Emily Cane: Associate Counsel for EMEA commercial lines, AIG

According to one nomination in support of Emily Cane’s inclusion in this year’s report, she is ‘regarded as indispensable to the legal team and worth ten people’.

A former Norton Rose associate, who qualified into the firm’s corporate and regulatory insurance team, Cane joined AIG in January 2010, working for EMEA GC Chris Newby.

Newby is certainly impressed: ‘Emily has displayed not only legal acumen but tremendous adaptability, taking on a variety of increasingly senior and complex roles over the years. She has tackled each with pragmatism and legal zeal to provide legal services to the financial lines, Global Risk Solutions and the EMEA-wide group.’

Some of Cane’s most noteworthy roles include advising on transactions with FTSE 100 companies and developing AIG financial lines products as well as global captive reinsurance programmes, sanctions issues and multinational matters.

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Susan Henderson: European labour and employment head, GE

Susan Henderson leads GE’s centralised team of European labour and employment lawyers: a team she developed to provide support across GE’s diverse businesses and employee population – covering over 90,000 employees in 30 countries. Alongside this, Susan is currently focused on GE’s prospective $13.5bn acquisition and integration of Alstom’s energy businesses.

Before GE, Susan worked in-house with Legal & General, having started her career at McGrigors and Lovells.

Susan is qualified in Scotland, England and Wales and New York.

She is regularly invited to speak and write on both domestic and international legal issues and is a former chair of the UK In-House Employment Lawyers Network.

One Magic Circle partner comments: ‘Susan has fantastic technical knowledge but is also a very smart operator who has the absolute trust and confidence of her stakeholders. She can spot the key issues at the outset.’

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Daisy Le Vay: Head of Litigation and Co-head of Corporate Legal, EMEA, Nomura

A former Linklaters litigation associate, Daisy Le Vay became an in-house lawyer with Virgin Atlantic in 2007 before joining Nomura in 2008 as an executive director in the Japanese bank’s litigation department.

As head of litigation, Le Vay is responsible for dealing with some of the most complex and high-profile issues Nomura faces. She manages a team of litigators and also co-heads a larger team of commercial, employment, IP and IT lawyers, as well as the company secretarial group.

One counsel at a Magic Circle firm comments: ‘Daisy is an exceptionally bright lawyer with a finely honed ability to spot the important points. She simultaneously gets every detail without losing the ability to see the wider picture. She is also an excellent and a confident communicator.’

What makes Le Vay stand out is her ‘exceptional intellectual ability and rigour. She is someone who always thinks strategically but can also make quick decisions and is totally in tune with her business’.

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Gary Partington: Associate General Counsel and Regional Head of HSBC Technology and Services legal, EMEA


Gary Partington qualified as an outsourcing lawyer at Ventura in April 2008 before joining HSBC’s technology and services (HTS) division in 2012, as senior legal counsel for supply contracts, providing operational and technical support to HSBC’s global businesses.

In April 2013, he was promoted to become Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) HTS head and has led on a number of major outsourcing deals for the global retail and investment bank.

HSBC did not have a dedicated HTS team prior to Partington’s arrival and he has been instrumental in creating and growing it into a dedicated 60-strong legal function.

One respected in-house consultant observes: ‘He is insightful, wise, generous and strategic. All in all, a top lawyer.’

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Alice Marsden: Head of legal UK&I, Thomas Cook Group


Wragge & Co-trained, on qualification Alice Marsden joined Latham & Watkins as an associate before moving to Thomas Cook in January 2014 and becoming UK and Ireland head of legal three months later, just seven years after qualification.

An outsourcing lawyer by training, Marsden now heads a team of ten lawyers, including a number of new recruits, as Thomas Cook further boosts the quality of its UK legal offering.

In her own capacity Marsden supports the IT, HR, risk and marketing teams and has been heavily involved in Thomas Cook’s ongoing IT transformation programme, which will see it move globally onto the same IT infrastructure.

Paul Gilbert, chief executive of LBC Wise Counsel, comments: ‘I have been consulting in-house lawyers for 15 years and over that period I have been very fortunate to see some of the most talented young lawyers this country has. Among a few others who we have worked with, and who have also gone on to do great things, Alice has the temperament, drive and potential to be brilliant.’

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Martin Graham: Senior vice president, Oaktree Capital

Martin Graham joined Oaktree Capital from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in 2007 as assistant vice president (VP), becoming VP in January 2010 and senior VP in 2014. His role at Oaktree – one of the most influential houses in the alternative investment space – focuses on managing and executing pan-European distressed debt and private equity investments.

Key matters he has worked on include a $650m arbitration against a major international oil company and, in 2014, $1bn of debt fundraising across five different financing instruments for three portfolio companies.

The Freshfields-trained lawyer is commended externally for the volume and complexity of work he handled in 2014 alone, including a $320m senior secured bond by Harkand Finance; a $130m secured loan facility for Harkand Global Holdings backed by export credit support from the Norwegian government; and a €350m secured bond issued by SGD Group.

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Howard Landes: Chief counsel, corporate finance, BG Group

As BG Group’s chief corporate counsel, reporting to GC Graham Vinter, Howard Landes is the lawyer responsible for BG Group’s M&A and corporate finance matters globally.

Landes joined BG Group from Clifford Chance nine years ago and now regularly provides strategic advice to senior management on the energy giant’s major transactions and related issues. His key recent achievements include leading the legal function in successfully delivering multibillion-dollar securities fundraisings in the US and Europe in 2014, in executing one of Australia’s largest ever infrastructure deals, the $5bn sale by BG Group of its 540km pipeline network QCLNG Pipeline to APA Group.

Landes is described by a partner from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer as ‘extremely sophisticated and astutely commercial’. The partner adds: ‘[Howard] operates like a Magic Circle partner and general counsel at the same time. He is very smart, [an] excellent negotiator, understands internal drivers and commands significant respect internally and externally.’

Another City partner comments: ‘Howard has the ability to effortlessly navigate the global landscape of an industry with a multiplicity of challenges. He is available and responsive 24/7 and his knowledge and experience provide confidence to make big-money decisions.’

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Sarah Morton: Managing counsel, global litigation, Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Shell

Having joined Shell in November 2011 from Debevoise & Plimpton, where she worked with former general counsel (GC) Peter Rees QC, Sarah Morton built the oil giant’s dedicated Europe, Middle East and North Africa (EMENA) litigation team from scratch, transferring four members from within Shell and recruiting the rest externally, to bring the team to 12 lawyers plus paralegals.

Aside from daily supervision of the EMENA team, Morton also sits on the leadership team for Shell’s litigation group, alongside eight other global heads, and is responsible for managing the EMENA region’s budget.

One nomination in support of Morton’s inclusion as a Rising Star says: ‘Considering her current role is the first she has carried out in-house, she has demonstrated real management and business acumen in how she has structured and run the team, creating a genuine sense of team spirit and can-do work ethos.

‘It is striking in our interactions with Sarah’s team, how consistently they approach litigation and the business requirements; no small feat considering the diversity of backgrounds and experience within that team.’

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Sarah Doherty: Legal counsel, Coca-Cola

Sarah Doherty only completed her training contract at Coca-Cola in February 2012, having previously been a paralegal, but she has been quickly promoted to become the lead lawyer supporting Coca-Cola’s Great Britain and Ireland franchise operations team in London and Dublin.

Doherty’s area of responsibility includes negotiating high-value sponsorship agreements, such as the London Olympics 2012, FIFA World Cup 2014 and sponsorship of the London Eye. Doherty also deals with significant brand and product launches, including the launch in 2014 of SmartWater and Coca-Cola Life.

An intellectual property partner at one top 15 UK law firm comments: ‘Sarah isolates and deals with strategic issues with great skill and does so with a degree of sophistication that belies her experience. In order to handle the sheer volume of tasks she undertakes, she is extremely efficient but always great to work with. A real star.’

Doherty cites her biggest achievements as ‘playing a key role on major Coca-Cola sponsorships and activities such as the London Olympics in 2012, the extremely successful “Share a Coke” campaign and co-branding programmes for Diet Coke with international designers’.

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Jenny Lowe: Senior legal counsel, property and planning, Aggregate Industries

In January 2012, with five years’ post-qualification experience, Jenny Lowe joined Aggregate Industries from McGrigors, taking on the role of senior counsel for property and planning. Lowe took responsibility for a large property portfolio and managing all property-related transactions, including sales and acquisitions, estate management, litigation, minerals issues, planning, renewable energy and regulatory.

Since joining Aggregate Industries, Lowe has sharply reduced legal spend on property-related matters.

One real estate partner at a top five UK law firm says: ‘The industry that Jenny works within is very male-dominated but she is more than able to enlist the support and respect of her internal clients, which is an absolute must for success. I can recommend Jenny without exception.’

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