Tying in with our annual GC Powerlist report in recognising outstanding achievement by in-house lawyers below group general counsel level, this award will focus on the rising stars tipped for great things by their colleagues, peers and advisers.
2017 Winner: Ahsan Gulabkhan, Virgin Atlantic
Gulabkhan is the lead lawyer for the Virgin Atlantic’s aircraft finance and treasury teams, the primary legal point for the commercial and network teams, and part of the group’s senior management team. Since joining Virgin Atlantic in 2013, he has worked on some of the airline’s largest and most complex matters, including its recent large aircraft campaign and the ultimate order of its new A350 fleet.
In 2016 Sainsbury’s successfully completed the first standalone action against a payments company brought to judgment in the UK and was awarded the largest ever anti-competition award in Europe. A competition lawyer by background, Anderson encouraged Sainsbury’s to pursue its recent action independently, built a team of expert witnesses, managed all internal communications and prepared the retailer’s case.
Within the last decade Boyle has held four different roles in the legal team, including a recent promotion to director of legal and head of the customer-facing team. Recent key achievements include an negotiating with regulatory body Ofcom around the introduction of tiered pricing in consumer contracts, enabling Telefónica to become the first operator to introduce the concept of tiered pricing.
Cope has been serially promoted to his current role as head of legal, UK and international, since joining RSA in 2013. Cope was lead internal counsel on RSA’s disposal of non-core businesses in 16 jurisdictions from 2015-2016, and oversaw the development of the group’s IT infrastructure agreement in 2015.
British American Tobacco
Harris joined BAT in 2012 and has since worked on the two largest M&A deals ever in the tobacco industry, including BAT’s recently announced $49.4bn agreement to buy Reynolds American. Other highlights at BAT include leading on BAT’s first acquisition in Sudan and the largest cash takeover in Brazilian history.
Rosser has spearheaded an ambitious change programme as head of Vodafone’s enterprise legal team. This has seen her introduce into Vodafone’s Enterprise division a contract lifecycle management system to generate and manage contracts for Vodafone’s Enterprise customers globally and a new system of reporting for all lawyers and contracts. As a result, half of all contracts are now signed electronically.