Edward Smith

General Counsel, Telefonica UK Limited (O2)


Ed trained at Pinsents and qualified into its corporate team before joining Freshfields specialising in VC deals. He moved to BT Cellnet (now Telefonica UK, operating the O2 brand) in 2001 just prior to its demerger from BT plc, becoming General Counsel in 2011. Reporting to the CEO, he is responsible for the legal, regulatory, company secretarial, risk, and internal audit functions.

In his time with O2, Ed has been involved in high value litigation, and a number of memorable deals, not least the deal with Apple which saw O2 introduce the iPhone to the UK, and O2’s network sharing deal with Vodafone.

Ed regularly speaks at legal conferences on subjects such as telecoms regulation, legal team management and crisis management. He also writes articles for the legal press on these topics.

In 2013 Ed’s team picked up the Legal Business In House Team of the Year Award, and in 2014 Ed was awarded the Legal 500 In-house Telecoms Lawyer of the Year Award.