Former Rio Tinto legal chief joins investigations business GPW

Former Rio Tinto general counsel Charles Lawton has joined private intelligence company GPW as a special advisor.

Charles Lawton
Charles Lawton

Lawton joined Rio Tinto in 1985 and during his tenure as legal chief helped oversee the company’s $38bn takeover of Alcan and later defended the company against a £70m hostile bid by BHP Billiton.

Lawton, who trained at Slaughter and May, retired from Rio Tinto in April 2008 and became a consultant at CMS Cameron McKenna, a role he continues in. As well as providing internal and external legal advice, Lawton has been brought in to develop GPW’s relationship with the legal community.

The company’s clients include a number of law firm partners and senior bankers, whom the firm provides with intelligence and investigations in support of business disputes and transactions.

At GPW he will work alongside chairman and former senior member of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) Andrew Fulton.

“We already have a close relationship with the legal community, and that’s where Charles comes in,” said Fulton. “He’s highly respected in the legal world and has strong relationships with senior lawyers, which will enhance our credibility and understanding of the legal sector.

“We’re constantly on the lookout for senior people to come on board, and Charles’s background and experience is a very nice fit with the work we do, particularly in the natural resources sector.”