How did you come to be a Senior Director at Laurence Simons?
After 3.5 years with Law Absolute, I relocated to the United Arab Emirates and joined Laurence Simons’ Dubai office at the end of 2014. Soon after, I became our General Manager for Asia, the Middle East and Africa, which involved working across many challenging but exciting emerging markets, not to mention undertaking a lot of painful and less glamorous administration work to manage our office there! In 2018 we went through a management buyout, and I missed London. Thankfully, Clare Beresford, our CEO, allowed me to transfer to our London office, and I returned in 2018. Shortly after, I became an Associate Director and, subsequently, Senior Director. I am fortunate enough to retain my international workload, which is much easier to do from London!
What does your role encompass?
My role involves pitching (which I love!) and hopefully winning new work for our business. I also spend a lot of time nurturing and growing existing client relationships and have many clients I work with globally. I work closely with Weronika (who is currently on maternity leave) and Samantha, and we find the best legal, compliance, investigations, and privacy talent for our clients. I am also pulled into various client meetings to discuss anything from headcount to team structure, budgets, trends, and a whole host of random things that I seem to be involved in! When it comes to career development, I provide Lumina Spark coaching to clients and candidates; I also mentor and train more junior members of our team. Naturally, I spend a lot of time interviewing for my clients and for internal new hires.
What projects are you currently working on?
Currently, I am building the global privacy team for a large, listed pharmaceuticals business. I have just placed a US General Counsel for a growing Danish biotechnology business, and I am also leading an interesting Compliance Culture search which requires a lawyer that can help drive and embed ethical behaviours into a business culture. I am also working on some specialist sanctions and trade compliance searches in the US and UK for manufacturing and aerospace businesses. Finally, I am supporting on a number of projects for my client which is currently going through a corporate monitorship, and this has taken up a lot of my time over the pandemic, but it has been a hugely rewarding and interesting experience!
Who do you work most closely with?
We have a dedicated team model, so I am fortunate to work with our Senior Director of Talent Acquisition & Development, Samantha Knowles and Associate, Weronika Dominas. Muhammad Karimabadi joined my team to work alongside Weronika. We are a close-knit and happy team.
What do you enjoy about your work?
Firstly, working with my team on a daily basis! I also love the breadth of my work and how international it is. Every day brings a new challenge, whether it’s discussing sanctions and customs compliance to data ethics or compliance challenges for US businesses in high-risk markets. I love meeting intelligent and interesting lawyers around the world and learning about their unique career journeys. I also love the thrill of winning new business, I enjoy seeing clients become repeat customers, and I am happiest when I become their trusted advisor.