The former Linklaters partner who joined Unilever’s in-house practice in 2007 will replace longstanding legal chief Steve Williams who is set to retire later this year.
Unilever inhouse lawyer Neil Fletcher will succeed Lovell as head of the company’s UK and Ireland legal practice.
As head of Unilever’s global legal function, Lovell will be reposible for the company’s 200-strong legal team as well as advising the company’s board and executive.
Unilever said there would be a transition period before Lovell takes over the position full-time. She will report to Unilever chief executive Paul Polman.
Williams has been at the helm of Unilever’s legal function since 1993 having joined the company from ICI in 1986.