Former EE general counsel Blendis takes up new role as UK GC at Renault-Nissan

EE’s former legal head James Blendis has joined Renault Nissan as the company’s UK, Ireland and northern territories general counsel.

Blendis, who left left EE at the beginning of the year after serving as the mobile operator’s GC for five years, started his new role on Tuesday (1 May).

His move came after BT took over EE, with EE’s in-house legal team transferring officially into the telecom giant’s wider team from July 2017. It now sits within BT’s consumer legal team, which is led by GC Russell Johnstone.

Blendis departed after being retained as GC of the EE division since the £12.5bn merger with BT completed in January 2016. He first joined EE as its GC in 2010 and was previously GC of T-Mobile for six years.

At Renault Nissan, he replaces Michael Taylor, who was the company’s legal head in the UK for nearly four years. Last month, he returned to Australia to set up his own firm.

Meanwhile, group GC Anne-Sophie Le Lay left in February to join Air-France ALM as corporate secretary.

The Renault-Nissan alliance, established in 1999, sees the two companies linked by cross-shareholdings while retaining their own brand identity. Last month, Bloomberg reported that the companies are in talks to end that alliance and merge as one corporation.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Sullivan & Cromwell advised on a 2010 joint venture between Daimler, Nissan and Renault that saw the automakers team up to develop a new wave of energy-efficient cars. Sullivan advised Renault, while Japanese firm Nishimura & Asahi advised Nissan.

Other firms to have worked with Renault in the past include Withers, which acted on its 2015 acquisition of a controlling stake in the Lotus F1 Team.