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IN-HOUSE LAWYERS Shell rejigs in-house team and names new UK head of legal

Shell has overhauled its UK legal team, appointing Sarah Morton as its new UK head of legal, replacing Michael Coates in the role.

Morton, who is also now associate GC for Shell’s downstream northwest Europe business, takes up her new role after nearly six years as Shell’s managing counsel for global litigation for Europe, Middle East & North Africa. In this role she built and managed a team of lawyers, recruiting from both inside and outside of Shell.

Coates has taken up a new position as associate general counsel for Shell’s global upstream business after four years as UK head of legal.

He joined the oil major in 2004 as senior legal counsel for gas and power, after moving in-house from Slaughter and May.

Prior to joining  Shell in 2011, Morton, who is also now a director of Shell UK limited, was an associate at US firm Debevoise & Plimpton, where she specialised in international commercial litigation and arbitration. She initially trained and spent four years as an associate at legacy Norton Rose.

In January this year, Clifford Chance (CC) and Dechert won leading roles on Shell’s £3bn ($3.8bn) disposal of North Sea assets to Chrysaor Holdings.

While CC advised Shell, much of the work was carried out in-house by Shell’s 650 legal team, which is headed by group general counsel Donny Ching.

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