Legal Business

Vodafone

  • Group general counsel and company secretary: Rosemary Martin.
  • Team headcount: 350 lawyers.

Vodafone’s legal team is the equivalent of a sizeable law firm in its own right – housing 350 lawyers in 26 countries worldwide and across legal, compliance and corporate secretariat, with a central team based in the UK. Led by GC and company secretary Rosemary Martin, one of the most well-known and respected heads of legal in the industry, it draws plaudits from all areas.

James Conyers, GC at BSkyB, says: ‘I’ve heard about the sort of things Rosemary Martin is trying to achieve at Vodafone and I always follow what they are up to with interest – in particular the approach to diversity and also the thoughtful approach to managing and developing the internal team.’

After pioneering the outsourcing of work to alternative service providers such as Riverview Law, Obelisk Legal Support and Axiom, the team is now looking towards managing the multiple resources of the in-house legal team, offshore Vodafone lawyers and legal outsourcers.

The team is particularly noted for its diversity focus, especially towards gender. Martin comments: ‘At Vodafone we do quite a lot around diversity, particularly as regards gender. We have job-sharing, which we try to encourage. A couple of senior lawyers are job-sharing.’ In the group legal team itself, which supports the head office, there are 20 nationalities, with 43 men and 65 women.

The legal department at Vodafone is also leading the pack on knowledge sharing and new media. ‘When we talk to law firms about what we are doing on knowledge management, we are probably at the forefront or certainly comparable with the big in-house legal teams, or ahead of some of the law firms, which is quite gratifying as it is something we spend quite a lot of time and effort on,’ adds Martin.