Osborne Clarke answers call from Vodafone

Osborne Clarke is reaping the rewards of its head of IT’s secondment to Vodafone UK as the firm completes a high-profile joint venture with BT Retail.

Osborne Clarke is working for Vodafone on the link-up between the two telecoms giants, which will enable customers to communicate and access the same information whether they are connected to a fixed or a mobile network.

Osborne Clarke head of IT Simon Rendell went on secondment to Vodafone UK in March as a temporary measure while the mobile company seeks a chief for its UK legal team. Osborne Clarke partner Angus Finnegan was mandated to work on the BT deal by colleague Rendell, who was placed in charge of Vodafone UK’s 18-lawyer UK team by its general counsel Stephen Scott. It is expected that Rendell will work in-house at Vodafone UK for a six-month period after Scott moved the former UK head Ian Robino to the IT/IP department at Vodafone Group.

The joint venture deal also signals a step forward for Addleshaw Goddard’s relationship with BT. After years of advising solely on property issues, the firm has completed its second commercial deal for BT in the space of a month.
It advised BT Retail on the strategic relationship contract with Vodafone UK following the completion of its work on a $1.5bn (£82m) deal with HP just last month.

Addleshaws IT partner Margaret Harvey was called in by BT Retail legal counsel Gavin Rowson to help on a demanding 12 months of work on the Vodafone deal.

The BT in-house team is outsourcing more legal work as the company is working on bigger and more complex commercial transactions compared with when it was solely a fixed-line telephone network provider.