The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
For any IP or technology fan looking to get under the skin of commercial awareness the recent focus by Lawyer2B’s sister publication The Lawyer on the technology sector in its 2012 Transatlantic Elite report is essential reading.
Along with companies such as IBM and Cisco, The Lawyer looked at Google, which with an 800-strong legal team is one of the biggest - and it is easy to see why.
In addition to an investigation by the European Commission of its $12.5bn (£8.04bn) pending acquisition of Motorola Mobility the company is the subject of hundreds of lawsuits including around 100 active patent litigation matters.
One such matter is Oracle v Google, a case once estimated by Oracle to be worth more than $6bn, but the software developer is yet to secure any wins against the search engine.
But it is not just competitors taking Google to court. One of the tech giant’s most recent cases is an investigation by the European Court of Justice following requests from Spanish citizens to have their information removed from Google’s search results.
“It’s one of the most significant cases we’ve worked on because it’s about how you and I will be able to find information in the future,” says Harjinder Obhi, director of Google’s litigation arm in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “Everybody would be able to tailor what you can read about them on a Google search, which isn’t how the internet should be structured. It’s about the rights for people to obscure history versus the right for people to know history.”
It is these cases, Obhi adds, that make being an in-house Googler so significant.
“Why my job’s interesting is very simple,” the former Bristows lawyer enthuses. “I have a caseload to die for. Many of the cases we work on are determining what the law’s going to be, cases that are right on the cutting edge of technology and internet law. The consequences of each case are enormous - not just for us as a company, but for people all over the world.”
But before you all race to send in your CVs, Google is rumoured to put applicants through up to 15 interviews.
“The interview process is very tough,” confirms Obhi, pointing to the vast range of areas applicants are quizzed on by separate pools of interviewers. “The internal structure’s complex. It’s a huge army of lawyers organised on both a regional and functional level, so if we have to put a regional lawyer in a country, then that person has to be the jack of all trades.”
But if that sums you up - the prize looks pretty glittering.