WINNER

In-house Commerce & Industry Team of the Year

Amey

The Amey legal team played a key role in a mammoth seven-year procurement challenge to launch a waste-reducing behemoth project for North Yorkshire and the City of York.

The £400m North Yorkshire Waste project will reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill in the region by 90 per cent. The successful task completed under immense pressure demonstrates a dedicated team that led a complex project to add real value to both the business and the wider community.

The complexity of the work and the number of internal and external parties and advisers involved meant its was crucial the team’s project management strategy, coordination and budgets were planned and maintained in minute detail to ensure the project reached a successful conclusion before the long-stop. The team, headed up group legal director Wayne Robertson, demonstrated outstanding determination to honour its commitment to close a deal in extraordinarily challenging circumstances such as the withdrawal of PFI credits, a judicial review of its planning permission and a split commercial and financial close.

The work of the legal team has helped transform Amey from a transport infrastructure services business with £1.1bn revenues in 2011 to the £2.4bn asset management provider it is today.

Judges said the Amey team was “clearly a strong part of a major project that was innovative in the sector” and its work displayed “clear evidence of alignment to the corporate strategy”.

Runner up
  • Asda

Despite overseeing the vast legal function of a £22.8bn retailer with 170,000 employees, Asda’s legal team, headed up by general counsel Alex Simpson, has invested heavily in innovation to improve practices and ensure efficiency at all levels of the business in the last year.

The team overhauled its online business as part of a colossal five-year strategy to grow online sales revenue to £3bn. The project involved developing a comprehensive and integrated intellectual property programme to safeguard its investments and making 26 patent applications – a first for Asda – on new technology including introducing 3D printing technology in stores.

Engaging with disruptive technologies has been the key to success for the legal team. It engaged in a two-day innovation“hack” in Silicon Valley with its parent company Walmart to revolutionise e-commerce activity across both businesses. Judges said the team demonstrated “excellent evidence of strategic involvement”.

Third place
  • UK Power Networks

UK Power Networks’ legal team, led by general counsel Christopher Baker, faced a challenging task when the business was served an improvement notice from the health and safety executive to locate and remove thousands of faulty electricity meters that had been causing fires.

The legal team stepped in, creating and leading the complex extraction programme removing all remaining 2,442 meters in East Anglia and London in 25 weeks. The project involved issuing bulk warrant applications to magistrates, instructing firms to visit all customers to seek meter replacement applications and setting up a hotline for its customers and providing field briefing notes to staff to ensure best practice across the business.

Shortlisted
  • GSK
  • Sainsbury's Supermarkets
  • Scotia Gas Networks
  • SSE