Linklaters’ ex-managing partner appointed general counsel of NatWest Group
Gideon Moore chosen for one of UK's top in-house roles, leading team of more than 300 lawyers
Linklaters’ former firmwide managing partner, Gideon Moore, is to join NatWest Group as its chief legal officer and general counsel.
Moore, who stepped down eight months early from his leadership role at Linklaters last July and retired from the partnership in October, will succeed Michael Shaw in one of the UK’s top in-house legal roles on 1 April.
The former head of Linklaters’ global banking practice will sit on the bank’s executive committee and report to chief executive Alison Rose. He will lead a team of more than 300 lawyers overseeing the bank’s legal, governance and regulatory affairs function.
“As we continue to build momentum on our strategy, he [Moore] will play a critical role by bringing his insight, guidance and challenge to our progress,” said Rose, who thanked Shaw for his contribution as legal head over the last six years.
NatWest Group, which changed its name from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in July 2020, is one of Linklaters’ key clients, the firm having advised National Westminster Bank on its landmark acquisition by RBS in 2000.
Moore’s appointment comes as the bank nears a major milestone in its recovery after it was rescued by the government when facing collapse during the financial crisis: the UK government’s stake is expected to slip below 50% next year with some analysts predicting a full exit by 2025.
Meanwhile, Rose promised further investment in the bank’s "fight against financial crime" when NatWest was fined £264m in December having pleaded guilty to failing to comply with anti-money-laundering regulations in the first criminal prosecution by the Financial Conduct Authority under anti-money-laundering laws in the UK.
On an operational level, the group’s legal team is likely to continue exerting pressure on the law firms it instructs to improve their ESG credentials, the department having blind-scored firms during its 2020 panel review.
Last March, Suzanne Rodway, GC for legal, governance and regulatory affairs services, told the Law Society Gazette that improving diversity was a journey and that many of its firms were at a relatively early stage.
Moore became Linklaters’ firmwide managing partner in January 2016 and was elected to serve a second term in 2019. He was originally due to step down in April this year, but brought that date forward, passing the baton to global finance head Paul Lewis in July, the same month that Aedamar Comiskey became the firm’s first female senior partner.
Moore becomes the second Linklaters leader to assume a top UK in-house role in recent months. In June last year, US head Tom Shropshire took over from Siobhán Moriarty as general counsel of Diageo.