The Client profile: easyJet

The Client profile: easyJet

‘The pandemic hit the airline sector hard and fast. We went from really being in growth mode, preparing forward-looking projects and a successful year in 2020, to very quickly having to ground our fleet almost overnight. We then had to deal with the implications of that for the company, which were severe,’ says Rebecca Mills, deputy general counsel (GC) of easyJet.

For most companies 2020 was a struggle but the airline sector, and easyJet specifically, was hit harder than most. Dealing with grounded flights, plummeting profits and a high-profile data breach, its General Counsel’s Office (GCO) went into overdrive. Continue reading “The Client profile: easyJet”

The Client profile: Elisabeth Sullivan, Waterstones

The Client profile: Elisabeth Sullivan, Waterstones

While some discover an aptitude for law while at university, others have it in their veins. According to Elisabeth Sullivan, recently installed as general counsel (GC) of book retailer Waterstones, she very much falls into the latter category.

‘People always told me since I was a kid I should be a lawyer because I had a “strong sense of justice”. Probably after I had some big tantrum!’ Continue reading “The Client profile: Elisabeth Sullivan, Waterstones”

The Client profile: Sarah Holford, Scania UK

The Client profile: Sarah Holford, Scania UK

Shortly after completing the Legal Practice Course, Sarah Holford was looking for somewhere to kick-start her career. An opportunity presented itself at Games Workshop, the British manufacturer of miniature wargames, with space-themed Warhammer 40,000 among its best-known products.

‘I’m not a hobbyist but I am a big sci-fi and fantasy geek, so I knew of them. When I saw the role, I thought “yeah, I can go for this,”’ Sarah reminisces. ‘I have a lot of friends that are into Warhammer, gaming and Dungeons & Dragons, so seeing the role I knew it would be a cool place to work.’

Continue reading “The Client profile: Sarah Holford, Scania UK”

Braced for impact: GCs on the threat of group actions and collective redress

Braced for impact: GCs on the threat of group actions and collective redress

In April, Legal Business spoke to dozens of disputes counsel in private practice to ascertain the salient trends in contentious law. Near-universally, at the forefront of minds was an imminent and drastic increase in the volume of class actions and other group claims. Now, the in-house community has added its own wave of concerned voices.

A perfect storm of legal changes and market conditions have brought us to this point. In the UK for example, the seeds were planted in 2015 with the introduction of the Consumer Rights Act, which allowed UK consumers to seek collective redress on competition cases in a US-style class action system. Since then several class action claims have formed, among the most notable being the mammoth truck cartel case, in which thousands of individual and corporate claimants are pursuing damages from several of Europe’s biggest truck manufacturers over price collusion spanning multiple years. Continue reading “Braced for impact: GCs on the threat of group actions and collective redress”

The Client profile: Stephanie Dominy, Snyk

The Client profile: Stephanie Dominy, Snyk

‘There is a creative and artistic side to me but also a very pragmatic and logical one. While I left that creative side behind, sometimes it still wants to get out.’ From speaking to Stephanie Dominy, general counsel (GC) of the hyper-complicated, open-source software security start-up Snyk, both her logical and creative credentials are in no doubt.

Dominy came to the UK at age 12 from Singapore while on an artistic mission: at the time she was training to be a ballet dancer, and had enrolled at a performing arts school. As such, she recalls that becoming a lawyer ‘wasn’t even intentional’. She says: ‘It was somewhat the expected thing, a safe career, something you would work hard at and then you will be recognised. I studied law at King’s and people were getting ready to go off and do training contracts, so I thought I might as well do the same!’ Continue reading “The Client profile: Stephanie Dominy, Snyk”

The Client profile: Ahmed Badr, GoCardless

The Client profile: Ahmed Badr, GoCardless

Ahmed Badr did not want to be a lawyer. A self-professed ‘huge geek’ at school, he was never happier than when sat a computer doing some programming or web design. ‘You would never find me playing football,’ he reflects.

Initially, Badr studied medicine, which he admits ‘was more of a family thing than a me thing’. His dad was a doctor, his mum was a nurse, which led a young Badr to feel compelled to the same fate. But he soon he realised he had no interest in it, and opted to do a business degree instead. Continue reading “The Client profile: Ahmed Badr, GoCardless”

The Client profile: Philip Price, TP ICAP

The Client profile: Philip Price, TP ICAP

Legal Business (LB): Describe your career before your current role with TP ICAP and the company today.

Philip Price (PP): I qualified as a solicitor back in 1990 and then held a series of roles in investment banks, private equity firms and hedge funds. I joined Tullett Prebon in 2015, which merged with ICAP to form TP ICAP in 2017. The most significant M&A milestone since then has been our acquisition of Liquidnet, an electronic trading platform for asset management institutions which was acquired in October last year. Continue reading “The Client profile: Philip Price, TP ICAP”

Booth takes on new role at The Crown Estate as Cheffings named interim head of legal

Booth takes on new role at The Crown Estate as Cheffings named interim head of legal

Rob Booth, one of the leading lights of the in-house legal community, will be stepping away from his position as general counsel (GC) and company secretary at The Crown Estate to become the company’s new head of assets.

As part of a leadership reshuffle, former Hogan Lovells chair and experienced adviser to The Crown Estate, Nicholas Cheffings, will assume the role of interim head of legal and company secretary. Continue reading “Booth takes on new role at The Crown Estate as Cheffings named interim head of legal”

The Client Profile: Lindsay Beardsell, Tate & Lyle

The Client Profile: Lindsay Beardsell, Tate & Lyle

Lindsay Beardsell is never one to rest on her laurels. She trained and qualified at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer but, as is the case for so many established general counsel (GCs), private practice failed to satisfy the need to be closer to a business.

She recalls: ‘My parents had their own businesses and that always interested me – the cut and thrust. I wanted to be close to the commercial aspects of the business. So I left Freshfields two years post-qualification, which was a bit of a shock to people, and went to British Gas for my first in-house role.’ Continue reading “The Client Profile: Lindsay Beardsell, Tate & Lyle”

Wilson ends Uber journey to take up head of legal role at Fremantle

Wilson ends Uber journey to take up head of legal role at Fremantle

In-house stalwart and GC Powerlist UK regular Matt Wilson is leaving his position as associate general counsel (GC) for EMEA at Uber to assume the GC role at British TV production multinational Fremantle.

Wilson, who will join up with his new employers in August, calls time on a frenetic six-year stint at fast-growing Uber, which has been beset with thorny legal and regulatory issues throughout his tenure. Continue reading “Wilson ends Uber journey to take up head of legal role at Fremantle”