Siemens’ top lawyer resigns as management board cuts GC role

Siemens general counsel Peter Solmssen is to leave the group next month as the top legal job is axed from the management board.

General counsel of industry sector Andreas Hoffmann, a former partner for Baker & McKenzie and Ashurst, will take over the top legal role from January 2014.

However he will not sit on the management board, with board-level decisions in the area of legal and compliance to instead be made by CEO Joe Kaeser.

A statement from Siemens said that Solmssens move was by mutual agreement. He has been in the role since 2007, having previously been a general counsel at General Electric and managed the Frankfurt office of US firm Morgan Lewis Bockius. 

The move follows the group’s appointment of UK and north west Europe general counsel Claire Carless from Vodafone last year (6 March 2012). She now heads a team of over 80 lawyers and contract managers and six compliance staff in the UK.

Carless went on to complete a review of Siemens UK panel firms, which was completed earlier this year (14 January 2013). The move gave new panel places to Eversheds and Osborne Clarke, joining Reed Smith on a three-firm panel that had been cut down from six.

Firms that have advised the company in the past on a global basis include Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, with Linklaters winning a first-time M&A role for Siemens on its acquisition of its £1.7bn acquisition of UK engineering group Invensys’s rail division (28 November 2012).