Sponsored briefing: Punching above weight

Sponsored briefing: Punching above weight
You’ve both been at the firm for more than 25 years. What have been your highlights?

Richard King (RK), managing partner, Stevens & Bolton: I’m in my third year as managing partner and speaking as a manager, rather than a litigator, the highlight is our ongoing evolution. There’s a real sense that we’ve never stood still, and yet, for all that we’ve evolved, the foundations have been there from the beginning. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: Punching above weight”

The Client Profile: Heather Mitchell, The Carlyle Group

The Client Profile: Heather Mitchell, The Carlyle Group

‘One reason I’m doing this interview is so I can send it to my parents. They’re really important to me. Ah, suddenly, the hard-woman persona crumbles,’ jokes Heather Mitchell, global general counsel (GC) for investments and head of EMEA at The Carlyle Group.

Mitchell’s 17-year career at the US private equity giant has seen her consistently ranked among the most influential in-house lawyers. However, she says what makes her father the most proud is her sitting on the advisory board of Cornell Law School, where she studied, because ‘as a teacher, he can relate most to that’. Continue reading “The Client Profile: Heather Mitchell, The Carlyle Group”

Life During Law: David Collins

Life During Law: David Collins

I’m London born and bred, never lived anywhere else apart from three years in Manchester at university. Went to City of London School up the road, worked at St Martin’s Le Grand, Aldersgate Street, Fleet Street, Adelaide House in London Bridge and here [Fleet Place]. My wife would say I’m limited in a whole bunch of ways. To be honest, I don’t like to be too far from my family.

My mum was a formidable primary school teacher. I was in her school when she was deputy head at a state primary. Interesting experience. Continue reading “Life During Law: David Collins”

Life during law: Ian Bagshaw

Life during law: Ian Bagshaw

I’m less Marmite than I was. Never been deferential. Having a Mancunian directness, I was brought up by people who called a spade a spade. Helps me with clients massively. Sometimes it’s not what other lawyers want. I could be more political and in the past, I’ve tried. You can only be yourself.

I was the first person in my family to go to university. I didn’t grow up dreaming of being a solicitor. I still think football coaching was my true calling. Continue reading “Life during law: Ian Bagshaw”

Life during law: Andy Ryde

Life during law: Andy Ryde

It never occurred to me to be a lawyer until sixth form. I went to a regular comprehensive school and there wasn’t much career advice. I was a teenager who just wanted to be a footballer or rockstar.

My parents hadn’t been to university. I’m from Nottinghamshire, born in Mansfield. My grandad was a miner and the one thing he wanted was for his son not to be a miner, so my dad imaginatively went to the coal board as an accounts clerk. Continue reading “Life during law: Andy Ryde”

The Client Profile: Elizabeth Messud, Kingfisher

The Client Profile: Elizabeth Messud, Kingfisher

Living at the home of an ancient babushka. Rubbing shoulders with bodyguards on share acquisition deals. Arranging licensing deals so that The Muppets characters can appear on ice cream wrappers in Russia. ‘It’s been a fascinating and varied 25 years of practice, made deeply rich by the experience of different people and their different ways,’ Kingfisher legal director Elizabeth Messud says. ‘There has been many a modest cliff hanger in all I have done.’

That career has taken Messud from Toronto to a collective farm in rural Russia, to Moscow, then to London, via stints in Spain, France and Switzerland. It has also seen her work for one of the biggest companies in the world, Nestlé, as well as the finance arm of the World Bank, a Russian oligarch and, now, FTSE 100 retailer Kingfisher. Continue reading “The Client Profile: Elizabeth Messud, Kingfisher”

The Client Profile: Sonya Branch, Bank of England

The Client Profile: Sonya Branch, Bank of England

Bank of England (BoE) general counsel (GC) Sonya Branch puffs her cheeks as she ponders how much work Brexit has created for her team. ‘It has been absolutely vast,’ she says.

About 65% of the UK central bank’s legal team, which has grown from 90 to more than 150 since she joined four years ago, has been involved since the mid-2016 referendum in reviewing about 10,000 pages of legislation and tracking 39 statutory instruments, to which it has contributed drafting. ‘The total count was 6,000 pages of binding technical standards, 6,000 rules that had to be changed, as well as 4,000 pages of secondary legislation,’ she comments. ‘That’s just having a regulatory framework for the UK financial services sector that’s fit for purpose on the point of exit.’ Continue reading “The Client Profile: Sonya Branch, Bank of England”

Life during law: Dominic Griffiths

Life during law: Dominic Griffiths

I didn’t plan a career in law. At school I did those career survey things twice and on both occasions it said I should become a fashion designer.

I have been a bar manager in a country house hotel and then a golf club bar. Great fun. Taught me the concept of keeping people in the line happy. I always say to junior lawyers: ‘Make sure you respond quickly to clients.’ It doesn’t mean you produce all the work in half an hour, as long as they know someone is looking after them. Continue reading “Life during law: Dominic Griffiths”

Tom Johnson, Federal Communications Commission

Tom Johnson, Federal Communications Commission

I have always been attracted to public service. A number of my colleagues from my time at Gibson Dunn had gone on to serve as solicitors general in state attorney generals’ offices. Those offices provide unparalleled opportunities, such as the chance to argue appeals and challenge areas in which the federal government has exceeded its powers and placed onerous regulatory requirements on the state. So I was very grateful to have been offered the opportunity to work in the West Virginia solicitor general’s office.

In 2017, I became the general counsel (GC) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). I am primarily responsible for two components – reviewing Commission rules and orders to ensure they are legally sustainable, and defending those actions in court. I also oversee units that deal with fraud and bankruptcy issues, as well as various internal issues like employment matters. In West Virginia, I supervised four or five attorneys at any given time. Now, I oversee a team of more than 70 lawyers, so I’ve had to focus a lot more on learning how best to allocate my time and how best to delegate. Continue reading “Tom Johnson, Federal Communications Commission”