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”

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”