Senior In-House Lawyer
Prior to joining Allen & Overy in 2019, I was Partner and Head of IP & Technology in a highly respected corporate firm in Belfast. In that role I advised across the M&A and private equity space with a particular specialism in technology and was fortunate to work very closely with some of Northern Ireland's most innovative companies – ranging from start-ups through to listed companies.
At school my A-levels were mostly* STEM subjects - and while this will hopefully soon become more mainstream in our profession, it was not part of the 'normal' route into law. In my view this solid background in physics and maths in particular has given me an advantage when working with clients on complex technology projects.
*I also studied music to meet my need for a creative outlet.
My undergrad was a joint honours in Law & Accounting – which again helped attune my analytical and numeracy skills. I regularly apply basic scientific principles and logic to my work as a technology lawyer. These help me to pinpoint and breakdown complex and unfamiliar processes, map them out and then 'translate' them into legal language.
My role in Allen & Overy is one of great variety and gives me the opportunity to work on some of the most challenging projects of my career. Part of my role involves working with our IT team on global infrastructure projects to meet the ever-changing demands of our lawyers and our clients, and to ensure we are responding to global regulatory and legal requirements, whether in relation to data security, data privacy or data localisation. I also work closely with our Legal Tech and Advanced Delivery teams who are using and developing technology and data analytics solutions to help our lawyers solve legal problems and deliver services to our clients in new and innovative ways.
Working as an in-house lawyer in Allen & Overy has pushed me far beyond my comfort zone, and I am challenged every day to apply new and innovative thinking to my work. There is rarely a 'precedent' for the projects we undertake and, as a lawyer, I am able to unleash both my technical side and my creative side and play my part in helping the firm achieve its innovation ambitions.
The most amazing thing about my job is that I get to do all of this incredible and exciting work for a large global (law) firm in Belfast!