Virgin Money, the banking division of UK-based Virgin Group, has named Stephen Pearson as its new general counsel.

Mr Pearson has over 20 years legal experience in both business and private practice, most recently as general counsel, specialist services and litigation at RBS Group with responsibility for the regulatory, competition and intellectual property legal teams as well as all types of commercial disputes.

At RBS, Mr Pearson was a member of the RBS Group Executive, Coutts Bank Audit Committee and in the legal sector he has served on various commercial court committees for both Scotland and England.

Before working for RBS Group Mr Pearson was a partner at city law firm Travers Smith dealing with corporate recovery, insolvency and banking litigation between 1993 and 2001. Prior to that he spent six years at Linkaters in their commercial litigation department.

Mr Pearson will join Virgin Money on August 3, 2010 and will report to Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO of Virgin Money.

Mr Pearson said: “One result of the financial crisis is that the shape of the UK banking industry is changing. Jayne-Anne’s vision and ambition to make everyone better off by offering good value to customers, treating employees well, and making a positive contribution to society as well as delivering a fair profit to shareholders really resonated with me.

“I believe Virgin Money is ideally positioned to grow and help restore much needed trust in UK retail banking. I look forward to playing my part in that ambition.”