Hot 100: Tom Cassels, Baker & McKenzie

After a year chock-full of judicial review proceedings, what stood out most for Baker & McKenzie partner Tom Cassels (scroll down for video interview) was his ongoing role as adviser to the BBC Trust.


Having acted for the trust since it was created in 2007, Bakers and Cassels were reappointed to its panel during a tender process in 2011. This meant Cassels was by the trust’s side for the Pollard review into the dropped Newsnight investigation on allegations of sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile and the BBC’s Editorial Standards Committee’s review of a Newsnight programme that led to Lord McAlpine being wrongly identified online as an abuser.

On a more regular basis, Cassels advises the trust when editorial decisions get appealed and also helped with the trust’s submissions to the Leveson Inquiry.

Elsewhere, Cassels acted for mobile phone network Three on court action regarding mobile phone termination rates – the amount one operator charges another for terminating calls on its network. Three was a lone voice shouting for reduced mobile termination rates, leading to a successful appeal against previous charge control by larger mobile operators.

Despite further challenges from the heavyweights, the Bakers team won on all but one of the points.

Working alongside diversity head Jenny Barrow as Bakers’ diversity champion, Cassels also continues to strive to make the firm – and the profession – a more representative place to work. Next on the duo’s to-do list is gender equality, one of the biggest challenges to the law firm business model.