In-House Lawyers' Association

Legal week - Thursday 2nd December 2004

170 sign up with in-house breakaway

Note: Anthony Armitage is First Law's director and founder

The In-house Lawyers’ Association (IHLA), the newly-formed breakaway group from the Commerce & Industry Group (C&I), has reported a rapidly expanding membership with about 170 in-house counsel already signed up.

The IHLA, which was set up in October when London C&I chair Anthony Armitage resigned as a director of the commercial arm, C&I Group Services, says it is quickly snapping up new members from top UK companies and organisations.

In-house counsel from a host of companies — including Channel 5, KPMG, HSBC, JP Morgan, BSkyB, BT, Lloyds TSB, Deloitte and the BBC — have joined up with the new body.

Armitage told Legal Week: "We are expecting the IHLA to gain new members through word of mouth. I am not going to go on a big push without showing that we have delivered.

"The number of new members is good. We have already reached a critical mass. But what really matters is the number of members engaging in activity."

The reported membership compares with the London regional C&I Group, which was believed to have had around 250 fully paid-up members. Armitage added that he attended a meeting with Law Society president Ed Nally and chief executive Janet Paraskeva to discuss the new body’s role.

Julian Allen, in-house counsel for a bank and a director of the new IHLA, commented: "Hopefully we will get back to the issues affecting in-house lawyers rather than politicking."