(L-R): TSB’s Gina Amies, Angela Mesher, Murshida Khan, Paul Adams, Susan Crichton, Alistair Houghton, Clare Calderwood, Paul Heeley, David Dew and Niamh Liddy with EY partner Matthew Kellett (far right)

Finalists: Barclays Bank; Janus Henderson Group; LV= (highly commended); OakNorth

TSB lifted the Legal Department of the Year (Financial Services) award, sponsored by EY after helping the bank in its mission to boost competition in the UK banking sector.

Led by GC Susan Crichton, her team is seen as an integral part of the bank’s business rather than just a support function. With 29 lawyers and a healthy gender split (59% are female), the team has been heavily involved with moving the bank’s legacy IT infrastructure and data to a new platform.

That required negotiating complex exit arrangements with the bank’s previous parent Lloyds and putting in place service frameworks with its new Spanish owner Banco Sabadell and other suppliers.

The team was tasked with creating a jargon-free booklet to inform customers of new product terms and conditions while ensuring it still met contractual and regulatory requirements. TSB’s legal department has also played a strategic role in consulting with regulators and highlighting structural issues restricting banking competition, which are vital for TSB as a challenger bank.

“They have been through an enormous change, have had to make huge adjustments and have done a great service to their bank,” commented a judge.