BT centralises lawyers, expands trainee intake

BT Group is in the process of overhauling the in-house functions of its separate businesses, creating central pools of lawyers to handle employment and regulation issues.

A source told The Lawyer that the company was ­looking to build specialist “centres of excellence” to give specialist advice to the different BT Group businesses, including BT Retail and BT Global Services. The centres will include employment and telecoms regulation practice areas.

The reshuffle of lawyers is expected to be finalised by late January. The move accompanies other changes to the legal function and comes as BT opens its trainee solicitor recruitment programme to people from outside the company for the first time in a bid to attract new talent.

In 2003 Nestlé pioneered the use of central practice area groups in an effort to drive down in-house legal costs. The company set up pools of M&A and commercial contracts lawyers to supply its lawyers in different countries with specialist deal advice.

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