UBS Warburg’s global general counsel quits

UBS Warburg Dillon Read is losing its global general counsel as he considers returning to private practice.

Mark Harding is leaving the investment banking subsidiary of UBS after four years and will be replaced by Warburg Dillon Read’s current general counsel for the US, Bob Dinerstein.

Harding joined UBS in 1996 from Clifford Chance where he practised for 16 years.

UBS merged with Swiss Bank Corporation two years ago, when Harding became European general counsel for Warburg Dillon Read, a function he retained when he took over the global legal operation.

Harding says Dinerstein will continue to head the US legal function as well as lead the global team.

But he adds: “I occupied both the European and the global role and I think that was probably too much.

“I was managing 250 people which I suppose was a big part of my work. The legal work was reduced and I was also on the board of Warburgs.”

Harding admits that he had to contend with “politicking” after the merger.

“I always emphasised team work and making sure that people work with each other. When people don’t play the game that way I don’t feel there is a benefit from it.”

He does not think that the strategy of the in-house team will change under Dinerstein.”We put in place the right structure for legal and compliance,” he says.

He does not expect the bank’s chosen law firms to differ under the change in management as the investment bank uses both Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy – although the bank also uses Linklaters & Alliance and Freshfields on transactional work.

Harding says that he will take several months off before deciding what to do next, but that he would seriously consider returning to private practice.

During his time at Clifford Chance, Harding headed the international financial markets group, where he specialised in clearing, settlement, derivatives and regulation.

Harding is also giving up the chairmanship of the International Swaps and Derivatives which he has held for the past couple of years.