Global Head M&A Legal (Barclays)
Having obtained A-levels in French, German and Drama, I wanted to study law because of a general fascination with crime and criminals (I had initially planned on becoming a criminal barrister). I completed a Law and German Law degree at University College London, including a fantastic year at the University of Cologne. During my degree, I found that I enjoyed corporate law much more than the criminal side, and I was lucky enough to find a training contract at Freshfields. After 10 years at Freshfields as an M&A and private equity lawyer, I joined Barclays to work on the bank’s M&A activity. Having spent some time at the Investment Bank covering private equity and principal investment businesses, I have now returned to the M&A role where I lead a team of talented lawyers buying and selling businesses for Barclays across the world.
I have had a strong interest in increasing diversity in the legal profession for many years. Even as a white middle class male with a Russell Group university degree, the fact that I received a state education and was a non-Oxbridge graduate made me diverse when I was looking for jobs in the mid-1990s. It has made it easier to understand the challenges for young people trying to get to the top of the legal profession who are from “non-traditional” backgrounds. Having worked in law for nearly 20 years now, I have also seen first-hand the benefits that diversity of background, thought and approach can bring to the legal profession; diversity encourages broader viewpoints, which leads to be better decision-making and, inevitably, better advice being given to clients. Clients at all levels come from diverse backgrounds, so it makes sense that their advisers should too.
I was delighted to be asked to join the Advisory Board for Aspiring Solicitors. The support that Aspiring Solicitors offers to people wanting to break into law is truly incredible, and I feel privileged to be given the chance to help guide the organisation to even greater achievements, and its members to achieve their goals.