BCL Legal Recruitment
0845 241 0933

BCL Legal, The Brief

News, opinion, interviews and business insights from legal industry leaders

Subscribe

The Brief catches up with Mishcon de Reya’s three-strong & all-female partner promotions round for this year

VictoriaPigottColour

Victoria Pigott

What are your specialist areas?
I am a private client litigator acting for high net worth individuals, companies, families and family offices in a wide variety of litigation matters.

How many years have you spent in the legal profession?
Having completed pupillage at 23 Essex Street, I became a tenant there in October 2004.

Can you give us a brief summary of your career thus far?
I started out as a criminal barrister, both prosecuting and defending. After two years as a tenant, I realised legal aid cuts were changing the profession I had joined and jumped ship to Mishcon de Reya. My practice has always been very varied, acting for individuals and companies on a wide variety of matters: contract and trust disputes; professional negligence; shareholder disputes; fraud; harassment claims; blackmail; reputation management; and general commercial litigation. When Mishcon Private was set up in 2010, I began to specialise in private client litigation, predominantly for high net worth individuals and families in high value commercial disputes.

What’s been your greatest career achievement to date?
I led a team in a highly complex fraud trial last year. Several members of my client were aggressively cross examined for four to five days in front of a tricky and interventionist judge. I learnt a lot about managing expectations – both of clients and counsel, the importance of teamwork and cohesion, and how to delegate efficiently and without fuss. We achieved a great result for the client, built a cohesive and happy team and a sense of humour was maintained by all (just).

Who or what has inspired your career?
It’s actually very difficult to say – perhaps it’s more luck than judgement, but it’s definitely who rather than what. I went to law school to stop people asking me what I wanted to be “when I grew up” and realised the people I was mixing with were dynamic, driven and often highly entertaining – from the PgDL at City University, bar school, pupillage and now Mishcon. I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with the people I have, specifically those in the private department. People take their jobs seriously – but not themselves.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given on the way to partnership?
Bark up. If you have an issue with something – speak to those above you. Never take it out on those junior to you.

What do you think needs to be done to attract more women into the legal profession?
I don’t think it’s about attracting women to the legal profession – more about keeping them in it.

What can firms do to drive more gender diversity into their partnerships?
The majority of women lack confidence and suffer from imposter syndrome. Women need strong role models and mentors.

In one sentence can you describe what makes Mishcon de Reya standout from other firms?
From the partners to the trainees there’s a spirit of camaraderie – and a sense of mischief.

Do you have a motto or philosophy that guides your professional life?
Never expect anything of anyone that you wouldn’t expect of yourself.

What’s next?
It is a really exciting time for Mishcon Private and I am looking forward to being part of its development alongside the other Private partners. Mishcon Private brings together the traditional private client areas: tax, estate planning and family law – and my area of expertise – commercial litigation for private individuals and their business interests. I act as a trusted adviser for many of my clients, working closely with the teams in reputation protection, immigration, family office management, fraud defence, residential property and art. I’m looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.

LizEllen_colour

Liz Ellen

What are your specialist areas?
I head the firm’s Sports Law practice, so am focused solely on sports business. The legal issues we deal with are inevitably wide and varied because we act across a range of sports, and for a broad spectrum of clients in the industry, from high profile sportsmen to clubs, governing bodies, rights owners and sports brands. We now have a core team of ten lawyers and strong rankings in the legal directories.

How many years have you spent in the legal profession?
I’ve been qualified for seven years.

Can you give us a brief summary of your career thus far?
Sports law was my passion, so I wanted to be a sports lawyer from a young age. Alongside my regular work at Mishcon, I spent evenings and weekends building my sports knowledge and network – I studied for the Sports Law diploma at Kings College during my training contract, a Masters in Sports Management & the Business of Football at Birkbeck after qualification, and also became a licensed football agent as a means of learning more about the football world. Whilst I am predominantly a litigator, the breadth of sports work means that you have to be able to turn your hand to most disciplines.

What’s been your greatest career achievement to date?
Building a sports group was the aim, and to have achieved that within a firm like Mishcon has been great.

Who or what has inspired your career?
Whilst I would like to say my career was inspired by a great speech or motivational leader, in reality my love of sport has been the key driver throughout. Cheering England to victory against Holland at Wembley in Euro ’96, experiencing the heart-break of watching West Ham lose a Cup Final on penalties to Liverpool, and admiring the perfection, dedication and competitive instinct of elite athletes – sport is exciting and rewarding for participants and fans alike, and being able to work in that industry is fantastic.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given on the way to partnership?
I was told to promote myself more within the firm, which went against my natural instincts of not wanting to ‘bother’ other people with my own news. However, once I was going through the promotion process, I realised how important it was for people to know you, to buy into your vision, and to support you – it seems obvious after the event!

What do you think needs to be done to attract more women into the legal profession?
Nothing. As a career it is wide open to women already, particularly when you compare it to many other sectors where there is a real inequality. I’m on the board of Women in Football, where the common discussion is about women trying to break into a male-dominated business. Access to law is not a problem – the issues arise at more senior levels.

What can firms do to drive more gender diversity into their partnerships?
I don’t think it’s about ‘driving’ the diversity, but about ensuring there are equal opportunities given to quality candidates irrespective of gender.

In one sentence can you describe what makes Mishcon de Reya stand out from other firms?
It’s full of creative and innovative lawyers, which makes it both an enjoyable place to work but also one where – in the words of one of the leading sports brands (!) – ‘impossible is nothing’.

Do you have a motto or philosophy that guides your professional life?
You’re only as good as your last case, so you have to give your best on every matter, for every client.

What’s next?
I’ve grown up watching and supporting men’s sport, but as a female working in the sports industry I would like to be involved in the development and professionalisation of women’s sport. As a firm we’ve supported the Women’s Sport Network, Women In Football, Kick It Out and Beyond Sport for the past few years. I’m also paying particular attention to the Far East as we are seeing a huge shift in the professionalism of football in China.

Emma Macintyre_Colour

Emma Macintyre

What are your specialist areas?
Property litigation – I provide advice on a range of property matters including landlord/tenant and wider property issues involving legal issues where litigation is involved or contemplated.

How many years have you spent in the legal profession?
23 years (unbelievably!)

Can you give us a brief summary of your career thus far?
I trained at Payne Hicks Beach and spent my first few years of qualification with them. I then worked at Hepherd Winstanley and Pugh in Southampton which merged with Bond Pearce. I was there for about nine years and then joined Mishcon de Reya in 2007 where, before being a partner, I had been a legal director since 2010.

What’s been your greatest career achievement to date?
It’s impossible to pick one – sticking with those challenging cases and coming out with a great result for the client is always very rewarding, no matter how big or high profile the case is.

Who or what has inspired your career?
The people I have worked with and continue to work with.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given on the way to partnership?
Have courage in your convictions and trust your instincts.

What do you think needs to be done to attract more women into the legal profession?
It is not a question of attracting more women to the legal profession, but what needs to be done to retain them. Firms must have flexibility within the working environment to allow women to continue to do their job whilst balancing the demands of home and family life.

What can firms do to drive more gender diversity into their partnerships?
Again, this is a question of adopting more flexible working practices – higher retention rates will inevitably lead to greater diversity at partnership level.

In one sentence can you describe what makes Mishcon de Reya stand out from other firms?
There is great variety both in the work and the people doing it at Mishcon. We are not afraid to pick up and actively pursue matters.

Do you have a motto or philosophy that guides your professional life?
Work hard at what you choose to do and do it to the best of your ability. I have always endeavoured to do a good job and to be proud of my work.

What’s next?
Who knows? I want to build on the work that I have been doing over the last few years so that we can continue to attract the best clients and people to advise them.

www.mishcon.com

 

Leave Comment

Please be polite. We appreciate that.

Your e-mail address will not be published and required fields are marked.