Perot’s advisers under pressure as in-houser joins from Hewlett-Packard

US IT services giant Perot Systems has recruited a new European general counsel from Hewlett-Packard (HP) after the previous incumbent left for rival Accenture.

Former European head Derek Simpson quit for a senior legal role in Accenture’s European team, clearing the way for Robert Evans to join from HP.

The appointment of Evans will place Perot’s key European advisers Bird & Bird, Clifford Chance and CMS Cameron McKenna on alert, as he has vowed to conduct “a full review of our external counsel in Europe over the next six months”.

Evans was a senior lawyer at Compaq prior to the company’s $19bn (£10.79bn) merger with HP, when he continued to support major IT projects.

Considering the size of the company (Perot has 10,000 employees and revenues of more than $1.3bn (£738.1m)) Perot has a fairly small centralised legal team. Evans has one assistant and reports to general counsel Peter Altabef at Perot’s headquarters in Dallas.
Altabef has just 10 lawyers across the globe.

Evans has been given a brief to expand the legal team to support planned growth in Europe. Perot currently has subsidiaries in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK.
Evans is company secretary for these subsidiaries and is a member of the European leadership team.