UBS creates a new breed of general counsel

Author: | Published: 1 Nov 2000
Urs Roth is not your everyday in-house lawyer. As group general counsel of UBS, he heads up legal and compliance for UBS Asset Management, UBS Warburg and UBS Switzerland. The bank has between 400 and 500 professionals in its legal and compliance departments, two-thirds of whom are lawyers. There must have been times over the last 10 years when this hasn't seemed like enough.

The 1990s were a torrid time for UBS and, having become group general counsel in 1992, Roth was around for most of it. Amid the controversy of dissident shareholders, protracted merger negotiations and dormant accounts belonging to victims of the Holocaust, Roth has seen his role at the bank change immeasurably. Under intense media scrutiny, he has found himself juggling legal, political and public relations issues on a daily basis.

You must have been busy during the merger talks between UBS and PaineWebber this year.