Wells Fargo is making an exception to its retirement policy for its longtime general counsel, who plans to remain with the company indefinitely to deal with the fallout of the fake-accounts scandal.

The megabank's executive officers are typically required to retire by the end of the year that they turn 65. James Strother, who has been the firm's general counsel since 2003, turned 65 this year.

Wells is dealing with a slew of lawsuits and investigations following the revelation that thousands of employees established roughly two million phony customer accounts over a four-year period. Chief Executive John Stumpf resigned in October.

"In light of recent events, the decision has been made to have Jim Strother remain with the company and continue to serve as our general counsel, and Jim has agreed to do so," Wells Fargo spokesman Peter Gilchrist said in an email Friday. "A search is commencing for his successor."

Strother joined Wells Fargo predecessor Norwest Corp. in 1986.

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