Despite swapping general counsel midway through the year, the Capgemini legal team managed to pull off a coup by winning the Inland Revenue project from EDS and Accenture. Former general counsel Gavin Wakefield announced his intention to leave for a role in private practice midway through the bid, but his successor Barry Wong retained Wakefield’s expertise to complete the innovative second-generation outsourcing. In parallel to this magnificent coup, Wong got to grips with his external advisers with a thorough panel review.
Channel 4 has never been afraid to take risks and the legal group is keeping step with the continuing revolution. Jan Tomalin leads a department that has evolved into the legal and compliance department, a fusion of legal and editorial roles that is unprecedented in broadcasting. Channel 4’s legal team has become the first broadcaster to fuse creative thought with legal analysis. In addition to the new legal model, Tomalin and her team have had to deal with the legal issues associated with such revolutionary programmes as Big Brother, Derren Brown and his Russian roulette stunt and Pornography: The Musical.
After emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in 2002 with its network and customer base intact, Flag Telecom’s legal group may have thought it had seen enough upheaval, but the last year has been another busy one. In October 2003 the company announced a merger with India’s Reliance Gateway. The deal was the largest acquisition made by an Indian company and the complexities involved in merging an Indian corporation with a Bermuda-based outfit meant the legal group had a pivotal role to play.
In a year when outsourcing contracts were the hot news in IT circles, Fujitsu Services landed a chunk of two of the biggest ones, while another landed it in the courts. The legal team played a pivotal role in all three. The National Programme for IT in the NHS dominated the year and ended in both success and failure for Fujitsu, as it landed a billion-pound project but missed out on a second deal. The company also secured the role of primary subcontractor to Capgemini on the Inland Revenue outsourcing project. General counsel Richard Allnutt was also in charge of the strategic direction of Fujitsu’s legendary litigation with The Co-op, without doubt the most eyecatching IT case in years.
Kingston Communications’ group legal services department was established in 2002 when the company’s legal function was centralised. Led by company secretary and head of legal John Bailey, the team of five qualified solicitors and three paralegals worked on a number of deals last year. These included: developing a new contractual framework as part of the Department of Trade and Industry’s broadband aggregation project; negotiating and structuring an innovative agreement for the provision of a fibre network for universities in Yorkshire and Humberside; and leading Kingston’s work in complying with the Communications Act 2003.
The T-Mobile legal department employs 20 lawyers specialising in areas ranging from corporate to data protection. The team, headed by general counsel Julia Chain, deals with all of T-Mobile’s legal needs, outsourcing only major litigation and corporate transactions. Senior members of the UK team report to the international general counsel as well as Chain, supporting several international projects – a representative of the UK legal team went to Geneva to lead sponsorship negotiations with UEFA on behalf of the international group, for example. In 2003 the team worked on the successfully resolved litigation with Virgin Mobile over the two companies’ failed joint venture.