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General Electric (GE) has appointed a new general counsel for Europe, with Hendrik Bourgeois replacing Mark Elborne in the role.

Bourgeois, who was formerly European senior counsel for competition, regulation and government relations at GE, took up his new post earlier this month.

The internal restructuring sees Elborne take on a new non-legal role as national executive for Northern Europe, dealing with strategic issues for the company. Elborne has served as GC for just less than three years, having joined the European arm of GE in May 2006 from GE Insurance in Kansas.

Former Jones Day lawyer Bourgeois, who is joint Belgian and US-qualified, has been with GE for 10 years.

He previously spent six years as senior competition counsel at the company.

His promotion will hand him responsibility for overseeing the company’s long-running review of its European legal panels. The review, which was initiated by Elborne, will see the company set up a series of practice-specific panels including preferred suppliers for litigation and regulation work.

GE’s global legal team comprises more than 1,000 lawyers worldwide and has an estimated UK legal spend of £30m.

Commenting on his move, Bourgeois said: “I have a lot of things to learn in the coming weeks and months and for now my time will be dominated by the panel review.”

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