Lloyds Banking Group appoints new GC with hire of FSA legal chief

Lloyds Banking Group has appointed a new group general counsel with the hire of Financial Services Authority (FSA) GC Andrew Whittaker.

Whittaker, who will begin his new role in the second quarter of 2013, will report to chief risk officer Juan Columbus at Lloyds. He has been GC at the FSA since April 2000.

The appointment comes after the retirement of the bank’s former GC and company secretary, Harry Baines, earlier this year. Baines, the former legal head of HBOS, took up his current role in October 2008 following Lloyds TSB’s £12.2bn takeover of HBOS, which went live in January 2009.

Meanwhile, Lloyds general counsel for group legal Kate Cheetham will take on the role of deputy general counsel as of 1 January, and will act as interim group general counsel until Whittaker begins his role.

Whittaker (pictured) commented: “It’s a big job and there are some obvious challenges and some real opportunities too.

“I’m also very much looking forward to working with Kate in her new role as deputy general counsel. I’m confident we will work well together and be able to help Lloyds deliver its commitment to be the best bank for customers.”

The news comes Lloyds recently cut back its roster of external legal advisers by around 10%, with Linklaters, Berwin Leighton Paisner and Ashurst among those securing appointments on the new panel.

The trio were reappointed alongside firms including Eversheds, CMS Cameron McKenna, Stephenson Harwood and Osborne Clarke.

Lloyds’ head of operations group legal Julie Thorburn led the review alongside Cheetham, with the new appointments set to stand for a minimum two-year term.

For more, see Linklaters, BLP and Ashurst secure spots as Lloyds appoints legal panel.