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O2 has poached Interoute group legal counsel Richard Hastings as its new chief legal counsel for the UK. Hastings said that he was sad to leave Interoute after being part of the core management team that dragged the company out of receivership late last year. "We achieved a huge amount, but Interoute is a company of 200 people and these are very difficult market conditions. It was back to business as usual. This is a very nice career move," he said. Hastings will take charge of a team of 12 lawyers, who are part of holding company mmO2's 45-lawyer legal team, headed by Giuseppe Sanna. Hastings will report to the chief operating officer of O2 UK Vivek Dev and will work closely with Sanna. Hastings' key advisers at Interoute were Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw and Baker & McKenzie. O2 has been undergoing a shake-up of its law firms as Sanna has sought to rationalise its panel of 38 firms.