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United Kingdom 2018: The Team Elite

Vodafone

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    United Kingdom 2018: The Team Elite

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    About

    Led by one of the most respected GCs in the business, Rosemary Martin, the Vodafone legal team received a huge number of nominations for the 2018 GC Powerlist, with both private practice and corporate counsel offering support. Martin’s 500-strong legal team sprawls the globe and she highlights the importance of her regional divisions. In South Africa, Vodafone’s legal team has been involved in a major corporate mandate, selling a 5.2% stake in local mobile network operator Vodacom. Closer to home, significant matters include managing a network-sharing transaction with rival O2 – Project Beacon. Martin says: ‘We are sharing a network. From a technical and legal point of view, it’s difficult. There are competition issues – you have got to make sure you don’t fall foul of the Competition and Markets Authority. That was probably one of the biggest transactions that the UK legal team did.’ Vodafone is another trailblazer of the legal operations profession, with head of legal operations Steven Jebb occupying the role full-time since May 2017. He had previously held a number of different roles for Vodafone, including head of legal for technology and outsourcing, and head of enterprise legal for northern Europe. Martin says that Jebb and his team of two are charged with overseeing technological advancement at the company. Amy McConnell, another legal operations professional at Vodafone, has gone about reforming the way data is recorded. Prior to the last two years, little data was recorded internally. Since then, a range of metrics, such as the number of active deals and the number of disputes Vodafone is engaged in, have been indexed, resulting in budget savings of between 10% and 15% a year. Legal director Kerry Phillip says of Martin: ‘She does a wonderful job for diversity and making law firms take note. She is a huge fan of tech and what it can do to improve the life of an in-house lawyer. She’s very bold in how we should transform ourselves. She’s a great representative on the board and she’s very well accepted as the GC sounding board.’

     

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