In-house Media and Communications Team of the Year

MTV Networks Europe

2nd place: Northern + Shell
3rd place: News International
Shortlisted: Penguin Books, Primus, Vodafone
The winner of the In-house Media and Telecommunications Team of the Year Award, sponsored by Badenoch & Clark, is MTV Networks Europe.
During the last couple of years, MTV has faced a battle for survival in Italy. This is the only country in Europe where the music station is broadcast on terrestrial television, and MTV's Italian partner faced losing its licence to broadcast. MTV's legal team, led by Svenja Geissmar, found a solution by negotiating a joint venture with Italy's top music channel TMC2, a deal that was as legally, commercially and politically complex as they come, involving a minefield of Italian media ownership. The team also had to deal with the legal implications of the live web streaming of the MTV awards. The award ceremony itself involved securing hundreds of contracts for service providers, the venue and 15 major artists that included Madonna, U2, Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue.
In addition, the team has to keep up with a fast-changing market in which imagination and innovation are constantly required. It manages not only to keep ahead of the game, but to do so with humour.
In second place is Northern + Shell. Working against a very tight deadline under the utmost secrecy, the legal team at Northern + Shell, working under the leadership of Maninder Gill, led the acquisition of Express Newspapers. At the same time, Gill made history by managing to gain an injunction for newly-weds Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas under the Human Rights Act. The injunction granted under the new recognition of a right to privacy delayed the distribution of copies of the Hello! magazine that contained unofficial pictures of the couple's nuptials, the rights of which OK! had already bought.
In third place is the team at News International. At the beginning of this year, the team's persistence paid off when, after a seven-year battle, the jury's £80,000 award to Bruce Grobbelaar was overturned.