Morgan Stanley Names Cravath, Swaine's Frank Barron as Chief Legal Officer

Morgan Stanley, the sixth-largest U.S. bank by assets, hired Frank Barron, a litigation partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, to replace Gary Lynch as chief legal officer.

Barron, 59, will join the firm in New York after more than 30 years at Cravath, Morgan Stanley said today in a statement. Lynch, 59, who announced in February that he would step down from his post, will remain vice chairman and a member of the firm’s operating and management committees.

Eric Grossman, the bank’s general counsel for the Americas and global head of litigation, was appointed to Morgan Stanley’s management committee, the New York-based firm said. Grossman was a candidate for the chief legal position, a person briefed on the matter said in February.

“The partnership between Frank and Eric will provide tremendous leadership on the legal and regulatory fronts in this challenging period for the securities industry,” Chief Executive Officer James Gorman said in an internal memo obtained today by Bloomberg News. Morgan Stanley spokeswoman Jeanmarie McFadden confirmed the memo’s contents.

Barron was among Cravath lawyers who advised Morgan Stanley’s board on its conversion to a bank holding company and on Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc.’s $9 billion investment in the firm as its stock plunged after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s bankruptcy in 2008, according to the law firm’s website.

Represented Banks

Barron also represented National City Corp.’s board in its 2008 sale to PNC Financial Services Group Inc. and CSX Corp., the third-largest U.S. railroad, in its defense against activist hedge funds seeking seats on its board. Barron has also served banks including Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and UBS AG, according to the statement.

Barron, a Boston native, graduated from Harvard University in 1973 and Harvard Law School in 1978. He joined Cravath that year, rising to partner in 1985.

Lynch headed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement division from 1985 to 1989 and led insider-trading investigations of Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken. Former Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack hired Lynch to work at Credit Suisse First Boston in 2001 and then at Morgan Stanley when Mack moved there in 2005. Mack stepped down as CEO at the beginning of this year and remains chairman.

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael J. Moore in New York at mmoore55@bloomberg.net.

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