Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

THE LEGAL 500 AWARDS

The Legal 500 Awards > UK > 2017 IN-HOUSE WINNERS

In-house winners

BANKING

INDIVIDUAL OF THE YEAR

Sally-Ann James
General counsel, Metro Bank

Sally-Ann James joined Metro Bank in 2012, just two years after it had launched as Britain’s first new high-street bank in more than 100 years. As the company’s first lawyer, she was asked to establish a legal function capable of steering the bank and supporting its ‘customer-focused’ philosophy. Four years later she helped Metro Bank fund its expansion by helping to oversee a £400m capital raising and listing on the London Stock Exchange. James’ creative approach to rethinking how a legal team should operate has won her widespread praise and recognition as an innovator in financial services law. Metro Bank works with a very lean in-house team and James has developed relationships with select firms to help her manage legal spend. Prior to joining Metro Bank, James held a number of senior legal roles within the Co-operative Group, including the Co-operative Bank, Co-operative Financial Services and the Co-operative Banking Group.

TEAM OF THE YEAR

Standard Chartered
Led by David Fein, group general counsel

As an emerging markets bank with a focus on Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Standard Chartered has to contend with country dynamics and risks that are not typical of a UK-based lender. While it has a number of senior lawyers operating across the jurisdictions that it is active in, the bulk of its legal operations are run from the UK and Singapore. Led by Group General Counsel David Fein, the team has made a big impact on the global banking sector by pursuing a tough but engaging stance on ethical conduct and effective public-private sector engagement, moves that echo new chief executive Bill Winters’ recent crackdown on “above the law” banker behaviour. It is familiar territory for Fein, who in his previous role as United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut delivered the state’s largest ever fraud case and brought landmark prosecutions in the areas of human trafficking, cyber crime and unconstitutional policing. The wider team features a number of highly praised lawyers - including Head of Government Investigations Scott Corrigan, Head of Dispute Resolution Helen Dodds, and Head of Legal, Europe Kurt Crommelin. Just over one year into the bank’s separation of Legal & Compliance, the Legal function and the Compliance function, led by Group Head of Compliance Neil Barry, Group Head of Financial Crime Compliance John Cusack, and Global Head of Sanctions Compliance Steve Munro have worked collaboratively in the new structure. By protecting the bank's long-term interests, ensuring it abides by the highest standards of ethics, the legal team has helped Standard Chartered live up to its brand promise: “Here for good”.

EMPLOYMENT

INDIVIDUAL OF THE YEAR

Tish Clyde
Vice president and global employment counsel, Nokia

With over 27 years of legal experience, Tish Clyde has enjoyed a fruitful career comprising a variety of high-profile positions at leading companies from various industry sectors. In 2016 Clyde brought her vast knowledge of employment law to her recently assumed position of vice president and global employment counsel at Finnish multinational Nokia’s London outpost. In addition to the purely legal strengths Clyde possess, she is commercially astute too; Clyde is well-known as a globally-minded labour and employment lawyer who enjoys driving human resources legal strategy, labour relations and HR compliance. Clyde’s near three decades of legal experience has enabled her to revolutionise work methods in large companies such as DHL, GE Capital, Barclays Bank and GE Healthcare. Thanks to her sterling work in a glittering career, Clyde is a well-recognised figure in employment law and is a frequent participant in conferences on HR, human rights and leadership.

TEAM OF THE YEAR

Google EMEA
Led by Allison Brown, director, legal – employment

Multinational technology company Google has a presence in the UK with offices across London and in Manchester and Oxford and in over 30 countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Google has a broad scope in its operations on behalf of a company known for its innovation in the fast-moving and unpredictable technology sector. The EMEA employment legal team is led by Allison Brown, who has been the director, legal - employment since November 2012. Brown first joined the company in 2007 as its first EMEA employment legal counsel and has accrued almost a decade of experience in employment matters at one of the world’s most cutting-edge companies. Receiving recognition for their approach, Brown’s team distinguish themselves by supporting and contributing to Google’s global company culture renowned for its friendly and quirky approach towards its employees.

Energy

INDIVIDUAL OF THE YEAR

Dr. Russell Richardson
General counsel and company secretary, The Oil and Gas Authority

A regulatory and dispute resolution expert with a long and distinguished career, Dr. Russell Richardson’s achievements have seen him awarded the great professional achievement of being named as inaugural general counsel and company secretary of the newly created Oil and Gas Authority. This organisation’s goal is to oversee, influence and promote the oil and gas industry in the United Kingdom, and it has already made its mark by providing recommendations and strategic insights to the industry. In addition, Dr. Richardson has been integral in setting up and embedding the Authority’s new dispute resolution and sanction processes. Dr. Richardson’s career has involved a number of high-profile roles advising on competition and regulatory matters that made him the ideal person to fill the Oil and Gas Authority’s highly-sought vacancy. Among these, Dr. Richardson spent three years as principal legal advisor at Ofcom before advising on compliance, data protection and copyright as part of a general counsel role at the Information and Communications Technology Authority in the Cayman Islands. Having managed various dispute resolutions and multi-discipline litigation before the UK, EU and Cayman Islands courts, he was well placed to take up this new challenge.

TEAM OF THE YEAR

SSE
Led by Liz Tanner, director of legal services

The legal team at SSE is tasked with safeguarding the complex business of a FTSE 100 and “big six” energy company, with 2015 revenue totalling over £31bn. As such, they are well versed in dealing with high-value transactions and financing agreements, and the past two years have been no exception. In July 2015, the company announced its acquisition of a £565m stake in oil company Total’s West of Shetland operations, and in May 2016, it completed the financing of the £2.6bn “Beatrice” offshore windfarm along with international partners. The legal team has also displayed their communication and relationship building abilities when dealing with regulators at a challenging time for energy companies. The team at SSE is expertly led by director of legal services Liz Tanner, a widely respected professional with experience that touches on the majority of in-house legal activities.

Environment

INDIVIDUAL OF THE YEAR

Dr. Ece Gürsoy
Chief legal officer, Lightsource Renewable Energy

Since taking on the role of chief legal officer at Lightsource in 2011, Dr Ece Gürsoy’s expert advice and innovative commercial outlook has helped grow the company to become Europe’s largest solar energy generator - having deployed more than £2.2bn into solar assets in just five years. Her extraordinary legal skillset and approach has proven to be a key influence and driver in the evolution of the UK’s solar industry. Dr. Gürsoy has developed the in-house legal team to, at one point, include 27 lawyers (including trainees), involved in a raft of high-profile transactions. She has overseen landmark projects including the reorganisation of the company and management buy-out, development of the world’s first deep-water floating solar array at the QE2 reservoir, completion of a 25-year corporate Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Belfast International Airport and the largest sterling-denominated bond in the solar industry globally. Lightsource is also now one of a select band of UK companies that has been accredited by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to offer training contracts to trainee solicitors. Prior to Lightsource, Dr. Gürsoy, being a dual qualified lawyer, practiced with Dentons in London, working on a wide range of PPP/PFI and renewable projects and prior to Dentons she practiced with White & Case in Istanbul, specialising in project finance, cross-border transactions and privatisation.

TEAM OF THE YEAR

Marks & Spencer
Led by Verity Chase, general counsel

Marks & Spencer’s commitment to sustainability, renewability, waste reduction and community outreach has led their name to become synonymous with environmentally-friendly business practices. Their “Plan A” initiative, launched in 2007, achieved its initial major aim of making the entire business carbon neutral, and has now been extended into “Plan A 2020”. Involving around 100 new targets, this programme clearly outlines the scope of M&S’ environmental ambitions, as the company aims to become the world’s most sustainable major retailer. The company, supported by GC Verity Chase and the legal team, has reached a number of milestones recently as part of this comprehensive environmental initiative. Renewable energy supply contracts have been signed, an ever-increasing proportion of food products are provided by “silver-level” suppliers that rated highly for their corporate responsibility, their supply chain has been made more transparent via an interactive online map of global suppliers and the company removed harmful microbeads from its cosmetic products in 2016. M&S has recently raised £1.23m, in order to install solar panels on the roofs of some of its stores. The move allows investors to offer between £100 and £100,000, with a return target interest rate of 5%; as well as purchasing the generated energy, any profits that M&S generates through this scheme will be redistributed to energy projects throughout the community. The necessary due diligence and procurement process has been supported by Verity Chase, general counsel, and her legal team.

Finance

INDIVIDUAL OF THE YEAR

Catherine Johnson
Group general counsel, London Stock Exchange

Catherine Johnson is group general counsel at London Stock Exchange Group, leading a team that is responsible for the legal and regulatory oversight of the historic international exchange group. Able to combine astute legal counsel with a well-rounded commercial nous, Johnson has spent over two decades at London Stock Exchange in a variety of roles, culminating in her current position of group general counsel and member of the LSEG executive committee. Johnson has previously headed up the Market Supervision, Regulatory Strategy and Legal departments at different points in her career. London Stock Exchange is currently engaged in the ongoing process of facilitating a merger with Deutsche Borse that was announced in March 2016. Johnson and team are working alongside Freshfields to mitigate any competition issues that could potentially threaten the transaction.

TEAM OF THE YEAR

Funding Circle
Led by Lucy Vernall, global general counsel and head of compliance

Launched in the UK in 2010 and now operating across Europe and the US, peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle has become the leading direct lending platform for small- to medium-sized businesses. The company’s rapid expansion has pushed it into uncharted legal terrain, and it has relied on its legal team to come up with creative ways of sustaining its growth. Global general counsel and head of compliance Lucy Vernall became the company's first full-time UK-based lawyer in July 2014 and now oversees an international team of 14 lawyers (seven in London, five in San Francisco and two in Berlin). Vernall has the support of UK general counsel Martin Cook and US general counsel Conor French. The legal team has been instrumental in engaging with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regarding regulation in the peer-to-peer marketplace and has also helped oversee some transformative deals. It was responsible for advising on Funding Circle’s first public markets deal, which was also the first listed fund lending through one peer-to-peer lending platform and also on one of the largest ever private fundraising rounds by a British technology start-up. The team also helped negotiate the Funding Circle’s acquisition of Zencap, one of the largest business loan marketplaces in Continental Europe.

Healthcare

INDIVIDUAL OF THE YEAR

Penny Dudley
Chief legal officer, Bupa

As a leading global health and care business with customers in 190 countries, Bupa manages many complex regulatory and legal issues. Helping the business respond to these in a commercially astute way has been one of Penny Dudley's major contributions in her time with the company. She joined Bupa in 2010 as head of legal for its international health insurance business, Bupa International and in 2013 she was appointed as director of legal and corporate affairs of Bupa Global Market Unit. In April 2016, recognised as a leader of Bupa's values, she became Bupa's chief legal officer following Paul Newton's decision to retire. She qualified as a lawyer in Australia and has previously worked in-house at Invesco and Macquarie Group.

TEAM OF THE YEAR

Genomics England
Led by Nick Maltby, general counsel and company secretary

Genomics England is a wholly owned company of the Department of Health, tasked with delivering the 100,000 Genomes Project. Set up in 2013, the project will catalogue the genomes of 100,000 patients with rare diseases and cancers in order to drive medical solutions for those ailments. Nick Maltby heads the legal support for the ground breaking project, as general counsel and company secretary. A large part of the legal team’s work has been focused on procuring the infrastructure to deliver the project and intellectual property (IP), developing a policy to identify issues that may arise from the project and to managing those potential issues. The project will deliver as much as 20 petabytes of sensitive personal data and handling such vast amounts of sensitive personal data on a private cloud has also meant the team is proactive in adhering to the demands of the UK Data Protection Act and monitoring the general data protection regulation, despite the DPA not fully factoring in current data storage systems when it was passed. The team has also facilitated discussions with the GENE (Genomics Expert Network for Enterprises) Consortium, a consortium of 12 big pharma and biotech companies that want to understand and use the dataset and GECIP, a partnership of 2,500 academic researchers from around the world.

Insurance

INDIVIDUAL OF THE YEAR

Sean McGovern
Chief compliance officer and head of regulatory and government affairs, XL Catlin

Sean McGovern was recently appointed to the newly created role of chief compliance officer and head of regulatory and government affairs at global insurer XL Catlin. He arrives as one of the most respected corporate counsel in the insurance sector. In November 2011 he was appointed to serve as a member of the first US Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance, he is a trustee and board member of The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), and has given evidence to the Treasury Select Committee on insurance regulation (leading to the introduction of the financial architecture that ultimately resulted in the FCA and PRA regimes in the UK). He is also a non-executive board member of TheCityUK, a body which promotes the UK financial services sector, and is chairman of its International Trade & Investment Group. Prior to joining XL Catlin he was chief risk officer and general counsel at Lloyd’s of London, the oldest continuously active insurance marketplace in the world.

TEAM OF THE YEAR

Chubb
Led by Ashley Mullins, general counsel, Europe

Multinational insurance firm Chubb has operations in 54 countries, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and is also a component of the S&P 500 index. The European legal team, based in London and led by GC Ashley Mullins, provides a hub of timely and accurate legal support across the several practice areas related to the worldwide diversified insurance market. The team oversaw the $29.5bn acquisition of Chubb by ACE completed in January 2016 and was present on both ends of the transaction. This deal saw Chubb become one of the world’s largest providers of commercial property and casualty insurance and reinsurance, cementing their place at the forefront of the industry.

Intellectual property

INDIVIDUAL OF THE YEAR

Dr. Galit Gonen
Senior vice president and general counsel, Teva Europe

Dr. Galit Gonen is the general counsel for Teva Europe in an expanded role which includes leading and strategising the European IP litigations for both Teva’s Originator and the Generic businesses. Gonen began her career as a pharmacist and continued to qualify as a lawyer specialising in patent litigations for pharmaceutical companies in private practice. Gonen joined Teva in 2001 to lead the patent prosecution group, and moved to the UK in 2007 as Teva’s European IP director to build up and head the European IP team. Since then, Gonen has expanded her legal expertise to other disciples until she was appointed as the general counsel for Europe in 2013. In 2010 Gonen obtained her PhD from Anglia Ruskin University (UK). Her thesis “Exploring the linkages between legal and marketing theories: analysis of secondary patents in pharmaceutical industry” achieved widespread critical acclaim within the industry. During her career, Gonen has been nominated and won several awards, including the European and then the Global ‘IP Lawyer of the year’ from the International Law Office (ILO), an individual award from The Legal 500 UK, the Editor’s choice for the European Woman in Business Law award in the IP category and was named in “The Lawyer Hot 100”. Recently, Gonen and her team were ranked among the five “most innovative legal teams” and “Innovative In-House Lawyers” in Europe by The Financial Times. Teva is the world’s leading generic company, with a sizeable innovation speciality business. Teva Europe HQ is in Amsterdam and active across 80 markets. Teva Europe's 15,000 employees touch the lives of billions of people - every minute of every day 2,500 packs of Teva medicines are dispensed to patients in Europe.

TEAM OF THE YEAR

Dyson
Led by Martin Bowen, group general counsel and Gill Smith, director of intellectual property

Dyson is a company that thrives on innovative designs, investing around £3m a week on R&D for new products. The patents team, led by director of intellectual property Gill Smith, has played a big part in facilitating the company’s intensive R&D culture by ensuring that its competitors will not be able to benefit from Dyson’s investment in new designs and technologies through unlicensed IP infringement. The company has been growing at a rate of around 20% a year, with very strong growth in Asian markets that are either deemed to have weak IP laws or where IP regimes are very different to those in the UK. Led by group general counsel Martin Bowen, the whole legal team at Dyson has ensured that protecting IP and being an enabling force to drive innovation is at the forefront of the team’s activities by encouraging all lawyers, not only those connected with the creation of the patents, to work with engineers and designers at an early stage to ensure IP and knowhow assets are recognised, exploited and secured long before a product enters the final phases of its pre-launch development.

Litigation

INDIVIDUAL OF THE YEAR

Dafydd Pugh
Head of dispute resolution, Sainsbury’s

British supermarket firm Sainsbury’s is inevitably faces legal challenges arising from consumers and suppliers along with competition law cases. Responsible for mitigating these risks is Dafydd Pugh, who was highlighted as a key figure in the UK’s in-house disputes community. Pugh joined Sainsbury’s in 2011 following over a decade in private practice and has since gained the respect of colleagues and peers for his operational knowledge of the brand. Additionally, Pugh is noted for his response to the challenges posed by competition litigation. Recently, Pugh and his team have acted for the wider group in cartel litigation matters, including overseeing a Court of Appeal case for Argos (Home Retail Group).

TEAM OF THE YEAR

BT
Led by Dave Hart, head of litigation

Only a few businesses have seen as much change as BT recently. Just a few years ago the company was going through a period of instability and was plagued by diminishing revenues, but a recent reinvention and rejuvenation of the way that it does business have had a profound impact of its direction. These changes have positively influenced the legal department headed by Dan Fitz, and in-particular the litigation team which has recently turned into a profit-making element of the telecoms business. The litigation team became one of the first in-house functions to obtain an Alternative Business Structure (ABS) licence leading to the establishment of BT Law Limited, which provides legal services to external third parties in the fields of motor claims, employment law, employers' liability and public liability claims. The team has also undertaken a detailed review of litigation processes as part of the wider legal team’s move to reduce costs and add value. The vast majority of BT's litigation is managed in-house with the UK team being split between Sheffield and London.

Private Equity

INDIVIDUAL OF THE YEAR

Dr. Babett Carrier
Head of legal and compliance, Cinven

Dr. Babett Sylvia Carrier has served as Cinven’s head of legal and compliance since 2015 and is responsible for legal, regulatory and compliance matters on a global level. Cinven, one of Europe’s leading private equity firms, is a major investor in European large buy-out transactions. Cinven’s success as an investor exposes it to a diverse set of legal and market risks, and Dr. Carrier has been praised for meeting these risks head on. In this context, Dr. Carrier is very focused on ensuring that the legal team delivers value to the business. In her short time with the company she has been involved in Cinven's last fundraising and has helped to complete a number of deals, including the acquisition of the Kurt Geiger shoe brand in February 2016 for £245m, the purchase of property surveyor Tinsa for €300m, and the sale of generic prescription drug producer AMCo to Concordia Healthcare in a £2.3bn agreement. Prior to joining Cinven, Dr. Carrier was general counsel at boutique investment bank and financial adviser Arma Partners. Formerly, Dr. Carrier was a senior associate at Shearman & Sterling where she specialised in cross-border M&A transactions. She is qualified to practice law in England and Wales, New York and Germany.

TEAM OF THE YEAR

CVC Capital Partners
Led by Lauren Livingston, general counsel

CVC Capital Partners is one of the world's leading private equity and investment advisory firms. Founded in 1981, CVC today has a network of 23 offices and over 400 employees throughout Europe, Asia and the US. To date, CVC has secured commitments of over $85bn in funds from a diverse and loyal investor base, completing over 300 investments in a wide range of industries and countries across the globe, with an aggregate enterprise purchase value of over $250bn. Lead by Lauren Livingston, general counsel since January 2015, the CVC Capital Partners legal function has worked with colleagues to complete a number of transactions around the world that required a great deal of legal nous with regards to M&A, contracts and regulation. In addition to the specialised and intensive nature of the high value transactions, the legal team’s remit can be described as truly international covering the extensive network of CVC.

Public Sector

INDIVIDUAL OF THE YEAR

Gill Aitken
General counsel and solicitor, HM Revenue & Customs

Gill Aitken, general counsel and solicitor, HM Revenue & Customs Gill Aitken has substantial experience in the public sector, having worked within government branches such as the Department of Health, Defra, and the Department for Work and Pensions. In 2014 she took on the role of general counsel for HM Revenue & Customs, one of UK's largest public sector employers, leading a team of over 1,200 employees. Aitken is ultimately responsible for all HMRC legal matters from creating tax and tax credit legislation to the litigation of cases where tax is disputed. She is also a member of the executive team that is responsible for the overall leadership of the department. The large litigation team that Aitken oversees is tasked with safeguarding £15bn worth of tax revenues, and is known to win a significant proportion of its legal cases. In her spare time, Aitken acts as a governor for local schools; she is currently the governor for Highgate School and St Silas and Holy Trinity School.

TEAM OF THE YEAR

Financial Reporting Council
Led by Anne McArthur, general counsel and company secretary

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is an independent regulator with responsibilities for audit, accountancy, actuarial work and corporate governance in the UK and Ireland. The FRC's responsibilities and powers are in part statutory and in part voluntary and it is funded by levies from its stakeholder sectors. The Chair and Deputy Chair are appointed by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, Innovation and Skills. The legal team is led by Anne McArthur, the FRC's general counsel and company secretary. Receiving praise for the breadth and depth of its legal coverage, the team deals with a wide range of issues including public law, regulatory law, human rights and EU law both from an advisory and litigation point of view. The FRC expects to be a crucial component of the Government’s current focus on business reform and on the UK's exit from the EU. This period of uncertainty will necessitate further support from the FRC's legal team to ensure any proposed solutions aimed at restoring the public’s confidence in business and industry and ensuring the passporting of the professions are legally robust.

Real Estate

INDIVIDUAL OF THE YEAR

Henry Franklin
Partner, structuring and legal, Tritax Management LLP

Tritax is an established name in the real estate investment market and it was responsible for a minor revolution in property investment when it launched the pioneering Tritax Big Box REIT plc in December 2013. As one of the first single sector real estate investment trusts in the UK, it focuses exclusively on large industrial distribution centres or “big boxes” and it has exceeded all growth expectations; after a successful £200m initial public offering, it has acquired a property portfolio of over £1bn within 18 months and is now listed on the FTSE 250. In 2016 Tritax also launched an open-ended property fund with £115m of cornerstone investment, the Tritax Property Income Fund, which is structured to provide a diversified secure income stream from UK commercial property. Tritax’s lead for structuring and legal, Henry Franklin, has been a partner of the group since 2008. Prior to this, he qualified with Ashurst specialising in tax, before becoming a partner at Fladgate; he is also qualified as a chartered tax advisor. This diversity in expertise allowed Franklin to provide versatile legal advice to support Tritax during a period of growth and innovation.

TEAM OF THE YEAR

M&G Real Estate
Led by Chris Brierley, head of legal

A characteristically busy period for M&G Real Estate has seen it make a number of investments and innovations that maintain its position among the upper echelons of global real estate firms. Indeed, 2015 was a record year for the company’s investment activity on the back of significant deals and acquisitions in the UK, Europe and Far East. M&G Real Estate’s legal team is of correspondingly high quality, exemplified by their highly respected head of legal Chris Brierley. The team has played a key role in enabling the company to surpass their targets in such a spectacular fashion, with process improvements also at the forefront of their operations. The legal department recently completed a successful reshuffle of their approved panel of external legal providers, highlighting their ambition to retain the services of the best possible legal talent at all times.

Tax

INDIVIDUAL OF THE YEAR

Paul Morton
Head of group tax, RELX Group (previously known as Reed Elsevier)

Paul Morton, RELX Group’s head of group tax, is a well-respected and widely-known specialist in global tax matters. Morton has used his skills across a number of roles, gaining experience from government (HMRC), professional services (KPMG and Peat Marwick McLintock) and in-house roles (RDS). RELX Group, which was known as Reed Elsevier before a rebrand, has seen a significant shift in the way that it provides information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries. There has been a significant shift away from paper and print products to online products; in fact, now 70% of RELX’s revenue comes from digital and 15% from face-to-face sources. This switch in company strategy, along with a reorganisation of corporate structure, has required Morton and his team to devise a new international tax strategy at a time when corporations were having their approach to tax planning scruitnised. Outside of his roles for his employers, Morton has spent time as deputy chairman of the British branch of the International Fiscal Association (previously Chairman), a member of the Confederation of British Industry and FTSE 100 group tax committees, as well as the Council and Tax Law Review Committee of the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

TEAM OF THE YEAR

AstraZeneca
Led by Ian Brimicombe, vice president corporate finance

The Global Tax Team of 60 at AstraZeneca, led by Ian Brimicombe, is known for innovative, business focused direct and indirect tax planning, generating significant tax efficiencies and value for the company. AstraZeneca has for many years anticipated the new post OECD BEPS environment by aligning all tax planning with business activities, increasing engagement with tax authorities and greater disclosure and transparency of tax matters. The team has been highly successful in securing certainty over billions of dollars of inter-company trade and avoiding double taxation. Significant advance pricing agreements have been secured in respect of the US, Japan and other major jurisdictions. When Pfizer launched its unsolicited bid for AstraZeneca in 2014, the AZ team was fully engaged in assessing the execution risks associated with the proposed tax inversion as part of the company's successful defence. The team has won numerous industry awards for its progressive and proactive approach to tax, such as the “In-house Team of the Year Award” at International Tax Review’s European Awards in 2015.

Technology

INDIVIDUAL OF THE YEAR

Philip Davis
General counsel and company secretary, ARM Holdings

Cambridge-based semiconductor and software design company ARM Holdings, whose technology is used by practically all smartphone manufacturers including Apple and Samsung, is a rare standout success story in the UK tech sector. In 2016 the company was subject to a £24bn takeover by Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank, a deal which represented the biggest takeover of a British company by Asia Pacific based buyers, the largest ever deal in the technology sector in Europe, and SoftBank's biggest ever acquisition. Throughout this recent period of intense activity, the company has been able to call on its much-respected general counsel and company secretary Philip Davis. With more than 20 years of legal and business experience, including time spent in senior legal positions at Cable & Wireless, Bookham Technology, WS Atkins and Vodafone, Davis is recognised as one of the UK’s leading in-house technology general counsel and has supported the tremendous growth of ARM Holdings into the company that it is today.

TEAM OF THE YEAR

Fidessa
Led by Jonathan Waltho, group general counsel

Fidessa offers specialist technology solutions for the financial sector, supporting the trading and risk management activities of global institutions, investment banks, FCMs, boutique brokers and niche hedge funds. With a global trading network connecting almost 6,000 brokers and investment managers and carrying more than $20tn worth of transactions each year, Fidessa needs the support lawyers, led by group general counsel Jonathan Waltho, who are leaders in their field. The fintech market is booming across the world, and the legal team has been crucial to maintaining the market position that Fidessa current enjoys; seeing off an influx of new competitors, managing an increasing regulatory burden and supporting new product launches. The team has recently made further strides on cyber security and data privacy, essential considering the nature of their clients’ businesses.

Telecoms

INDIVIDUAL OF THE YEAR

Miriam Murphy
Group general counsel, Inmarsat

Between 1995 and 2001, Miriam Murphy was vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for Daimler Chrysler, alternating between the automobile manufacturers Stuttgart and Brussels offices. Her second high profile position was at SES Astra, which has since re-merged into its parent company, where she served as general counsel on top of being a management committee member responsible for managing legal and corporate affairs on major transactions such as M&A, satellite construction and satellite launch service agreements. Having gained recognition in the telecoms sector for her expertise, in 2014 Murphy was hired as group general counsel by Inmarsat, a satellite telecommunications company that is part of the FTSE 250 and with over £1bn in annual revenue. Under her tenure the legal team has handled a number of important deals and developments across the globe for the company in a short space of time. A number of these deals involve the release of the company’s new high-speed mobile broadband service, Global Xpress (GX) and Fleet Xpress (FX), to multinational companies including Airbus, SpeedCast International and to other large companies in the fast-growing Chinese market. In August 2016, she oversaw a deal to deliver GX to Drayson Technologies, who are developing the world’s most advanced air pollution map for Greater London. In the coming months, Murphy is set to play an important role in the Inmarsat’s plans to raise $400m by issuing debt securities.

TEAM OF THE YEAR

Vodafone UK
Led by Helen Lamprell, director of corporate and external affairs

The legal team at Vodafone had a busy 2016 facilitating a number of new launches focussed on improving the Vodafone customer experience. In particular the team has assisted the company in releasing new products and services for consumers including the roll-out of its Superfast Fibre broadband service to small businesses across the UK and abolishing line rental in consumer broadband in July 2016, a significant milestone for the company’s business plans. The team has also upheld Vodafone’s innovative ethos by launching its programme to deliver contract automation for its Enterprise business. Working with the Direct Marketing Association, the team had a role in securing an anti-nuisance call accreditation for the company, making it the first UK telecoms company to do so. They were also integral in recent deals delivering innovative converged communications systems (VONE-C and Internet of Things) to customers. The team has also played a key advisory role in Vodafone’s £100m investment in UK high street stores and has transformed the way it delivers property legal advice through the use of an online portal.

Transport

INDIVIDUAL OF THE YEAR

Suzanne Wise
Group general counsel and company secretary, Network Rail

The content of Suzanne Wise’s career to date places her among the very best in-house counsel in the UK. Wise proved her in-house excellence via long and successful tenures at Gallaher Group (as group head of legal) and Premier Foods (as general counsel and company secretary); that the companies are located in vastly different sectors provides an example of Wise’s versatility. Now group general counsel and company secretary for Network Rail, Wise has reaffirmed her quality of expertise at a particularly complicated and important time for the organisation. In 2014, Network Rail transferred its shareholding to the Department for Transport, providing a host of new challenges including matters related to regulatory procedures around the Freedom of Information act and Managing Public Money. In addition to managing these legal challenges, Wise oversees a mixed legal and corporate services team of 110, which includes the legal team, Network Rail’s central business change team, and information governance team amongst other functions - further evidence of her diversity, commitment, professionalism and ambition to achieve the very best.

TEAM OF THE YEAR

Uber
Led by Matt Wilson, legal director - UK, Ireland and Nordics

Since bursting onto the scene in 2009, Uber’s innovative and disruptive influence on the passenger transportation market has been nothing short of revolutionary. The US technology company’s rapid growth, which has brought along with it correspondingly increasing revenues and, conversely, industrial and political action from competitors, has meant that their legal function has been forced to organise themselves rapidly to deal with a wide range of threats simultaneously. As such, Uber’s compact team is populated by individuals whose expertise is multi-faceted and who are able to deal rapidly with emerging risks, regulatory pressures and often well-publicised disputes. Matthew Wilson, legal director for the UK, Ireland and Nordics, built this regional elite team from scratch from July 2015 onwards. Tasked with finding the right individuals to deal with this myriad of challenges, Wilson has built a team that has been able to stand up to the market whilst facilitating the launch of new products and services.