Finalists: FedEx Express MEISA; SEDCO Holding; UAE Exchange (Highly Commended).

Middle East and North Africa-based satellite TV broadcaster OSN took home the Large Legal Department of The Year prize for its work devising strategies not just to drive the business forward but also the wider regional digital broadcast industry.

OSN’s legal team comprises 11 lawyers and is responsible for the business’s commercial and regulatory matters, as well as IP and content protection. One key CSR initiative the legal team has been heavily involved with is running workshops for local up-and-coming creatives to help them protect and monetise their content, which led to the creation of Asli - an online platform that curates cutting-edge indie content from the region.

As part of that initiative, the legal team introduced a streamlined licensing solution - an easy-to-read document called ‘The Handshake’ that makes it clear and simple for content creators to understand the terms of the agreement without needing to instruct their own lawyers. Dozens of ‘Handshakes’ have been agreed since the project’s launch in 2017.

In addition, Asli Studio was launched in February this year as a space for entrepreneurs to create content, with the team drafting the usage terms.

 “Great example of a legal team going above and beyond the traditional remit,” praised one judge.