Revealed: Lloyds Banking Group unveils group legal general counsel

Lloyds Banking Group has unveiled the name of its general counsel for group legal, parachuting corporate and M&A head Hugh Pugsley into the role in the latest in a series of senior legal management moves.


Pugsley succeeds former group legal GC Kate Cheetham, who was promoted to deputy general counsel earlier this year. As deputy to group GC Andrew Whittaker Cheetham is effectively second in command of the global bank’s legal function.

Pugsley steps into an influential position with a team of 60 lawyers working in the group. As group legal GC he will be responsible for advising the banking giant on financial reporting, M&A, corporate development, HR, and property.

Former Allen & Overy (A&O) associate Pugsley headed the corporate group for UBS’s MENA region before taking up the chief corporate and M&A job at Lloyds in 2010. He will report to Cheetham in his new role, which is thought to have already come into effect.

His promotion marks the latest management move inside Lloyds’ legal team.

Last week the bank picked up another senior UBS lawyer, UBS Wealth’s disputes chief Philippa Simmons. Simmons will  replace former disputes head Aamir Khan as head of legal disputes and contentious regulation (11 September 2013). Khan had left the bank in the summer for a GC role at Clutch Group (12 July 2013).

According to sources the hunt for a disputes chief within the retail and wealth team was complicated after The Lawyer revealed that Lloyds Banking Group was looking to outsource its retail & wealth and asset finance litigation teams to one of its panel firms (29 July 2013).

Irwin Mitchell was understood to be leading the pack, however insiders have since told The Lawyer that the process has been put on hold. 

Simmons’ hire was announced to staff in the same week that TSB split from parent group Lloyds, one of Britain’s biggest-ever banking shake-ups. According to sources a number of in-house lawyers at Lloyds Banking Group – still the technical owner of TSB until a buyer is found – are keen to transfer to the standalone bank, however TSB’s general counsel spot remains up for grabs (16 September 2013).

Lloyds did not provide a formal comment at the time of writing.