Meet the judges

Torsten Bartsch, Head of Commercial Legal Group, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Caterpillar

Simon Beswick, Managing Partner, Osborne Clarke

Simon is CEO of Osborne Clarke’s international organisation and the Managing Partner of OC’s UK business. His role enables him to shape the business to meet the ever changing needs of our clients as they themselves adapt to meet the fast changing economic, regulatory, business and market environment in which they operate.

Whether it’s through our focus on developing OC lawyers to advise clients in an industry context, or the extension of Osborne Clarke internationally, it’s Simon role to make sure the firm’s vision and strategic plan is coming to fruition. Simon also makes sure that day-to-day we are always innovating to deliver the high service levels our clients have come to expect at the best value we can offer.

Simon has been running the international organisation since 2012 and the UK business since 2003. Before that he was head of our Silicon Valley office, working with US businesses acquiring or investing in Europe. He is a private equity lawyer, and led the corporate practice before he went to the US. Simon joined Osborne Clarke as a newly-qualified lawyer in 1986, and has been a partner here for over 20 years.

Grainne Brankin, International Legal Director, CBS Outdoor

CBS Outdoor is a leading outdoor advertising company and is part of CBS Corporation. With more than 3000 employees, CBS Outdoor operates in 15 markets across Europe, China & the Americas.

Grainne has been International Legal Director at CBS Outdoor since May 2011. As well as sitting on the International Executive Committee and advising on international projects she co ordinates legal strategy and teams for the International division and liaises with CBS Corp legal department in New York. Prior to joining CBS, Grainne worked at Yahoo!’s EMEA HQ in London and then Switzerland.

Grainne qualified at Clifford Chance in London and worked at European Law firm Bird & Bird before joining Yahoo!. She has undertaken a broad range of corporate and commercial work in Europe and on occasion the USA within the media, advertising and technology industries.

Chris Carroll, Senior International Counsel, Travers Smith

Having trained with the firm in the late 70s, Chris qualified into the Corporate department in 1980 and became a partner in 1986. He became Managing Partner in January 2001, completing three terms before he stood down in December 2009.

He was then elected Senior Partner with effect from 1 July 2010, a post he held until July 2013, when he reached the firm’s partnership retirement age and stepped down to become Senior International Counsel with responsibility for sourcing, developing and nurturing relationships with independent law firms throughout the world.

Before taking over the management of the firm, he had a broad corporate practice advising on all aspects of corporate law for over 20 years with particular emphasis, in the latter years, on private equity. He was a founding member of both the firm’s Private Equity group and the firm’s Investment Funds group. He has, over the years, advised on numerous large-scale MBOs and MBIs and other private equity investments and has also worked on the establishment of a number of private equity funds.

Chris featured as one of The Lawyer Magazine’s ‘Hot 100’ in 2005.

Gordon Finlayson, General Counsel, HBO Europe

Gordon Finlayson is the General Counsel of HBO Europe, the European subsidiary of the world’s leading pay television network and Time Warner Group Company. Prior to joining HBO Gordon was based in Dubai as the General Counsel of OSN, the leading pay television platform in the MENA region. Prior to OSN and HBO, Gordon was an In-house TMT Lawyer for clients such as Warner/Chappell, Michelin and Hearst Magazines.

Prior to qualification as a Lawyer, Gordon commenced his career as Journalist, and was the Managing Editor of CNET Networks Australia and worked for Excite@Home in the development of first generation broadband content applications.

Gordon has an LLM from University College London, a LLB from the University of New South Wales, a BA in Media & Communications and is a qualified Lawyer in England and Wales and Australia.

Tim Frazer, Partner, Arnold & Porter

Tim Frazer represents and advises clients in a range of competition issues including merger, transactional, and conduct cases. His practice includes advising leading consumer products, food, tobacco, chemicals and pharmaceutical companies on complex merger and conduct cases, such as Kraft Foods’ hostile bid for Cadbury. He has designed and implemented on-line competition compliance programmes and audits for international companies, distribution systems, procurement, parallel trade, abuse, and other conduct issues. He has authored several books and articles on competition law and was previously Dean of Law at Newcastle University.

Jennie Gubbins, Senior Partner, Trowers & Hamlins

Jennie has spent her career in commercial law and specialises in corporate finance. Her experience includes private equity, stock and bond issues, loans, the acquisition/transfer of companies and undertakings as well as large commercial and administrative matters. She has led many major transactions and works with both the public and private sectors. Clients include financial institutions, hospitals, health and medical organisations, media and retail groups. She was for 11 years the head of the Trowers Corporate department, and became Senior Partner in April 2013.

Pavel Klimov, General Counsel, Unisys

Pavel Klimov is the General Counsel for Unisys in EMEA. Pavel joined Unisys in Moscow in 1994 and moved to the European headquarters in Uxbridge, England in 1996. Later he moved to Australia and then the Unisys Corporate headquarters in the USA before returning back to the UK in 2006 to assume his current role.

He is a dual-qualified Lawyer and admitted to practice law in Russia (1996) and England and Wales (2001). Prior to joining legal profession he read information science in the Moscow Aviations Institute. In 2002 Pavel received PhD from the Moscow State University for his research work on English law.

As well as managing the 11 Lawyer strong legal function in the region, Pavel deals with a broad range of contentious and non-contentious legal work. He advised Unisys on numerous IT transactions with private and public sector customers in the US, UK, Continental Europe, Middle East, India, Australia, New Zealand and Africa. His areas of particular expertise also include corporate, employment, pensions, and data protection.

Igor Makarov, Deputy CEO and General Counsel, Basic Element Company

Igor Makarov was appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Legal Affairs at Basic Element Company in July, 2012. Basic Element Group is one of the largest diversified financial and industrial groups in Russia accounting for approximately 1% of Russian GDP. Before joining Basic Element Co, Mr. Makarov was Director of Legal Affairs at UC RUSAL. UC RUSAL is the world’s largest aluminum company listed at HKEx and Euronext. Prior to that, Mr. Makarov was a partner at the international law firm, Jones Day. From 2003-2004 he was TNK-BP’s Head of the Corporate Legal and M&A departments. From 1999 to 2003 he worked as the General Counsel of BP Russia.

Igor Makarov holds a BA Honours degree in Law from the Moscow Institute of International Relations – MGIMO (Russia) and Master of Laws degree from Fordham University (USA). Mr. Makarov is a member of the New York Bar Association, an arbitrator of the Arbitration Court of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, and a member of the Investment Committee of Yuri Rozum International Charitable Foundation.

Charles Martin, Senior Partner, Macfarlanes

Charles joined the firm in 1983, became a partner in 1990 and Senior Partner in 2008. Charles works principally in M&A and private equity, acting for sponsors and corporates. Much of his work is cross border in nature. He is rated in the top tiers of the most highly recommended M&A and private equity lawyers in the UK by the leading directories including Chambers. Clients look to him particularly for strategic counsel and tactical input on a wide variety of legal matters including M&A negotiations and litigation.

Recent highlights include advising:

  • Verizon Communications Inc. on its acquisition of Vodafone’s interest in Verizon Wireless for $130bn;
  • Brit Insurance N.V. on a recommended $1.3bn cash offer by Apollo and CVC;
  • the independent directors of TNK-bp in relation to a proposed transaction with Rosneft;
  • CSN on its offer to acquire Corus for £6bn; and
  • Goldman Sachs on the €1.2bn acquisition of and investment in ABN AMRO’s UK, Netherlands and Nordic private equity portfolio.

Elaine Mays, Chief Compliance Officer, Wood Group

Elaine began her legal career in private practice before moving in-house over 10 years ago. She was Legal Director for U.S. oilfield services company Baker Hughes Europe Region, before relocating to her native Aberdeen in 2012 to take up the role of Chief Compliance Officer at FTSE 100 listed Company Wood Group, a leading independent services provider for the oil & gas and power generation markets. Wood Group employs around 43,000 people worldwide and operates in over 50 countries. In her current role, Elaine serves as the focal point for business ethics and compliance matters across the Group’s global activities.

Jeffrey McGhie, Group General Counsel, VimpelCom

Jeffrey D. McGhie has served as Group General Counsel of our company since August 2010. Mr. McGhie held the position of Vice President, General Counsel of OJSC VimpelCom from June 2007 until July 2010, and before that he served as OJSC VimpelCom’s Chief Legal Officer beginning in March 2006. Prior to joining VimpelCom, he held the position of associate in the Moscow office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld from September 2002 until December 2004, and counsel from January 2005 until March 2006. From December 1999 until August 2002, Mr. McGhie was an associate at Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. McGhie graduated with a B.A.in Russian from Brigham Young University in 1995 and received a J.D. magna cum laude and MBA from Indiana University (Bloomington) in 1999.

Peter Rees QC

Peter J. Rees QC was the Legal Director of Royal Dutch Shell between January 2011 and January 2014. In this post he had ultimate responsibility for the Shell global legal function and advised the Shell group management on all legal matters of group-wide importance. The Shell legal function comprises some 1,000 staff, of which around 750 are lawyers or intellectual property professionals. The Shell legal function also includes the ethics and compliance office. As Legal Director, Peter was also a member of the Executive Committee.

Peter studied law at Downing College, Cambridge University, subsequently obtaining an MBA from Nottingham Trent University. He commenced his legal career at Norton Rose in 1979, becoming a partner in 1987, Head of the Global Dispute Resolution Group in 1996 and a member of the Executive Committee for 12 years until his departure to become a partner in the London office of Debevoise & Plimpton in 2006. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2009.

Peter is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a Chartered Arbitrator, an Accredited Mediator with ADR Chambers and an Accredited Adjudicator with TeCSA. He has appeared as counsel in a large number of arbitrations around the world as well as being appointed as arbitrator in arbitrations both institutional (ICC, LCIA, SCC, AAA) and ad hoc. Peter is the Former Chair of the International Construction Projects Committee of the International Bar Association, the Technology and Construction Solicitors’ Association and the Board of Management of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is presently a Member of the Court of the LCIA, a Member of the Governing Body of the Court of Arbitration of the ICC and a Member of the Board of the CPR Institute.

Brian Sheridan, General Counsel, Sorin

Brian is the first non-Italian General Counsel for an Italian stock exchange-listed corporation. He is responsible for all legal matters in this multinational medical device Group, as well as business model innovation, business development, corporate governance, and the Group’s extensive intellectual property portfolio. Brian is recognized for his role leading the Group’s Business Ethics and Global Compliance Program.

Brian was previously a Partner at Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelly, and is the author of ‘Biotechnology Regulation and Practice’ (Palladian, 2001). He obtained his LLB, LLM and post-graduate diploma in Competition Law from the University of London.

George Turner, EVP, General Counsel and Company Secretary, InterContinental Hotels Group

George Turner, a solicitor originally with DLA Piper, was appointed as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Company Secretary in January 2009. His function, entitled, “Business Reputation and Responsibility”, comprises the Global Legal, Internal Audit, Risk Management, Corporate Social Responsibility and Standards teams, with the primary role being “to champion and protect the trusted reputation of IHG and its brands”. Responsibilities include corporate governance, legal, compliance, data privacy, assurance, sustainability, health, safety, security, insurance, standards compliance and administration.

Previously, George was at Imperial Chemical Industries where he held a number of key positions including Deputy Company Secretary, Senior Counsel and Global Supply Chain Director, Legal.

He is a member of the IHG Executive Committee.

Graham White, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis International

Sharon White, CEO, Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood is an international law firm with over 120 partners and 600 staff worldwide. As Chief Executive, Sharon’s main responsibilities revolve around leadership, strategy development and implementation as well as business performance and business development. Sharon is also head of the corporate practice and advises on the full range of corporate finance and contractual matters for domestic and international public and private companies. Her main areas of specialism include acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures and IPOs and capital markets. Sharon trained at Memery Crystal, qualified in 1986 and was made a partner at Stephenson Harwood in 1998. She graduated from Essex University with a LLB (Hons).