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AT&T and BT’s global joint venture, Concert, is setting up its own legal department, which should be up and running by the New Year.The team will be made up of at least 20 lawyers and headed by Walter De Socio, who was appointed Concert’s general counsel and head of regulatory affairs in June. De Socio, who was AT&T’s general counsel for Europe and Africa, will be based in Atlanta, US.He said that he aimed to build a team of 20 to 25 lawyers by 1 Jan, 2000 and he hopes to draw the team from the in-house teams of the parent companies rather than recruiting lawyers.De Socio said the team will be geographically disbursed. “The nature of the business is that there will be no single headquarters.“The team will mirror the business and be based at various locations around the world. There will be more travel, rather than less.”De Socio said it was too early to say which external firms would be instructed by Concert and he will be conducting a review of firms in the first quarter of next year.He is likely to seek advice from in-house teams at AT&T and BT but said that the nature of the business may mean that other firms are brought in to advise. De Socio said that he would not rule out a beauty parade.“It can sometimes be a misuse of time, but in certain areas it is appropriate,” he said. “It is often a good idea to ask providers of services to show why they should be the preferred one.”The team may also outsource some work to the in-house teams at the parent group.The Concert joint venture will be officially launched next weekend at Tele-com 99.Owned equally by the two parent companies, the joint venture aims to service the global communications needs of multinational companies, carriers and internet service providers.

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