Rolls-Royce hires ex-Herbies chief Gold for corporate governance review

Former Herbert Smith senior partner David Gold has been hired by Rolls-Royce to lead a review of its corporate governance structure.

David Gold
David Gold

Gold, a Tory peer, has been drafted in a year after the company was approached by the SFO for information about alleged malpractice in Indonesia and China.

Gold will work alongside Rolls-Royce general counsel Robert Webb QC, who joined the company last February (20 February 2012).

Debevoise & Plimpton has been hired to lead the internal investigation into the allegations. The firm’s team includes partner Peter Goldsmith QC, who is currently also acting for businessman Vincent Tchenguiz in his legal battles with the SFO (4 December 2012).

Longstanding adviser Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is also providing advice to the firm on the investigation.

Gold is widely considered one of London’s most influential litigators and he has picked up a raft of high-profile instructions since he quit legacy Herbert Smith in December 2010 after 37 years.

In January 2011 he launched his own litigation consultancy aimed at finding resolutions for long-running complex disputes (31 January 2011).

He was then enlisted by Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich in his defence of a $6bn case brought against him by Boris Berezovsky (1 November 2011). Last year the Conservative Party appointed him to lead an inquiry into a funding row after the party’s co-treasurer was filmed offering private dinners with the Prime Minister in return for cash (27 March 2011).

While at Herbert Smith Gold was appointed as independent corporate monitor at BAE Systems, a Rolls-Royce competitor (31 August 2010). In that role the veteran litigator was responsible for monitoring an agreement between the company and the US Department of Justice that was drawn up in 2010 following an investigation into the company’s contract payments that resulted in a £250m fine.

He led the review and evaluated the company’s reporting policies and procedures, and submitted reports to the Justice Department.

For more on David Gold see here