University: University of Oxford
Year of qualification: 2012
Department: Corporate M&A group
What attracted you to a career in law?
I love the intellectual challenge and diversity of what I do each day. The law is complex and varied; our clients are constantly presenting us with tricky and important problems, situations and projects that require hard work and thought to work through. I find that immensely stimulating and one of the great attractions of the job.
Please outline your area of expertise. What might you do in a typical day?
I have a broad practice that covers public and private M&A, joint ventures, and equity capital markets work. I also have a focus, in particular, on financial services and fintech.
For me, a typical day might involve several Zoom calls with clients on two or three transactions that I’m working on. There is likely to be a document that I will need to draft or work on. I might also have meetings with other members of the team – whether that’s mentoring or working with a trainee that I supervise or a junior associate in the team. I spend a lot of my time working with other members of the team to progress ongoing projects.
Aside from this, I also spend time on business development, pursuing initiatives, and maintaining relationships with my clients – so I am not entirely focused on the transactional work.
I have also just become a partner so am looking forward to taking on my new responsibilities for the team.
Please discuss a current/recent specific deal/case, outlining your role in the matter.
One recent deal that I would pick out is advising Norwegian Air on its joint venture with the China Construction Bank to finance 27 Airbus aircraft worth more than $1 billion. This required several days of negotiations in Beijing not long before the covid-19 restrictions set in.
It was a complex and fascinating transaction. The negotiations were also extremely interesting from a cultural as well as a purely legal perspective, and it was a high-profile and important project for our client. It also enabled the firm to demonstrate the strength of its international offering, and its expertise in a regulated and complex industry.
What do you most/least enjoy about your career and why?
I most enjoy the high-quality work that I get to be involved in with my super colleagues. I get real satisfaction from working with the people at the firm; nothing beats pulling together and producing excellent work.
It is a demanding job though, and the unpredictability of the work, while making it such an interesting and exciting job, also has its downsides.
How involved are you with business development and promoting the firm?
I am very involved in business development as a new partner although that was true equally when I was a senior associate. The firm’s partners are very supportive of business development and they are trusting too. They see client relationships as something that all team members should be trying to develop from an early stage in their career. The partners have confidence in the associates and encourage them to contribute in this respect.
What makes your firm stand out from the rest?
There are two things: first, the firm has incredible depth, expertise and quality in areas and specialisms that I have not seen or come across anywhere else. This means we work on really interesting and complex work – most of it cross-border. Our collaborative transatlantic offering, in particular, is unique.
Secondly, it has a fantastic and unique culture. It is a supportive, friendly and an incredibly positive place to work.
What skills/strengths do you need to be a successful solicitor?
Aspiring lawyers should bring their own qualities and characteristics to the table, whether that is an eye for detail, excellent teamwork, specific industry knowledge, or whatever sets you apart. When brought together these only make for a better, more successful team.
One thing that makes life easier is enthusiasm and energy, which are invariably infectious and simply make the job more fun and lightens the load for the whole team.
What is the wider culture like?
The firm has a large number and wide range of diversity networks and initiatives. We have more than 35 internal networks and affinity groups worldwide. Hogan Lovells people are encouraged to share ideas, develop relationships and address issues impacting them. Just a few examples are our REAHL (Race & Ethnicity at Hogan Lovells) network; Global Ability Inclusion Network (GAIN); our global Pride & Allies network (Pride+); and our Working Families network.
We take diversity and inclusion extremely seriously and it is one area of the firm’s strategic priorities. We are working hard to make sure that diversity and inclusion forms part of everything we do and, in particular, is considered as part of all decision making in the firm (including recruitment).
What’s the biggest opportunity you’ve been given since joining the firm?
At Hogan Lovells, I have always felt strongly supported in my ambitions and development. I’ve been lucky to work with partners who want to get the best out of me and make me the best lawyer I can be. So, in that sense, the biggest opportunity has been the culture and support that the firm has offered me and for which I am extremely grateful.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I love going for a run – whatever the weather, which is perhaps just plain eccentric, rather than a guilty pleasure. Running helps me to deal with stress and clear my head. My greatest, true guilty pleasure however will always be chocolate cake!