After training at the City law firm, Stephenson Harwood LLP, I qualified as a solicitor in 2000 and joined magic circle firm, Allen & Overy LLP. I worked initially as a corporate lawyer on mergers, acquisitions and restructurings. In 2002 I became interested in the international capital markets and began to work on documenting Eurobond issuances and derivative instruments. At the end of that year, I moved to Allen & Overy’s New York office to continue working on derivative products such as collateralised debt obligations (CDOs) and collateralized loan obligations (CLOs).
In 2006 I left private practice and joined Barcap – the investment banking division of Barclays Bank PLC based in the Met Life building on Park Avenue above the beautiful Grand Central Station. I stayed with Barclays for the next decade, throughout the financial crisis, returning to work in Barcap’s London office in 2010. The nature of my work had shifted from being transaction focused to working on implementing systemic change within the bank to accommodate the mass of new regulation. In 2012 I was promoted to Director. Below is a summary of my key achievements during my times at Barclays.
- Formulated and implemented an evolving strategy with stakeholders to enable the bank to respond to potential Eurozone exit events in a lawful, financially prudent and reputationally sound way.
- Liaised with financial regulators and implemented institutional change to ensure compliance with new regulations and remediation of historical breaches fostering a culture of compliance.
- Applied ‘lean’ and ‘agile’ principles on a two year project to streamline processes governing onboarding, maintenance and termination of client trading relationships with the investment bank in pursuit of regulatory compliance and cost savings.
- Advocated for Barclays on industry wide initiatives relating to the production of market standard documentation to govern the multi-trillion dollar derivatives industry.
- Structured, negotiated and documented complex credit derivative transactions in a rapidly changing regulatory environment, enabling the bank to continue to generate revenue in a challenging market.
- Recruited, mentored and trained junior lawyers to facilitate career development for individuals and a sense of cohesion within the legal department.
- Built a framework to support female lawyers on maternity leave and with reintegration to their roles in support of diversity within the department.
- Devised and implemented a training programme for over two hundred lawyers within the investment bank to promote a highly skilled and commercially aware legal function.
- Delivered training on complex derivative products to legal colleagues and senior business leaders to disseminate legal and market knowledge and foster a collaborative relationship between the business and legal functions.
- Collaborated with communications experts to limit negative press around high profile litigation, regulatory investigations and internal reorganisations.
- Contributed to well-received publications on the impact of geo-political events in the Eurozone on the derivatives market, enhancing Barclays’ reputation as thought leaders in the credit market.
In 2016 I left Barclays bringing to an end 18 intellectually stimulating, sometimes tough, enjoyable years of working as a solicitor in international finance.
My focus now is to work within my local community – as a local government councillor, school governor and member of the Independent Monitoring Board of HMP Pentonville – as well as to pursue writing projects.
I take on legal consultancy from time to time and between April 2017 and May 2018 I worked within the legal department of Credit Suisse providing advice in the context of their prime services business.