T-Mobile reshuffles legal post-Chain

T-Mobile is restructuring its legal department following the departure of its longstanding general counsel.

Julia Chain, general counsel at T-Mobile for six years, as well as being company director, is leaving on 1 October to join legal specialists Jomati Consultants to provide strategic advice to in-house lawyers.

Her role will be taken by her deputy James Blendis, who will assume the newly-created role of legal director.

As general counsel, Chain oversaw a number of different areas. These included the legal department, which housed 34 staff, the 12-strong public policy group, the government service division where 12 people worked, and the two-person business continuity unit. T-Mobile was shortlisted for the In-House TMT Team of the Year at this year’s The Lawyer Awards.

While Chain reported directly to the chief executive, Blendis and each of the groups will now liaise with T-Mobile’s finance director. Overall responsibility for legal is held by German-based general counsel Uli Kühbacher.

T-Mobile in the UK uses a number of firms, including Eversheds, Freshfields Bruck-haus Deringer, Kemp Little, Linklaters and Reynolds Porter Chamberlain.

Prior to working in-house, Chain was the managing partner of Garretts, the law firm previously tied to the now-collapsed Arthur Andersen.

Widely considered as a pioneer for women in law, at the time of her appointment as managing partner in 1994, Chain was the only female to hold the position within a top 100 law firm.