbara Jones, regional counsel for capital markets for Europe, Middle East and Africa, is moving to the London office of US firm Kirkland & Ellis on 1 October.

No replacement has been found and it remains unclear who will handle the capital markets work in her absence.

In March, Allen Hanen, the investment bank's head of legal for Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Jim Wickenden, formerly head of legal for asset management services for Europe, were poached by Herbert Smith to join its international securities practice.

A source close to JP Morgan says the departures are likely to lead to some restructuring of the in-house legal function. A JP Morgan spokesman says a replacement will be found for Jones.”[Her departure] helps us to cement relationships with external firms. If she had gone to a competitor it would have worried us more,” he says.

Jones says she wants to be more involved in transactional work and will develop Kirkland & Ellis' capital markets practice.

“Their M&A and private equity base presents strong synergies with developing a more mainstream capital markets practice,” she says.

Luigi de Ghenghi, formerly head of legal at Euroclear, and Paul Scibetta, who has been transferred from the bank's Asia-Pacific region, replace Hanen and Wickenden.