Leading UK law firm Shoosmiths has announced former general counsel for Telefónica UK, Ed Smith will be joining the firm as a commercial partner in its business advisory division from 4 October.
Ed returns to private practice after gaining more than 20 years’ experience at the highest level as an inhouse lawyer, and counts personally negotiating with Apple’s Tim Cook in 2007 to win the exclusive rights for O2 to sell the iPhone in the UK and Ireland as a major accomplishment in this time.
Ed left Telefónica UK in July where he had been GC for 10 years and a member of the executive committee. He trained at Pinsents, qualifying as a corporate lawyer, and then worked for Freshfields before joining BT Cellnet (later to become Telefónica UK) in 2001.
Ed has gained huge experience leading the general counsel’s office of Telefónica UK, which operates under the O2 and giffgaff brands. Telefónica UK has more than 25 million customers, a 50% share of two major JVs (Tesco Mobile and CTIL) and contractual arrangements with Sky and Lyca among others to operate major mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs).
Ed commented: “It is an enormous privilege to be asked to join Shoosmiths, a firm I greatly admire.
“Once I decided I wanted to return to private practice, I was in the fortunate position of being the subject of interest from a number of firms, but it quickly became apparent that the spirit, energy, vision, client focus and increasing diversity and inclusion focus of Shoosmiths made it the right choice for me.
“I will bring my experience as a GC to the table for the benefit of existing and new Shoosmiths clients. I am excited and eager to get going!”
Head of Shoosmiths’ business advisory division, Stuart Little, said: “We are thrilled Ed is joining Shoosmiths. He has unusual and invaluable board-level experience at a large and complex organisation and has recruited and led multi-disciplinary teams.
“Ed has shouldered huge responsibility for major projects, large scale litigation, responding to relentless sectorial regulation and, crucially, contributing to the executive decision making at Telefónica and managing legal budgets and relationships. We are keen to bring Ed’s unique insight to bear for the benefit of our clients.”