Vivienne King – The Crown Estate

Vivienne King

Director of legal and company secretary

The Crown Estate


The Crown Estate is a UK property business, governed by an Act of Parliament, that funnels all of its profits into HM Treasury, totalling around £2bn over the past ten years. Vivienne King has been in the top legal job at The Crown Estate since 2007.

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Katherine Laurenson – Real estate

Katherine Laurenson

Senior solicitor

Legal & General Property


Katherine Laurenson is a self-confessed ‘deal junkie’ and has carved out a particular niche advising on all aspects of fund structuring for Legal & General Property. It currently has over £10bn of assets under management, making it one of the UK’s largest institutional property fund managers.

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Adrian de Souza – Land Securities

Adrian de Souza

General counsel

Land Securities


As a relative newcomer to the property world, for general counsel Adrian de Souza the past few years have been all about finding his feet in the business he joined back in 2010. De Souza was tasked with cutting down the number of firms that Land Securities regularly works with. He has successfully reduced the number from 25 firms to eight, although the company used to have around 100 firms on its roster.

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Sarah Booth – Hammerson

Sarah Booth

General counsel and company secretary



Described as ‘straightforward to deal with’, Sarah Booth doesn’t have much back up at Hammerson. In fact, she is the entire resource – the only lawyer in a company of roughly 300 people. She is proof of the importance of having good relationships with general counsel because these days she doesn’t have the time to handle all the work in-house, something she always used to do before.

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François Graux – International Power

François Graux

General counsel and company secretary

International Power

After eight years with SUEZ, there is no doubt that François Graux has earned his stripes. He has steered the company through mergers with Gaz de France in 2008 and then 2012’s tie-up with International Power, which saw it become part of the world’s largest independent utility company.


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Jon Alexander – Lloyds Banking Group

Jon Alexander

Head of legal, lending support, commercial banking

Lloyds Banking Group


As head of legal at one of Britain’s ‘big four’ banks, Jon Alexander at Lloyds Banking Group already enjoys a high profile within banking circles, but he has been particularly sought after during the past few months. As one banking partner recently put it: ‘He is one of the most powerful in-house lawyers as he is a decisive influence on the numerous “pass-through panels” of Lloyds Banking Group, which will be decided on over the next few months.’

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Leonie Fleming – RBS Group

Leonie Fleming

General counsel for corporate Banking, global restructuring group and Ulster Bank

RBS Group


One law banking partner says that Leonie Fleming ‘falls into the “very influential” bracket due to her position, but also the “up and coming bracket”, because I feel she has further to go at RBS’. There’s no doubt that she has won praise for her adroit handling of complex regulatory issues during a difficult few years for the bank.

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