Life During Law: Andrew Ballheimer

Life During Law: Andrew Ballheimer

I’m the son of immigrants and they were intent that I had an education, so I had to become a professional. To be honest, I was only going to practise law for two years and then do something else.

The first thing I ever did as an associate was spend all night perfecting a document, checking every page. Two-months qualified at the signing, I handed over the execution page. I’d misspelt the client’s name. You spend all this time getting it right and everything’s perfect except for the most important word in the document. His bloody name! Continue reading “Life During Law: Andrew Ballheimer”

Life During Law: Andrew Ballheimer

Life During Law: Andrew Ballheimer

I’m the son of immigrants and they were intent that I had an education, so I had to become a professional. To be honest, I was only going to practise law for two years and then do something else.

The first thing I ever did as an associate was spend all night perfecting a document, checking every page. Two-months qualified at the signing, I handed over the execution page. I’d misspelt the client’s name. You spend all this time getting it right and everything’s perfect except for the most important word in the document. His bloody name! Continue reading “Life During Law: Andrew Ballheimer”

The BT interview – ideas from the bath

The BT interview – ideas from the bath

Legal Business (LB): Eighteen months in the group general counsel role, what have been some of the key projects since you landed? The wider business has been through a lot of transformation, how is legal keeping up?

Sabine Chalmers (SC), group GC, BT: When I joined, Gavin Patterson was my boss. He’s since left the business and we’ve transitioned to Philip Jansen from Worldpay. During that time the focus has been on learning the company and industry, getting to know and work with a new CEO, new board, my team, and as a result of all that identifying as quickly as possible what the strategic priorities for the function are and how to best support the business. Early on I reorganised my leadership team to mirror the evolving structure of the business, to ensure we had GCs reporting to me that were lined up with each of the business and corporate units: we announced that in June 2018. Continue reading “The BT interview – ideas from the bath”

In-house: The client perspectives

In-house: The client perspectives

Dan Webster, group general counsel at Harrods, discusses what it takes to advise one of the world’s most recognisable department stores

I studied law at the London School of Economics and went to law school in Chester. I got a training contract at what is now CMS. I qualified in litigation, stayed a couple of years at CMS and then moved to SNR Denton. I stayed there for a few years and then decided I wanted a change. To my surprise, an opportunity came up to be an in-house litigator at Harrods, where the then-owner was famously very litigious. Once at Harrods, I quickly realised I was meant to be an in-house lawyer and, over time, I’ve evolved into a commercial, corporate, employment, IP all-rounder. Continue reading “In-house: The client perspectives”

The Client Profile: Sonya Rogerson, Bank of China

The Client Profile: Sonya Rogerson, Bank of China

Born in Hong Kong to an English father and a Chinese mother but raised in Australia, Sonya Rogerson’s passion for different cultures and foreign travel is no surprise. ‘Do I miss home?’ she asks herself. ‘Well, home is where I make it.’

Now based in London, she is two years into her role as UK general counsel (GC) and head of legal and compliance of the fourth-largest bank in the world, Beijing-headquartered and state-owned Bank of China (BoC). She says she was headhunted to run a legal and compliance team of 47 staff not only because of her lengthy résumé of handling transactional legal work in the Asia-Pacific region but also her experience of working with the Chinese. Continue reading “The Client Profile: Sonya Rogerson, Bank of China”

Life During Law: David Pester

Life During Law: David Pester

My family background is in market trading, selling goods and services, so perhaps I would have gone into that if not law. My mother worked as a receptionist and my father started out as a rep, including having a bicycle to go around and see the different stores and promote the products. He ended up in marketing and business development in a bigger corporation but that’s where he started.

Home is down on the south coast in Christchurch in Dorset but I went up to the University of Manchester, which was a big deal going from a small place to a bigger one. Continue reading “Life During Law: David Pester”

Sponsored briefing: Taking the plunge

Sponsored briefing: Taking the plunge

The office has made a series of bold lateral hires in the last three years. What is behind this?

Suhrud Mehta (SM), co-London managing partner, Milbank: At one level you could say it has been bold and at another level you could say it just made perfect sense for us to make these moves in areas in which the firm has historically been strong. Until the right people came along, we were not prepared to take the plunge. Taking capital markets first, the focus there was to combine the strong reputation we have in leveraged finance with an equally strong capital markets practice that existed at Shearman & Sterling under Apostolos Gkoutzinis. To take a big slug of that and bolt it on to our existing leveraged finance business here was a very powerful thing to do. The combination has been electric. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: Taking the plunge”

Life During Law: Segun Osuntokun

Life During Law: Segun Osuntokun

I was born in Nigeria as one of five children. My parents were medical doctors. My father was one of Nigeria’s pre-eminent neurologists, and quickly became globally renowned. A typical aspirational father, he built himself up through effort and excellence and thought all his children should be equally excellent. By the age of 15 I was sent to a boarding school in England to do my A levels. After that I did an economics degree at Queen Mary London.

I went back to Nigeria and did national service. Not as exciting as it sounds, more community service than military service. Did that for a year and part of it was working in a bank. It was not for me. Continue reading “Life During Law: Segun Osuntokun”