Astronomical ride as Wizz Air, FastJet and Nasa make legal changes

In-house teams have taken to the skies this week, with the legal departments over at Wizz Air, FastJet and Nasa all seeing changes at the top.

Let’s start with budget airline Wizz Air, which has decided to glide its HR, communications and PR responsibilities over to general counsel Owain Jones. No doubt there will be turbulence ahead – Wizz Air has faced a string of bad press this year following claims that none of its London Luton to Budapest flights had left on time since June 2013. Ouch.

While Jones tries to change the atmosphere over at Wizz Air, space agency Nasa has switched general counsel for the first time in a decade. Nasa’s deputy general counsel Sumara Thompson-King is taking on the top job, following the retirement of current GC Michael Wholley.

At lower altitude, African airline FastJet has brought in former Clyde & Co partner Krista Bates van Winkelhof – the whistleblower who claimed she was dismissed from Clydes for blowing the whistle on a colleague in 2011- as group general counsel.

No doubt the trio will quickly get the hang of it.

Also on

Lucy Burton
  • The Department for Transport’s former general counsel, Christopher Muttukumaru, has taken up tenancy at Monckton Chambers
  • Weir Group’s Keith Ruddock hones his belief that lawyers work close to the coalface at Shell, and now applies that ethos to help the Scottish engineering conglomerate grow
  • Barclays has overhauled its legal function to create a streamlined global litigation group reporting directly to its general counsel and has also launched a new global financial crime team
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