Weight Watchers’ assistant general counsel Richard Reade puts on new role at Coats

Thread and zips manufacturer Coats has appointed senior Weight Watchers lawyer Richard Reade as deputy general counsel, following the appointment of its first-ever general counsel from Lloyds.

Richard Reade
Richard Reade

Reade was appointed this month from his role as assistant general counsel (international) of Weight Watchers, where he had been for two and a half years (3 February 2012).

Reade’s experience is mainly within international operations as part of a global legal team. In his role at Weight Watchers he was in charge of the international field operations, HR, marketing and advertising, licensing, publishing and products, privacy and security, general contracts and litigation.

He joined Weight Watchers from ISS Facility Services, where he spent five years as general counsel.

A spokesperson for Coats told The Lawyer that Reade’s appointment is in addition to that of assistant general counsel Christine Wu and is part of the business’s strategy to grow its in-house legal team.   

The company confirmed that Lloyds Banking Group’s former retail and wealth general counsel Stuart Morgan will start at Coats next month, becoming the company’s first general counsel (7 May 2014).

The decision to bring in a senior legal team comes months after Coats, the world’s biggest maker of industrial thread, pulled in HMRC chairman Mike Clasper to head up the business. Owner Guinness Peat Group has plans to float the company on the London Stock Exchange this year.