Ex-Freshfields senior partner Salz confirmed as head of Barclays probe

Former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer senior partner Anthony Salz has been confirmed as the head of an independent inquiry launched by Barclays in the wake of the Libor rate-rigging scandal.

Salz (pictured), who is currently a vice-chairman at investment bank Rothschild, is also set to appoint an external professional services firm to assist with the probe into the bank’s culture and practices. He will report to Barclays deputy chairman Sir Michael Rake and a sub-committee of the Barclays board, with a “senior independent individual” set to be named as his deputy.

anthony-salzIn a statement, Barclay announced that the review will:

- assess the bank’s current values, principles and standards of operation and determine to what extent those need to change;

- test how well current decision-making processes incorporate the bank’s values, standards and principles and outline any changes required; and

- determine whether or not the appropriate training, development, incentives and disciplinary processes are in place.

The bank has called for interested parties to submit evidence or perspectives via SalzReview@barclays.com.

Salz retired from Freshfields in March 2006, two years after after he was elected for a four-year term as the firm’s joint senior partner alongside Germany’s Konstantin Mettenheimer. He had worked at the magic circle firm for 30 years, where he was senior partner for nearly a decade. He also took on a part-time role as BBC vice-chairman in 2004.

After leaving Freshfields, he became acting chairman at the BBC following Michael Grade’s resignation in 2006, while he also took trustee roles for a number of organisations including the Royal Opera House and on the advisory board of Exeter’s School of Business.

In a statement, Salz said: “Barclays has a real opportunity to use the events of the past weeks to drive a change in its values and practices, and I look forward to hearing views on the changes that should be made. I very much hope that this review will significantly assist Barclays in rebuilding trust and reaffirming its position as one of our leading institutions.”

Freshfields is also advising the Bank of England in relation to the Libor scandal, with dispute resolution partner Ian Taylor leading the team acting for the magic circle firm’s institutional client.

Other law firms with roles relating to the ongoing scandal include Sullivan & Cromwell, Clifford Chance (CC), Morrison & Foerster, Norton Rose and Dechert. CC is advising both Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland, with a Chinese wall set up to avoid potential conflicts.

Barclays last month paid around $450m (£290m) to settle US and UK charges that the bank attempted to manipulate interest rates and made false reports to benefit its derivatives trading positions.