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Satellite services company Avanti Communications has appointed its first-ever general counsel with the hire of a former Eversheds lawyer.

Patrick Willcocks joins Avanti as its sole legal adviser from Electronic Data Systems (EDS), where he was a senior lawyer for eight years.

Willcocks was previously a banking and finance associate with City firm Eversheds and started his career as an investment banker at HSBC.

He has experience negotiating large outsourcing contracts within the IT sector, including advising EDS on its £1bn data outsourcing contract with Aviva.

Willcocks is a dual-qualified English solicitor and Irish barrister.

At Avanti, Willcocks will advise on employment law matters, manage contracts, ensure the company is compliant with regulations and litigate disputes should they arise.

Avanti chief executive David Williams said: “The international complexity of our business means that we need to work harder to ensure best practice in our legal affairs. Patrick will also make more efficient use of our legal budget.”

Avanti provides broadband services to business, institutional and residential customers across Europe. The company is planning to launch its first satellite into orbit this year, with further plans for future satellite projects after a pledge by the European Commission to set aside €1.8bn (£1.59bn) to fund rural broadband projects in Europe.

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