Hot 100: Harjinder Obhi, Google

Google’s director of litigation (Emea) Harjinder Obhi did not spend 2012 with his feet up.

Instead, the physicist-turned-lawyer has been busy dealing with cases that stand at the cutting edge of technology and internet law.

“This year [2012] in Europe we have had a number of important Supreme Court decisions on the rights and obligations of both users and information society service providers,” he says. “Google’s second ever reference to the Court of Justice of the EU was also briefed this year. It is likely to be heard next year and is about search engines and the so-called ‘right to be forgotten’. The outcome will have huge significance for European internet users and service providers.”

Working on cases that will impact on the way we use the internet is noteworthy in itself, but Obhi has handled this huge and often high-profile pile of litigation with energy and excitement.

“One of the great benefits of working here is that I get to work with our stellar policy team on important issues and events, like the Leveson Inquiry, where we gave evidence,” he adds.

At the time of writing Obhi was also trying to clear his colleagues’ names in Italy, appealing the conviction of Google employees for user-generated content uploaded to the Google Video platform in 2006, adding to the growing list of complaints being made against the search engine giant everyday.

If rival companies are right and Google is set to face an even bigger ‘tsunami of litigation’ then Obhi is just the man for the job.