I liked the story in The Lawyer, here titled: New Year and a new look for the Co-op

haircutThe story says that some people start the New Year with a new haircut. The Co-op Group has opted for an altogether more radical look by completely overhauling the shape of its legal team.

As they say, it comes as a breath of fresh air after the seriously bumpy ride the Co-op endured last year.

After finding a £1.5bn capital hole in the summer (where were the regulators I wonder?), it then fought tooth and nail to hold onto its banking branch network.

As we all know, the Co-op ended up in the majority control of several US hedge funds.

The story continues: Not only did the shift turn out to be a well-publicised PR nightmare, it also no doubt caused more than its fair share of headaches for the group’s legal chief, relative newbie Alistair Asher.

He and the Co-op bank’s new general counsel Brona McKeown have effectively been picking teams, sorting through the Co-op’s legal offering to figure out who works for whom. The final divide is a 60/40 split in favour of the group versus the bank, although the pair will now be doing some hiring to fill the gaps.

Everyone at the Co-op must be looking forward to a quieter 2014. 2013 was anything but that.

Martin Pollins

Martin Pollins

Managing Director at Bizezia
Martin Pollins is a Chartered Accountant with wide experience in corporate finance and business management. He holds a number of directorships and has served on the boards of several companies, including those listed on the London Stock Exchange, AIM and OFEX.

He was a Council member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales from 1988 to 1996.

Martin Pollins ran his own firm based in Sussex and was the first Accountancy firm in the UK to advertise on television and Martin went on to create and launch the CharterGroup Partnership (the UK's first Accountancy network) and then LawGroup UK (one of the largest networks of lawyers in the country).

Martin started work on the Bizezia concept in 1996, developing the broad range of information resources and products over the past 18 years.
Martin Pollins
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