Pricing Analyst, London Finance
How long have you been at A&O and what were you doing prior to joining us?
I have been in the legal industry for 11 years now … I joined A&O in 2017 but prior to that I worked for various other law firms such as Mishcon de Reya, Macfarlanes, and Doyle Clayton, in a PA/EA position.
What initially attracted you to A&O and what did you feel set us apart?
I have always had a keen interest in the legal world. I had an awareness of all the magic circle law firms growing up and I just always knew A&O was where I wanted to be. I had heard so many great things about the firm and felt it would be somewhere I would really enjoy working.
What was your first ever job? Was working in the legal sector always your ultimate goal?
My first ever job was working for Royal Bank of Scotland whilst I studied my ILEX diploma. Here I was part of a joint venture with RBS and O2 on the O2 Money Card when the prepaid cards were released. I was fortunate enough that this catapulted me into the London life … I moved to NatWest in Berkeley Square whilst I started seeking employment as a Legal Secretary. I was successful in securing a role at Doyle Clayton, an Employment and Immigration Firm.
We are proud at A&O to offer an environment where people can be themselves … What gives you a sense of “belonging” at A&O?
My colleagues most definitely! A&O is such a fantastic place to grow and achieve. I joined the firm as a PA/Finance Assistant in the Partners’ Affairs and Tax Team (and was in that role for 4 years) but then a secondment came up in the Global Finance Pricing Team. I reached out to the Head of the team and explained my experience and knowledge of the firm and that I was very keen to apply and he said ‘throw your hat into the ring’! Little did I know I would be successful in the application, and after 6 months I became permanent in the team and have not looked back. I am so glad I took a punt and the team saw something that made me right for the opportunity.
What’s the best thing about the team you work in?
We have honesty and understanding of each other. We work collaboratively together and share our knowledge. It is vital we share information between us so that we know who and what we are pricing around the firm.
What three things have enabled you to excel during your time at A&O?
Being trusted … it gives you so much confidence, especially with my change of role. I have been very fortunate to have had colleagues who have supported my career decisions.
Although not specifically “work” related, something I am very passionate about is taking care of my general wellbeing and I feel the facilities such as the gym, exercise classes, and physio services onsite at A&O have really enabled me to improve and excel in this area of my life. Outside of work I am part of a rowing team, and I race through the colder months all over Essex in a Winter Series. I have recently joined our local yacht club to take on sailing too! I thoroughly enjoy exercise, it gives me an huge sense of focus and achievement. Not only does it help me to relax and reduce anxiety, but it also has a positive impact on my productivity. I feel really fortunate to have access to such great facilities here.
Since the pandemic, the London office has adopted more flexibility in respect of working from home – with most teams working along the lines of a 60/40 model. I’ve enjoyed having this additional flexibility - as has my dog, Elvis, who is now well known to my team! During remote working he especially likes to make a subtle appearance within camera shot.
Which networks, extra-curricular activities, and/or pro bono and community investment initiatives have you become involved with since joining A&O (such as DE&I/sports teams/music etc.)? What have you valued most about these opportunities?
A&O is a huge advocate of wellbeing and, as mentioned above, the facilities on offer to employees here really support this … as well as being an avid user of the gym I am also getting a lot out of having access to the headspace app! I also volunteered to be a part of A&O’s Mental Health Ally scheme which I have found hugely rewarding. Becoming an ally involved some initial in-house training which gave me the skills and awareness to be able to play an active part within my department in supporting the wellbeing of my colleagues, should they ever need it.
A&O gives us the opportunity to grow and succeed not just in our work life but personal also. I have spent time with the children at Christchurch Primary School in Bricklane to do reading mornings, and in 2019 I spent two days helping tidy and refurbish their playground and the reception children’s classroom. I also spent some of my early years with A&O at Swanlea School. I look forward to undertaking more pro bono work the firm in the future – there are always so many impactful and rewarding opportunities available for us to get involved with.
If you could spend some time in any of A&O’s international offices, where would you most like to go and why?
This is a hard one, there so many to choose from! I think I would like to go to APAC, it is a part of the world I am yet to see and if I can travel and see some colleagues too that would be wonderful!
What advice would you give to anyone considering joining A&O?
Don’t hesitate - it is such a great place to work with a fantastic working culture. Many of my colleagues have been here 20 years + which I think says plenty about what it is like to work here!