Judging by its unofficial jeans and T-shirt uniform, colorful logo and offices packed with games and pets, you could be fooled into thinking that the world’s biggest Internet company still sees itself as an extension of a college common room. But under the seemingly casual exterior lies a very serious company indeed.

And Google’s legal team is no exception to the rule. European General Counsel Nigel Jones is a mix of affable informality and sharp intellect. As Google’s first lawyer outside California, Jones has built up the legal department to almost 45 in Europe, the Middle East and the African region since he joined in 2003 from rival search engine AltaVista, and heads up the in-house team from its offices in Victoria, central London.