Legal Business

Bupa

  • Chief legal officer: Paul Newton
  • Team headcount: 75 lawyers.

Spread across more than 190 countries and territories, Bupa’s progressive legal function operates as both a localised and centralised function, working across areas such as commercial property, NHS procurement, IT and employment.

Serving an international healthcare provider, which turned over £9bn in 2013, has 22 million clients and employs more than 70,000 people, many of Bupa’s business divisions operate in highly regulated sectors, with the legal team focused on risk management across the organisation.

Last year, chief legal officer Paul Newton carried out a panel review, with a varied range of firms winning spots on the roster. The team’s annual legal spend is over £11m and law firms used include Slaughter and May, Herbert Smith Freehills, White & Case and Addleshaw Goddard.

In charge of a team working across different continents, countries and time zones, Newton has established a novel way of communicating, with the legal function operating as a virtual community to enable lawyers to act as one team. Lawyers find it easier to work together, be flexible, adaptable and share best practice. In addition, Penny Dudley, legal director for Bupa’s global market unit, was specifically recognised in our 2014 Rising Stars Power List as a leader within the team.

Significant mandates for the team last year included a £205m acquisition of a 56% stake in Cruz Blanca Salud, one of Chile’s leading healthcare groups. The team also worked on an exclusive ten-year distribution agreement with Hang Seng Bank in Hong Kong. Under the agreement, a range of bespoke Bupa medical insurance products and services will be available to Hang Seng personal and corporate customers in Hong Kong and mainland China through the bank’s branches and direct channels.