Freshfields partner exits for top legal role at BP European arm

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Germany corporate partner Hildegard Bison has left the firm to take up the role of of legal head at BP Europa and assistant GC of the global oil giant.

Bison started at BP Europa – which covers BP’s operations in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and Poland – on 1 November this year.

She has taken over from former assistant GC Klaus-Guenther Hahn, who left the company in early 2012. It is not known where Hahn has moved to.

Bison leaves Freshfields’ Duesseldorf office after nearly 20 years with the firm, which she joined in 1994. She is both German and US-qualified.

BP Europa was created in April 2010 through the merger of BP’s Belgium, Netherlands, Austria and Poland operations with Deutsche BP. The Switzerland arm was added in April 2011.

The news comes after BP Global assistant GC Adrian Morris left the oil giant this summer to take up the role of Tesco GC in September.

Freshfields has been a longstanding adviser to BP, winning a reappointment to its panel last year. The magic circle firm has seen a notable pick-up in the number of mandates it has handled for the company in recent years, leading some to speculate whether the firm is moving in on the territory of BP’s traditionally preferred adviser Linklaters.

BP sealed a multibillion-dollar deal last month that will see the company receive $17.1bn (£10.8bn) for the sale of Russian oil joint venture TNK-BP to Rosneft. Linklaters, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom have all secured lead roles on the deal.