Justine Campbell is used to change. She has worked at some of the top telecommunications businesses in Europe on restructuring their legal teams, but has now changed direction to take up the top role at British Gas – an enormously high-profile job.
Campbell joined Vodafone in 2009 after 10 years at BT, O2 and Telefónica. At Vodafone she split the legal team into sub-teams and specialist groups. But her role stretched beyond legal aspects – as director of legal and government affairs she also had to keep an eye on procurement, compliance and investigations.
At British Gas she takes up the reins of a recently restructured team – the company has not had a general counsel since 2012 and Campbell will have her hands full dealing with all legal, regulatory and compliance issues.
Lloyds Banking Group
On 1 January 2013 Kate Cheetham stepped into her new role as Lloyds Banking Group’s deputy general counsel. Since then she has helped transition the legal team through the introduction of three new general counsel and worked on spinning off TSB as a standalone bank.
Cheetham took the lead on the TSB project, dealing with the rebranding, launching it on the high street and preparing for its imminent IPO in 2014. That was on top of dealing with a flurry of UK and US regulatory changes.
The former art dealer is also committed to the bank’s corporate social responsibility programmes, helping extend its social mobility work experience programme out of London and to the Edinburgh, Bristol and Halifax offices. Her passion for charity Suited and Booted helped inspire the legal team to contribute more than 100 hours to the cause in 2013.
Having dealt masterfully with the mayhem surrounding the London Olympics in 2012, you might have thought Transport for London (TfL) would have had a quiet year.
But that was not the case for legal head Andrea Clarke, who continued working on TfL’s £6bn investment programme in 2013. That involved dealing with the upgrade of Bank station, the proposed extension of the Northern Line to Battersea and the next consultation stage on the River Crossings programme.
She is helping TfL as it prepares to integrate West Anglia rail services in 2015, and handling the complex issues posed by the ongoing Crossrail programme. To top it all, she was involved in celebrations of the Tube’s 150th anniversary.
At the forefront of TfL’s drive for cycle safety, in her spare time Clarke is also a big cycling enthusiast.
Unison Legal Services
Unison Legal Services legal officer Suzanne Craig hit the headlines in June 2013, when she won the first ever equal pay case to go to the Supreme Court. Craig led Unison’s fight for 250 classroom assistants and nursery nurses who claimed they were due compensation for bonuses given to colleagues in comparative, but male-dominated, positions. In a unanimous ruling the court found in favour of the women, awarding an estimated £1.5m in compensation.
More equal pay work is on the horizon for Craig. She is currently working on a case for more holiday pay for term-time workers and more equal pay claims are expected. Public sector workers in Scotland can rely on her to fight their corner.
Jeff Eneberi is Just Eat’s general counsel and commercial projects director. He is also a self-proclaimed anti-cooking activist, putting a light-hearted and entrepreneurial spin on the takeaway giant’s legal offering.
Eneberi has spent the past three years building his six-person legal team, making sure they’re fast, approachable and balanced, while “owning the octopus” – keeping control of the company’s various international arms.
In fact, since joining the company in 2010 he has been responsible for integrating its many acquisitions. That’s no small task considering Just Eat has gobbled up takeaway operations in eight new jurisdictions since 2009.
Working in a start-up atmosphere, Eneberi has crafted a legal team that is efficient and approachable. All while being Just Eat’s resident DJ and diligently following up the latest restaurant tips.
Alternative business structures (ABSs) are sweeping the UK legal market. Telecoms giant BT is one of the companies to have joined the rush, with general counsel Dan Fitz at the vanguard of the company’s efforts to turn its 400-strong legal team into a profit centre.
BT Law, headed by Miles Jobling, aims to sell the claims management services which BT already provides for its own fleet of vehicles to other businesses with similar needs.
The ABS has not been Fitz’s only task in the past year. The company also revamped its list of legal advisers, shifting the focus to the commercial issues the business is facing to pick a network of preferred advisers. The process demonstrates the innovative approach that Fitz is taking in leading BT’s in-house function.
Chris Hamill likes to build things – he founded Eurostar’s legal department in the 1990s, oversaw the sale of the High Speed 1 (HS1) railway and has been instrumental in the development of the energy scheme at Hinkley Point.
Hamill is the legal head of EDF’s nuclear new build team. He joined the energy giant’s nuclear function in 2011 and pushed through planning consent and licensing for the UK’s first new nuclear power station in a decade.
He is no stranger to high-profile projects, having been general counsel at London and Continental Railways and chairman of HS1, where he oversaw the £2.1bn sale to Canadian pension funds Borealis Infrastructure and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.
Hamill has built a French-UK team for EDF’s nuclear function and is currently working on taking Hinkley Point to completion.
Last year was one like no other for Royal Mail general counsel Neil Harnby. Having left the financial services arm of General Electric for the top legal role at Royal Mail in 2012, Harnby found himself at the centre of one of the UK’s largest-ever privatisations just a year later.
The IPO of the British postal service was the biggest government flotation for two decades, with Harnby central to managing the legal issues surrounding the privatisation as well as making wider decisions as a member of the chief executive’s committee and pensions committee.
It was another adventure for the former Linklaters partner, who spent five years as a commissioned officer in the British Army after leaving university.
Carol Hui is at the helm of Heathrow’s hub capacity programme, tirelessly lobbying the Government’s Airport Commission to take up its proposal for expansion.
Since joining Heathrow from Amey in 2009, as general counsel and executive committee member Hui’s role has steadily ballooned.Not only is she head of the high-profile capacity programme, but in 2012 she was appointed director of Heathrow Airport Ltd. In late 2013 her role was expanded to cover business assurance, which involves taking responsibility for the business’ internal audit and risk management.
Between juggling her Heathrow roles, Hui manages to squeeze in two non-executive directorships at recruiter Robert Walters and Action for the Blind.
Lambeth County Council
Instead of greeting public sector spending cuts through gritted teeth, Lambeth Council legal head Mark Hynes has investigated ways to benefit from wider changes in the legal market and, as president of new lobbying group Lawyers in Local Government, is leading the fight for the sector.
Hynes has not lost sight of his goal to make Lambeth’s legal services competitive, working with neighbouring London authority Southwark to discuss the possible launch of an alternative business structure spin-off. The idea was first mooted in March, with Hynes looking to cut legal costs by as much as £3m a year.
With that in mind, this year saw Hynes and his team overhaul the authority’s legal panel. Firms were asked to put forward bids that would offer training and secondment opportunities for students in the borough to help them break into the profession.
Citigroup senior vice president and associate general counsel David Johnson leads a team of four lawyers supporting the structured credit business at the bank’s London office.
Since being promoted to the role in 2012, he has made a name for himself as a commercially savvy lawyer who works closely with external advisers to get results.
He has taken an innovative approach to cutting external legal fees, partly through re-engineering traditional synthetic collateralised loan obligations (CLOs) into funded credit default swaps with bespoke margining arrangements.
In fact, he has played a key role in cementing Citi’s reputation in the cash CLO space, helping it to become a regular at the top end of the UK and US league tables in terms of the number of CLOs arranged last year.
Working on the third-largest deal in corporate history is surely worth a hat tip. Vodafone corporate and external affairs director Helen Lamprell, who was promoted to the top position in October, had her work cut out when Vodafone sold its stake in US-based Verizon Wireless, the US’s largest mobile network, for $130bn.
The deal was worth £100m more in value than the year’s second largest transaction with UK involvement – Vodafone’s €7.7bn takeover of Kabel Deutschland, in which Lamprell’s former firm Linklaters took the helm for the telecoms company.
But it does not end there. Legal issues are likely to sprout from the phone group’s £6bn investment plan, Project Spring, which is dedicated to improving network quality in Europe as well as in emerging markets such as India over the next three years.
Lucy Lazzeri joined HS1 Limited as general counsel in 2011, shortly after the business was sold to a Canadian consortium consisting of Borealis Infrastructure and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.
Just one day into the job, Lazzeri started work on refinancing the company, setting off a two-tranche process and raising £565m by private placement and then restructuring a further £1.3bn of bank debt.
In February last year the company launched its UK bond offering, smashing its £455m target to raise £760m. In June Lazzeri completed a panel review, drawing up a roster of seven firms.
Lazzeri is also company secretary and a member of the executive team, helping to mould the direction of the business while managing day-to-day legal responsibilities with only two other lawyers.
Since taking over as UK general counsel for Eon, Graham Line has turned the legal function upside down, achieving cost-cutting results. The company is under pressure to trim its bottom line and last year Line was given the responsibility of researching and producing a report into buying legal services.
The latter part of 2013 saw the first outcome of Line’s review when he pledged to shave 23 per cent off the company’s 2010 baseline legal costs. In October he unveiled a relationship with Pinsent Masons, which will provide all of the firm’s legal work throughout the year on a monthly billing basis. The innovative points-tracking system enables efficiency to be monitored on both sides of the relationship. Not bad for someone who has only spent a year in the top job.
Green Investment Bank
2013 was a year of two halves for Green Investment Bank (GIB) general counsel Euan McVicar, who joined the government-backed bank from Pinsent Masons in May last year.
Tasked with accelerating the UK’s transition to a greener economy, McVicar sits on the company’s investment committee and approves every transaction the company is involved in, with the aim of helping cut 2.5m tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year. In its first year alone, GIB invested £635m in 11 low carbon projects – the equivalent of taking a million cars off the UK’s roads.
Its energy saving projects have come in all different shapes and sizes, from a £1.2m investment into a biomass boiler at an Inverness whisky distillery to a £244m energy to waste facility in West London that converts 300,000 tonnes of residual household waste into energy each year.
As well as being at the heart of these deals, McVicar is responsible for hiring a strong legal team and getting the best value in terms of legal services. Full of energy, indeed.
Moët Hennessy (Group LVMH)
Isabelle Meyer is qualified as an advocate in Switzerland and England and Wales, drafted the Coca-Cola contracts for the London 2012 Olympic Games and now heads the Europe and CIS legal team at luxury goods conglomerate Moët Hennessy.
There is no doubt Meyer has had a busy few years. As regional Moët Hennessy general counsel she is responsible for the luxury brand’s commercial, corporate and competition law matters and deals with issues ranging from e-commerce to compliance programmes.
Recently she was in charge of building from scratch a new operating entity in Europe, helping to expand the company in a foreign region.
Before that Meyer worked at Coca-Cola, where she was responsible for commercial aspects of the whopping Coca-Cola Olympics contracts.
If ever a deal had the flavour of a cup final, it was underdog BT Sport taking on title-holders Sky and ITV for the lucrative prize of a £900m three-year contract for the live UK broadcast rights to European football.
Football is a team sport, and BT’s triumph was down to the whole squad. Playing a crucial mid-field role was Nigel Paterson, general counsel for consumer and head of competition and regulatory law.
Paterson has been in the top slot for nearly four years, having moved up from a stint as chief counsel for major transaction. The Arsenal season ticket-holder will have done his own transfer value a power of good with this deal for Champions League and Europa Cup rights.
University of Birmingham
Carolyn Pike is at the legal helm of her alma mater in her role as director of legal services at the University of Birmingham. She returned to the institution where she completed her undergraduate studies after less than a decade in private practice and has been there ever since.
She began helping with the in-house team at its inception, when Birmingham was one of
the first universities to appoint a legal team. She now chairs University Legal Practitioners, which unites 130 lawyers in 70 institutions.
Current projects include the establishment of one of the first university-sponsored secondary schools in the country, for which Pike has co-ordinated with the Government and city council.
It has not been the easiest of years for Fleet Street, with Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry into the ethics of the press causing headaches. That discomfort has been especially acute for elements of the Murdoch-owned press.
But editorial legal director of Times Newspapers (TNL) Pia Sarma adroitly shepherded The Times and The Sunday Times through the Leveson Inquiry relatively unscathed. That in itself was a notable achievement for a lawyer who started her career in the City, far removed from the media cut and thrust. But Sarma also played a crucial role in negotiating TNL’s position regarding the myriad Royal Charter recommendations for the future regulation of the press.
However, arguably her biggest triumph last year was overseeing the Sunday Times’ libel defence against London businessman David Hunt, who was suing the paper for £250,000. Instead of a costly defeat, the paper was able to claim overwhelming victory.
Life has not always been easy for Deutsche Bank general counsel Emma Slatter, being appointed general counsel for UK and Western Europe in 2010 as the bank was dealing with the ongoing fallout from the 2008 crash.
The litigation wave broke over the bank and it has had to deal with disputes related to bonus payments, collaterised debt obligations andnow faces cases over allegations it manipulated the Libor interest rate. It is little wonder that Slatter has become a force to be reckoned with.
She has also made her mark as Deutsche Bank’s first female general counsel, playing a role on its Senior Women’s Advisory Board, which aims to recruit, develop and retain women at all levels in the company.
British Medical Association
After 24 years in-house, last year British Medical Association (BMA) group legal director Jonathan Waters decided that 2014 was the right moment to quit and do his own thing. The catalyst? The immense upheaval coursing through the UK healthcare sector.
New legislation such as the Health and Social Care Act 2012 is leading to an extensive reorganisation of the NHS’s structure, in turn creating a competitive landscape in Waters’ core market.
This month Waters, whose campaigning skills on behalf of its members were highlighted in The Lawyer last year, leaves the BMA to launch his own consultancy. It will focus on meeting the rapidly growing need among healthcare professionals for solid commercial advice. Timing is everything and with the healthcare market opening up, Waters has diagnosed the symptons and chosen his remedy well.
Suzanne Wise fashioned an entire in-house team at Premier Foods from scratch to reflect the very different focus of the company following numerous acquisitions in the late-2000s. Never deterred by a mammoth challenge, in 2012 Wise was brought on board as Network Rail’s first-ever general counsel.
She immediately set about creating a smaller legal panel with the view of forging more mutually beneficial and strategic relationships with firms – she had instigated the new roster by April 2013.
With Network Rail due to be reclassified as a government body later this year, increasing its significance in the UK market, Wise is set to enlist her ample experience of handling major legal projects to keep this one on the track