Lloyds’ white-knuckle ride

It’s all been Lloyds-this, Lloyds-that in recent weeks. With more changes than a Premiership football club on transfer deadline day, we suggest you pour yourself a steaming brew and sit tight – this might take a while.

Let’s start from the beginning. On a sunny July morning, The Lawyer revealed that Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) was looking to outsource its retail & wealth and asset finance litigation teams to one of its panel firms. As you can imagine, this went down like a prickly pear in a heatwave.

Sources say panel firms were annoyed that Irwin Mitchell was reported to be leading the pack, with insiders adding that the news complicated the hunt for a new disputes chief within the retail and wealth team. Former disputes head Aamir Khan had left the bank in July or a GC role at Clutch Group, with his replacement finally announced last week as UBS Wealth’s head of disputes Philippa Simmons.

Today, the bank unveiled a new general counsel for group legal, putting corporate and M&A head Hugh Pugsley, another former UBS lawyer, into the role. He replaces Kate Cheetham, who was promoted to deputy GC earlier this year, though she effectively shares the role with top legal boss Andrew Whittaker via a flexible-working plan.

With GC job-sharing over at LBG it seems odd that the love has not spread to TSB, where the top legal spot is still waiting to be filled.

Told you to pour a cup.

PS. Entries for The Lawyer European Awards 2014 close at the end of this week – there are categories for both independent European firms and global firms operating on the Continent. Take a look at how to enter here: http://www.thelawyereuropeanevent.com/

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