US hi-tech firm axes UK chief

FTSE 100 aerospace company LucasVarity's general counsel Russell Kelley

has been made redundant.

The move follows the company's takeover by US-based aerospace, automotive

and systems information technology group TRW.

Kelley left the company on Friday with no job to go to. TRW's existing

executive vice-president and general counsel Bill Lawrence takes over

Kelley's job.

According to Kelley: “There is only room for one general counsel – my

position has been made redundant by the takeover.

“They own us and they don't need two general counsels.”

He adds: “I am in the preliminary stages of looking for another position,

but I am open to staying in Europe and working as a general counsel here.”

Freshfields, which handled LucasVarity's corporate work, is another

casualty of the takeover, which took place in May. The acquisition spelled

the end of almost all of LucasVarity's corporate work in the UK, as

reported in The Lawyer (24 May).

Allen & Overy is likely to handle any remaining UK-based corporate work

since it represented TRW in the takeover talks.

However, LucasVarity's remaining legal team in the US and the UK remain

unaffected by the takeover.

Legal director Paul Almond and the team's remaining 13 lawyers who handle

the operations side of the business are to stay with the new TRW-owned


Kelley also expects TRW, which itself has a 45-strong team of in-house

lawyers – in the US, Germany and Brazil – to continue LucasVarity's use of

Eversheds and Pinsent Curtis to advise the company on its UK operational