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The legal and compliance functions at Standard Chartered bank have merged in a major restructuring programme which aims to arm the bank in a new era of regulatory control.The drive behind the restructuring, put in place at the beginning of the year, is to give lawyers a greater role in advising on compliance issues for the bank.The bringing together of the teams was spearheaded by group head of legal and compliance Kate Nealon, who was appointed to the role last January.The changes have been introduced in the face of increasing regulation in the financial services sector with issues such as money laundering high on the corporate agenda and with the wider powers of regulators in the wake of the new Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.Nealon said: “In my mind it is hard to see where legal ends and compliance begins.”She added: “It is very unusual for the lawyers to do compliance. But compliance is a bigger issue now. As it becomes more rules-based it needs more involvement from the lawyers.”As part of the restructuring, which will result in a 60-strong compliance and legal team, David Brimacombe has been appointed head of group legal.Brimacombe will head a team of specialist lawyers concentrating on three main areas – M&A, litigation and IT work. A team of 10 will be based at the bank’s headquarters in London with another team based in Singapore, headed by Pauline Li. The compliance risk management team, headed by John Seager, which carries out inspections and investigations, will also come under the legal and compliance umbrella.The restructuring and current economic pressures are likely to prompt a review of external advisers.Brimacombe said: “Sustained internal costs reduction will extend externally. However, although rates are important a 10% saving on an hourly rate does not save that much in the long run.”

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