Co-op interim consumer services GC leaves after double appointment to divide up role

The Co-op Group’s interim general counsel for consumer services, Chris Aujard, has left the company after appointing two lawyers to divide up his responsibilities.

Aujard left the Co-op in September after being brought in by the retailer at the end of 2015 to provide legal support for its non-food divisions, which include insurance, funeralcare and legal services.

During his time at the company he was involved in appointing two lawyers to take on aspects of his role.

This July, Linklaters counsel Dominic Kendal-Ward was brought in as general counsel of the Co-op’s insurance business. Kendal-Ward left Linklaters after 13 years at the magic circle firm, during which time he advised on deals such as Dixons’ merger with Carphone Warehouse and Barclays’ takeover of ING Direct UK.

Kendal-Ward’s appointment was preceded by Sarah Clayton taking the general counsel role for the Co-op’s funeralcare and legal services division at the end of last year. She was appointed after four years as head of employment for the Co-op Group, before which she was a partner at Pinsent Masons in Manchester.

While at the Co-op, Aujard held a number of other responsibilities that were gradually wound up during his time at the retailer. These included the Co-op’s joint venture with Thomas Cook, which was sold to Thomas Cook at the end of last year.

This summer, longstanding Co-op group general counsel Alistair Asher took on a new role as director of strategic projects, with former Dixons Carphone legal chief Helen Grantham succeeding him as group GC.

The Co-op is currently reviewing its corporate and commercial, property and litigation panels for the first time in seven years. The new panels are expected to be in place by January 2018.

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