First up, BP announced the promotion of American general counsel Eric Nitcher to its top legal position last week following the departure of former group general counsel Rupert Bondy. Mr Nitcher has been with BP since 1990 and has worked on matters including the formation of the oil giant’s merged Russian business TNK-BP and settlement of litigation relating to the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. He will relocate from the US to London for the role. Meanwhile, his predecessor Mr Bondy is to become the new general counsel for Reckitt Benckiser.
Retrophin Inc, the biopharmaceutical company founded by controversial pharma boss Martin Shkreli, has appointed Elizabeth Reed as its new general counsel and corporate secretary. Ms Reed joins Retrophin from Celladon Corporation, where she served as general counsel and secretary until the company’s merger with Eiger Pharmaceuticals last year. Retrophin is locked in ongoing litigation with founder Mr Shkreli and former GC Evan Greebal, both of whom have been accused of skimming assets off the company.
Ministry of Sound Group general counsel Marcel Apfel is moving across to brand management company Iconix Brand Group. The hire comes in the wake of Ministry of Sound’s sale to global media giant Sony last year, and less than a month after Iconix’s $100m offloading of Sharper Image. According to his LinkedIn profile, Mr Apfel joined Ministry of Sound in 2013 following a brief stint as legal counsel and head of IBD (Americas and EMEA) at fashion and sport brands developer Pentland Brands.
Across the Atlantic, the New York Times has promoted David McCraw to the role of deputy general counsel. Mr McGraw’s name made headlines last year after a viral letter he wrote to President-elect Donald Trump’s lawyer Marc E. Kasowitz rebutting the property mogul’s request that an article discussing the allegations of sexual assault brought against him be retracted. He will be replacing former deputy general counsel Diane Brayton, who became The Times’ new general counsel on 1 January.
Finally, Fifth Third Bank has named Jelena McWilliams as its new chief legal officer and corporate secretary. Ms McWilliams Fifth Third from the US Senate Committee on Banking, where she has held roles including chief counsel, deputy staff director and senior counsel since 2012. Former Fifth Third chief legal officer Heather Russel Koenig was let go from the bank six months ago after a personal conflict of interest was discovered.