Client profile: Sarah Nelson Smith, Yum! Brands

Client profile: Sarah Nelson Smith, Yum! Brands

In many ways it was ideal preparation. Before embarking on a legal career, Sarah Nelson Smith took a post-law school gap year working as a holiday rep in the popular Greek retreat of Halkidiki. It was an eye-opening experience, figuratively and literally, welcoming holidaymakers at unholy hours and dealing with bizarre questions and gripes.

‘We had one guy who complained about the sea. There was a beautiful blue-flag beach but he said: “The hotel smells too salty in the morning.” He also complained about too many fish, while once a woman was crying during the welcome speech. When I asked her what was wrong, she said: “I can’t find my boyfriend.” I asked: “When was the last time you saw him?” and she said: “I haven’t seen him since we arrived at the airport, when the police took him.” He’d been smuggling drugs and got arrested. I had to go to the British consulate and fetch him.’ Continue reading “Client profile: Sarah Nelson Smith, Yum! Brands”

Life during law: Richard Youle, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

Life during law: Richard Youle, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

When I moved to Hull from Sheffield at five my next-door neighbour was a just-born, [Linklaters partner] Alex Woodward – Woodie. A very good friend. Our mums and dads are very good friends. Went to the same schools, drank in the same pubs.

Woodie is super-smart, so he got a training contract at Linklaters, whereas I trained at Stamp Jackson & Procter in Hull. Continue reading “Life during law: Richard Youle, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom”

Disputes Eye: Enyo goes to ground – what next for the pioneering disputes shop?

Disputes Eye: Enyo goes to ground – what next for the pioneering disputes shop?

It has been the question raised over wine by many seasoned litigators for months now: what’s going on at Enyo Law? At the beginning of last year, the litigation boutique hit the headlines thanks to surprise merger talks with fellow disputes specialist Stewarts Law, but since the discussion was abandoned the influential outfit has gone to ground.

Formed by ex-Addleshaw Goddard partners Simon Twigden (pictured), Pietro Marino and Michael Green, Enyo was launched in 2010 with a post-Lehman preoccupation of litigating against banks. The concept was simple: pick up the big-ticket work that larger firms were conflicted out of. Continue reading “Disputes Eye: Enyo goes to ground – what next for the pioneering disputes shop?”

Women deal stars: perspectives – Penelope Warne, CMS

Women deal stars: perspectives – Penelope Warne, CMS

‘Compared to ten years ago, in some ways it’s easier for women and in some it’s more difficult. It is easier because there is a lot of support for gender equality and initiatives to support women. For example, the 30% Club to support them particularly at senior level and at board positions.

Attitudes have changed, we have a lot of policies now around helping many women but also men who want to work in a more agile fashion. This helps women have their career and also a family – but they are also popular with men. Continue reading “Women deal stars: perspectives – Penelope Warne, CMS”

Women deal stars: perspectives – Tamara Box, Reed Smith

Women deal stars: perspectives – Tamara Box, Reed Smith

‘My career has been a tale of reinvention and creativity.

I have been very lucky in that I have worked on three continents. I started in New York as a corporate finance lawyer in the traditional sense, then transferred to Singapore where younger lawyers did a bit of everything: investment funds, LBOs, JV finance, capital markets. Continue reading “Women deal stars: perspectives – Tamara Box, Reed Smith”

Being great at one thing is not enough – remaking a City leader for the times

Being great at one thing is not enough – remaking a City leader for the times

LB: What have been the big wins for Herbert Smith Freehills [HSF] over the last two years?

Mark Rigotti (MR): It has been the shift from integration. That’s by definition backwards-looking so it’s good to move on. We’ve been strengthening some of the smaller offices. We’re different from the Magic Circle that have long-established European practices. We’ve grown about 50% in five years in mainland Europe. The German, Madrid and Paris offices are all significantly bigger. There are more European clients and more leadership positions going to Europeans. That’s a big cultural shift. Continue reading “Being great at one thing is not enough – remaking a City leader for the times”

Disputes Eye: Enyo goes to ground – what next for the pioneering disputes shop?

Disputes Eye: Enyo goes to ground – what next for the pioneering disputes shop?

It has been the question raised over wine by many seasoned litigators for months now: what’s going on at Enyo Law? At the beginning of last year, the litigation boutique hit the headlines thanks to surprise merger talks with fellow disputes specialist Stewarts Law, but since the discussion was abandoned the influential outfit has gone to ground.

Formed by ex-Addleshaw Goddard partners Simon Twigden (pictured), Pietro Marino and Michael Green, Enyo was launched in 2010 with a post-Lehman preoccupation of litigating against banks. The concept was simple: pick up the big-ticket work that larger firms were conflicted out of. Continue reading “Disputes Eye: Enyo goes to ground – what next for the pioneering disputes shop?”

Life during law: Tom Cassels, Linklaters

Life during law: Tom Cassels, Linklaters

My family moved from London to Essex in the seventies, we bought a big house with a big garden and were going to live off the land. We were basically seen as the village’s hippies – the obvious background for a City lawyer! It went wrong because my dad wasn’t very good at killing chickens, and I became very attached to a duck. He became a teacher to get an income to buy things.

I never decided I wanted to be a lawyer. I studied law because I wanted a fresh start. The school I went to – a large Essex rural comprehensive – did not traditionally produce Oxbridge candidates and I thought: ‘At least everyone is starting from the same place if I do law.’ But even then, I was clearly going to be a footballer, a rock star or a journalist in my head. Continue reading “Life during law: Tom Cassels, Linklaters”

Client profile: Neil Murrin, trainline

Client profile: Neil Murrin, trainline

The train puns were inevitable, but it took longer than expected. Towards the end of my conversation with the general counsel (GC) of online ticket retailer trainline, Neil Murrin, he says: ‘It’s a matter of getting people to join us on that journey.’ And adds: ‘Getting people on the right track and all that.’

Coming from a family of medics, Murrin was intent on avoiding a career in health services. He cites his earliest interest in law as originating from seminal-yet-cheesy drama series L.A. Law, in addition to the influence of his solicitor uncle. He recalls: ‘I’ve always been interested in economics and companies. There was an understanding that law gives you a good training in those areas and could move you towards the company side.’ Continue reading “Client profile: Neil Murrin, trainline”

Life during law: Mark Elsey, Ashurst

Life during law: Mark Elsey, Ashurst

My father was in the Ministry of Defence. There was a naval base in Singapore. Our family moved there when I was a baby. Left on a boat and arrived three-and-a-half weeks later. Singapore was pre-independence – a low-rise post-colonial town. Now you can stand on the waterfront and see skyscrapers for miles.

I trained at Cameron Markby and they offered me work in property and banking when I qualified. I’d set my heart on corporate. I had to decide: Ashurst or Linklaters. The partners at Cameron were supportive. They universally said that they would go to Ashurst if it were their decision. Continue reading “Life during law: Mark Elsey, Ashurst”