Middle East Legal Awards 2018 – TMT Team of the Year: Simmons & Simmons
Full details of the TMT Team of the Year category at the Middle East Legal Awards 2018
Finalists: Al Tamimi & Company; Baker McKenzie; Clyde & Co; Dentons (Highly Commended); DLA Piper; Eversheds Sutherland; Hadef & Partners; The Bench.
Simmons & Simmons secured the TMT Team of the Year title for a second year on the bounce, for its work helping mobile operator MTN restructure its wholesale telecoms business.
Given its expertise in the sector, the firm advised MTN on a plan to consolidate its geographically fragmented wholesale business into one giant entity – MTN GlobalConnect. That meant carrying out diligence on those individual businesses and their assets from a regulatory and legal perspective (not helped by the fact many of these businesses had evolved in a decentralised way).
Numerous assets were found to be subject to third-party rights and regulatory considerations across more than 20 jurisdictions, creating potential hurdles for the project. All of those issues required contextualising for senior MTN execs in different parts of the group, such as HR, tax and compliance, so that they could make timely and informed decisions on how to proceed.
The streamlined entity means MTN’s country units can focus on domestic business without needing to worry about wholesale issues. The firm says other telecoms businesses are now looking at aping this model.
“[The firm] truly partnered with us in a refreshingly effective way and were instrumental in getting MTN GlobalConnect up and running,” said Madhavi Ramachandharan, senior counsel at MTN.