While she is loath to admit it, Sharon Blackman, managing director and general counsel in Citi’s global legal affairs and compliance division, ‘hated’ her law degree. Clearly this has not held her back though, as her GC of the Year gong at the Legal Business Awards in September testifies.
Despite not falling in love with the law at an academic level, during her degree, Blackman took on pro bono work at her local Citizens Advice Bureau, and it was there that her passion was first ignited. She recalls: ‘It was really useful for developing the practical piece and I found that much more engaging than just the theoretical piece.’ Continue reading “The Client profile: Sharon Blackman, Citi”
‘Frankly, what’s a boardroom compared to a regiment of soldiers?!’ Claire Holdsworth is philosophical about her journey from army officer to motorbike-riding GC of Marathon Asset Management.
Some say getting your foot in the door of a top law firm is often the hardest part for aspiring lawyers, but Holdsworth’s journey to her training contract interview definitely casts that sentiment in a whole new light. Continue reading “The Client profile: Claire Holdsworth, Marathon Asset Management”
Barclays has announced the appointment of Stephen Shapiro as group general counsel, in addition to his current role as group company secretary. Shapiro will succeed GC Powerlist regular Bob Hoyt on 1 August, who is stepping down after nearly seven years in the role.
Shapiro will join the executive committee and report directly to group CEO Jes Staley in his capacity as GC, and to group chairman Nigel Higgins in his role as company secretary. He joined Barclays in 2017 from SABMiller, where he was group company secretary and deputy general counsel, having previously held the role of global head of legal. Continue reading “Dual role for Barclays’ company secretary as veteran GC Hoyt stands down”
The proliferation of blockchain technology has led many sectors to re-examine traditional ways of doing business, even if the platform remains shrouded in the fog of confusion and hype. Nowhere is the potential more apparent, or the sector more traditional, than in the negotiation, creation and execution of contracts. If the blockchain evangelists are to be believed, the manner in which parties contract will be changing radically in the not-too-distant future. But while a number of high-profile success stories illustrate the potential of the technology, it is clear that there is a long way to go if it is to ever live up to the rhetoric.
To understand blockchain and the value that it may bring to business, think of how an ordinary business transaction works: there is an agreement and exchange of goods or services between parties. Each party will have their own ledger, which records the transaction. But because the ledgers are held independently, there is scope for discrepancy between them – be it through error, disagreement or fraud. Traditionally, this was mitigated by introducing a third party to the transaction – usually a bank. Continue reading “Blockchain: Piecing it together”
The general counsel of the Scots-based investment giant reflects on the lessons of the financial crisis and what it takes to run a FTSE 100 legal team
Rushad Abadan always knew what he wanted to do with his life. ‘I always fancied the idea of being a lawyer, even at school. I was one of those people who was very clear about their career path early on. Happily for me it worked out.’ Continue reading “Client profile: Rushad Abadan, Standard Life Aberdeen”