Senior Legal Counsel
LOCATION: BRENTFORD, UK
POSTED: 20 JANUARY 2016
Overview of the Company
Global Cloud Xchange (‘GCX’) is a combination of the companies formerly known as FLAG Telecom, Vanco and Yipes. See http://globalcloudxchange.com/ for an overview of the Company. This Senior Legal Counsel role is one of the two positions that primarily support the former FLAG business, which forms the global telecommunications network business of Reliance Communications which is listed on the Mumbai Stock Exchange and is in turn the communications division of the Reliance ADA Group, one of the largest Indian conglomerates.
FLAG is the world’s largest private submarine telecoms cable owner, comprising five privately-owned transcontinental fibre optic cables, with a total length of about 65,000km (FA-1, Falcon, FEA, FNAL and Hawk); linked to 45 cable landing stations and 73 points of presence (‘PoP’) in 32 countries. See http://www.submarinecablemap.com for an overview of the systems. Most submarine cables are owned by a consortium of operators, our private cable systems allow us a degree of freedom and flexibility that consortium cables struggle to match.
Position Overview & Candidate Attributes
The successful candidate will ideally have 7+PQE and a background in an engineering or manufacturing-related industry of some kind (energy, oil and gas, infrastructure, submarine cable if possible, aerospace & defence etc.) and will demonstrate initiative and close attention to detail. A key attribute for any applicant is the ability to swiftly assimilate a detailed knowledge of the network & products; and then apply this to the conduct of the role.
The role has significant autonomy, and we’re looking for someone who, once given the basics of the business, relishes the opportunity to develop his or her own practice and work largely unsupervised. Equally, and ideally, the appointee would be able to assist in the training of a trainee solicitor who is also our company secretary.
The role would suit a candidate who has a robust personality and is unfazed at dealing with difficult customers (both internal and external). Our senior management team (including our GC, to whom this role will report) is based in Hong Kong. Our support systems are largely based in Mumbai (global network operations centre, IT, Finance, Billing) and our Legal team is spread across the UK (three senior legal counsel including this role, one legal counsel and one trainee), New York (one senior legal counsel, one legal counsel), Frankfurt (one senior legal counsel), Mumbai (one legal counsel) and Hong Kong (our GC).
Our UK office is in Brentford opposite the GlaxoSmithKline building (postcode TW8 9RE), but there is a high possibility that we will move in May/June this year (2016) to another office close to Heathrow (postcode UB7 0JE). The candidate’s practising certificate will be paid for by the company and access to Practical Law is provided. It is possible that the candidate will be asked to serve as a director of two of our key Bermuda entities.
Compensation will be competitive with the market and commensurate with experience.
Contract Negotiation and Drafting
- A range of contract negotiation and drafting including (a) network related transactions e.g. landing party agreements, procurement of marine maintenance and capex-intensive cable system upgrade procurement agreements (b) sales of capacity and services, on both right of use and lease basis, plus sales of the GCX cloud computing solutions (c) real estate issues and property leases, especially PoP leases (both new leases and exit from current leases as the business’s needs change) and (d) RFP and tender responses.
- Negotiations with foreign telecoms operators to use their facilities and networks in countries where GCX has no presence: landing party agreements, capacity swap agreements and virtual PoP agreements.
- Liaison with telecoms regulators for submarine cable-related permits (in particular, France).
- Cloud solutions: working closely with GCX’s internal senior counsel in Frankfurt and external counsel in Germany and the UK, putting in place a contractual framework to enable sales of GCX’s cloud computing services (data privacy, data security and related risk identification and management are key). This is a greenfield implementation and it’s in the early stages, and is an interesting and high-profile project.
Network & Procurement Matters
- Agreements concerning the construction and/or upgrade of the subsea network, and its underlying maintenance.
- General commercial agreements of a varied nature to support offices and network premises across the world.
- Agreements to buy in right of use capacity and/or spectrum from other cable operators.
- Agreements to buy in leased services (and on occasion, software) to extend our network.
Our customers include all the major names in telecommunications and content providers, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Telefónica, Verizon, COLT, China Telecom, AT&T, Etisalat, Vodafone, BT, MTN and Yahoo.
A key element of the role, involving negotiation and drafting of master services and similar agreements for the sale of services and of right of use capacity and (on occasion) dark fibre, literally across the world.
The workload is heavily geared to documenting sales agreements. We contract under English law, New York law and (occasionally) the laws of one of the states that comprise the Commonwealth of Australia.
The disputes element of the role encompasses a range of interesting work, including the following:
- Subsea cable cut claims (almost exclusively handled in-house, with a great success rate) and often involving insurers on the other side (Note: we do not insure our cable systems).
- Commercial disputes involving non-paying customers (some of these are quite chunky, amounts up to US$500k are not uncommon).
- Disputes around sales agreements of indefinite duration.
Job Type: Full-time
Employment Type: Permanent