Clarks Shoes legal chief returns to Veale Wasbrough for City push

Veale Wasbrough Vizards has rehired former partner Sue Malthouse, who returns to the firm after 18 months at Clarks Shoes as group director of legal and company secretary.

Sue Malthouse
Sue Malthouse

Malthouse has a long history of working for both Veale Wasbrough and Clarks. She first began practising at the firm’s Bristol office in 1980 before joining Clarks in 1991, initially to provide legal support to the company’s property team and latterly working as in-house lawyer to the IT department.

She left Clarks in 2005 to return to private practice at Veale Wasbrough, but subsequently opted to go in-house again at Clarks in May 2011 as group head of legal and company secretary.

Clarks confirmed that she left the company on 2 November and has since joined Veale Wasbrough’s London office to further boost the firm’s commercial offering.

Commenting on her new role, Malthouse said: “I first joined the firm in 1980 and have seen it grow through interesting and exciting times. My new role is to support and develop the growing commercial work for the firm, based in the London office. The firm is seeing a growth in this area, particularly for our work in higher education. I’ll be drawing on my 15 years of in-house experience and my long acquaintance with the firm.”

It is understood that Clarks is still looking for a replacement for Malthouse and it is expected that her successor will be announced by the end of the year.

Clarks finance director Robin Beacham said: “We’re hugely appreciative of Sue’s contribution to Clarks over the years. She leaves with our best wishes for the future.”

Malthouse’s appointment follows a number of recent high-profile hires at Veale Wasbrough. In April this year the firm’s London office hired former Henry Hughes & Hughes senior partner and property specialist Mark Hughes and last year former Bevan Brittan commercial litigator Ed Husband joined the firm to head the Bristol office’s recovery and restructuring team.

She is also not the only in-house lawyer to join the firm’s ranks in recent months. In July Bristol City Council in-house legal adviser Edward Reynolds joined Veale Wasbrough as an associate in its procurement team, covering both the firm’s Bristol and London offices (23 July 2012).

In July this year the firm announced that it was in merger discussions with Hewitsons, which has offices in Cambridge, Northampton and Milton Keynes (5 July 2012). Veale Wasbrough is the product of a tie-up between legacy Veale Wasbrough and London firm Vizards Tweedle (10 July 2009).