(L-R): Awards host Shadia Bseiso; Dean Sheehan, general counsel, Middle East and Africa, Pepsi-Co, and his team; awards judge Brigitte Zammit, general counsel, Emirates International Telecommunications

Finalists: ABB Industries; Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group; OSN (Highly Commended); SEDCO Holding.

Pepsi’s Middle East and North Africa legal department took home the large team award for its efforts in ensuring Pepsi’s legal and regulatory agenda in the region is handled smoothly.

The 25-strong team is spread across five offices and prides itself in being a business partner and strategic advisor to Pepsi in a region that is becoming increasingly significant to the company. As well as helping Pepsi with M&A activities, government engagement and portfolio transformation, the team has embarked on a three-year strategy to boost the scope of its capabilities and its partnership with the business. That involved carrying out a client survey and identifying the areas where the team could improve the way it works, such as speeding up turnaround time for matters and addressing the wrinkles that slowed things down.

This led to the introduction of a regional template database that is available to the whole department and includes notes and guidance on best practice. The team also asked the law firms on its panel to provide training on specific legal topics, as well as turning to internal Pepsi departments for non-legal training to bolster the team’s business understanding.

“A clear strategy for leading a regional team,” a judge noted.

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