Nationwide GC Liz Kelly quits weeks after panel review kicks off

Nationwide Building Society general counsel Liz Kelly is leaving the building society to spend more time with her family just weeks after Nationwide launched its delayed general panel review.

Liz Kelly
Liz Kelly

A spokesperson said Kelly, who was appointed general counsel in 2007, will remain in her post to oversee the introduction of the revised legal panel. A replacement hasn’t yet been chosen, though Kelly’s second in command is deputy general counsel Claire Morris.

The building society’s legal team consists of around 50 lawyers, with Kelly in charge of eight departments – these being corporate, employment, litigation, capital markets, property retail and commercial, consumer finance and membership issues.

In 2011 she launched a Nationwide legal academy for high-performers with 4-8 years PQE. She said in an interview with The Lawyer that the aim was to help in-house lawyers who, by this point, “have the technical bit under their belt” and may be wondering if being general counsel is the career goal for them.

A spokesperson said her exit would not impact Nationwide’s panel review process.

The building society sent tender invitations to firms at the end of September to fill the coveted spots on its panel following the decision to delay the process back in March (4 March 2013). This is Nationwide’s first general panel review since its inaugural panel launch in 2009, when Allen & Overy, Burges Salmon, Eversheds, Nabarro and Olswang all obtained places (14 July 2009).

Eversheds won a place on the list despite being sued by Nationwide in 2007. The building society had alleged that the firm did not give sound advice on whether to lend money to a property company in South Wales (26 September 2007).

For more on Nationwide, see our 2012 interview with Kelly, Mutual Benefits.