Herbert Smith lands Ofcom advisory role

Herbert Smith has won the role as sole legal adviser to a new Ofcom-led industry body, an appointment that will give it direct access to eight of the UK’s leading telecoms companies.

Called NGNuk, the group was launched by Ofcom in March this year. It is an industry forum aimed at encouraging the use of digital technology, or next-generation networks. These connect telephone calls and other network traffic more efficiently than traditional telecoms networks.

Herbert Smith partners Nick Elverston and Elizabeth McNight are leading the team advising NGNuk. Elverston said the legal work so far centred on drafting NGNuk’s constitution, but added that the firm would be advising on all commercial, regulatory and competition issues. The member companies have handled the legal work associated with setting up NGNuk in-house.

Herbert Smith has regularly advised Ofcom in the past and has also advised on the establishment of a number of telecoms industry alliances and joint ventures.

It won the work to advise NGN following a referral from Stephanie Liston, the Ofcom non-executive director and former WilmerHale partner who has just joined Howes Percival.