Smiths Group general counsel Michael Herlihy has joined John Lewis Partnership as its new partnership secretary, replacing former legal head Keith Hubber.

Hubber’s departure from the company was announced earlier this week and Herlihy will now take over the top legal role from 16 April.

The new title of partnership secretary covers the responsibilities previously carried out by Hubber, including the role of general counsel, legal directorate and company secretariat.

Herlihy has filled in-house roles at several companies including Chemical Industries, ICI and Imperial Brands during his career.

Herlihy said: “It is a privilege to be invited to build on the good work already done by Keith Hubber and his team and to support the chairman, partnership board and executive team in the next phase of the Partnership’s development.”

Hubber joined John Lewis Partnership in 2014 from BG Group where he had worked for more than 13 years.

While with the John Lewis Partnership, Hubber reshaped the legal function, focusing more on trade divisions within the company than it previously was.

The legal team consists of around 32 in-house lawyers.