Siemens reviews external legal advisers
Electronics and engineering giant Siemens has overhauled its internal legal function and is gearing up to review its external legal advisers.As part of the internal restructuring, the company has moved its commercial lawyers closer to the business, with the team integrated into Siemens' three major business lines: industry, healthcare and energy. The company's M&A, competition, litigation and securities lawyers will remain part of the company's centralised corporate legal division.The overhaul was led by Germany-based general counsel Peter Solmssen, who joined in October 2007 and has since overseen a raft of changes to his 600-strong legal function.Earlier this year he appointed a separate general counsel for each sector group, with Andreas Hoffman placed in charge of the industry sector, Robert Kirschbaum heading the healthcare team and Dr Ulrich Bauer leading the energy group. The corporate division is led by former M&A head Solms Wittig.In addition, each sector has been split into separate divisions with their own legal heads. Commenting on the restructuring, Hoffman told Legal Week: "The main thinking behind [the restructuring] was to get the lawyers closer to the business. We decided the lawyers should be business partners and become part of the management and closer to the chief executives."Siemens is now set to kick off its panel review later this month with the new panel expected to be finalised by the first quarter of 2009. In the past, the company has worked closely with Baker & McKenzie, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Clifford Chance (CC). Last month, Siemens appointed former CC partner Anke Sessler as its new general counsel of litigation. Sessler took up her position at the beginning of September after spending 10 years as a litigation and dispute resolution partner in CC's Frankfurt office.
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