This category is open to UK general counsel and their teams from any industry sector. Tying in with our annual GC Powerlist report and event, this award will be presented to the team that can demonstrate outstanding performance on behalf of the company, either through innovative use of its own resources or effective management of external law firms.
2016 WINNER: Skyscanner
The legal team has not only helped Skyscanner to become the world’s fastest-growing travel search site but has been an active voice in the laws surrounding the online travel industry. Skyscanner’s lawyers have played an important role in developing issues such as access to data, price parity, unbiased search, regulation of online platforms and the goals of the Digital Single Market. The team also negotiated Skyscanner’s joint venture with Yahoo! Japan.
As one of the first in-house legal teams to obtain an alternative business structure licence, BT has continued its impressive record of finding new ways to resource legal work, with commercial legal spend 75% lower than it was in 2010. During 2015, Fitz’s team was heavily involved in the process of managing BT’s £12.5bn acquisition of EE.
Lucy Vernall, who became Funding Circle’s first full-time UK-based lawyer in July 2014, has played a lead role in pushing for FCA regulation in the peer-to-peer lending marketplace and played an important role in one of the largest-ever private fundraising rounds by a British technology start-up.
INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP
The legal team of UK-listed IHG has played a lead role in the company's transformation from a hotel-owning real estate company to a brands-led franchisor and management company. It is responsible for promoting and leading strategic projects and the company’s reputation and responsible business agenda.
Representing the UK pharmaceutical arm of Roche, the legal team has been involved in a number of important strategic initiatives, including the integration of four companies into the UK and Ireland business following Roche’s acquisition of Intermune Group.
A very busy 2015 for the SABMiller legal team saw it heavily involved in the biggest M&A takeover anywhere in the world, following Anheuser-Busch InBev’s £71bn bid. General counsel Davidson is widely recognised as a standout individual by private practice firms, while the team worked on the company’s joint venture with Coca-Cola to form an African bottling operation worth $2.9bn (£1.9bn).