RBS promotes deputy GC Collins to top job as Campbell retires

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has appointed former deputy general counsel John Collins as its new chief legal officer following the retirement of Chris Campbell.

Campbell retired from the post in late December after almost five years as the bank’s GC and head of legal. He had replaced Miller McLean in the role following his retirement in 2010, having served as deputy GC since 2005 when he joined from Dundas & Wilson where he was managing partner for nine years.

Collins meanwhile has been deputy general counsel at RBS since 2010, having initially joined ABN AMRO as wholesale legal head for loan product and corporate finance / M&A in 2001, becoming general counsel of the Dutch bank after it was acquired by a consortium including RBS in 2008.

In his new role as chief legal officer and general counsel Collins will report to the bank’s chief executive Ross McEwan.

The bank has yet to confirm whether it will be appointing a new deputy GC following Collins’ promotion.

News of the change at the top of the bank’s in-house legal team comes after Legal Week reported in November that RBS was gearing up for a UK panel review, which is likely to see cuts to law firms with a limited City presence.

Firms were expected to be sent pitch documents in the first quarter of this year, with the new roster expected to come into effect in January 2016.

According to a source close to the process, the review is likely to place “less onerous” demands on time and cost saving commitments than the last review in 2012, when the bank’s in-house team felt it extracted large cost savings from its advisers.

Despite this, the bank still expects to make a number of cuts to the existing UK panel, which – following a 40% reduction in 2012 – saw spots awarded to just under 60 firms. In sharper focus will be national and regional firms, which are most likely to be affected by the cuts.