AOL overhauls legal team following Carphone deal

AOL is set to complete the restructuring of its 22-lawyer in-house legal team by the end of February, coinciding with the financial close of the final leg of its three-part, $1.96bn (£1bn) European disposal.

AOL European general counsel Tony Wales told The Lawyer that the company had been through “monumental change” over the past six months.

“As a result the legal team has also been rent asunder,” said Wales. “We have divided it into two, with around half moving across with the access business.”

AOL sold its UK access business to Carphone Warehouse last year at the same time as two coordinated deals in France and Germany. The company’s strategy is now to focus on providing what it describes as “audience” services, or advertising-funded content business lines.

The French sale, to Neuf Cegetel, also closed last year while the German sale, to Telecom Italia, is nearing financial close.

The split has resulted in three UK-based lawyers – Nicky Hadley, Sarah White and Camilla Guermouche – moving to Carphone Warehouse and two others, including former AOL UK general counsel Phil Whall, leaving the law.

Whall is understood to have joined betting technology company SmartOdds as chief executive.

Whall’s former number two, Nity Raj, has been promoted to assistant general counsel.