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(L-R): Awards host David Mitchell, CYBG general counsel James Peirson, awards judge Philip Bramwell

Finalists: Galit Gonen, TEVA (highly commended); Damian Morris, ICA; Dan Rose, Doddle

CYBG general counsel James Peirson took this award after overseeing his company’s unique dual listing in London and Australia, leading one judge to praise him for “doing a great job for his team”.

Peirson was appointed as general counsel of CYBG –  the company that owns Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank – in November 2014, where he heads an in-house legal team of 23 lawyers.

At the start of the IPO, Peirson made the decision to resource the project from the existing legal team and not from secondees. This meant that his team were able to learn a range of skills instrumental to an IPO which they otherwise may not have had the chance to learn.

The IPO required a unique structure to create the only UK banking group to have a dual listing in London and Australia. This meant there was a number of technically challenging and complex legal workstreams which had to be run to a short timetable.

Peirson oversaw the strategic direction of the legal team during the project while also being involved in some of the material negotiations and discussions with the various regulators.

He has also recently led a review of the bank’s external and internal legal costs which has resulted in significant cost savings.