John Lewis recruits Smiths Group GC as new head of legal

The John Lewis Partnership has appointed a new legal head, following the departure of general counsel Keith Hubber.

Smiths Group GC Michael Herlihy will join the retail giant as partnership secretary on 16 April, after 10 years at the helm of the FTSE 100 engineering company’s legal team.

The partnership secretary role is a new title at John Lewis, replacing the role of GC and company secretary which was held by Hubber for three years.

John Lewis Partnership chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield said: “This new title reflects the responsibilities Michael will take on for the duties previously carried out by Keith Hubber in the role of GC, leading both the legal directorate and company secretariat. He brings a wealth of experience to the John Lewis Partnership.”

Prior to joining Smiths, Herlihy held a number of roles at Imperial Chemical Industries including group taxation controller, general counsel and executive vice-president of M&A. He was also formally chair of the remuneration committee at Imperial Brands.

Herlihy said: “Having admired its brands and values for many years, it is a privilege to be invited to build on the good work already done by Keith Hubber and his team and to support the chairman, partnership board and executive team in the next phase of the partnership’s development.”

Hubber’s next role is not yet known. Prior to joining John Lewis in 2015, he was deputy GC at BG Group before its 2016 acquisition by Shell. He spent 10 years at the oil and gas company.

While at John Lewis, Hubber made a number of changes to its 30-strong in-house legal team, organising the group along trade divisions.

Hubber also ran a panel review in 2015, which saw Slaughter and May appointed as John Lewis’s main corporate adviser, with Burges Salmon, Dentons and Eversheds Sutherland also added to the roster for two-year terms.

Picture credit: EG Focus