We speak to Mina Bhama about working in-house at the world’s leading connected car data marketplace
Mina, can you please quickly summarise your education and career path to date?
took the usual route to qualification, starting with GCSEs, then onto A-Levels,
before reading Law at university. I completed the Legal Practice Course at
Chester Law School completed my Training Contract at a high street firm (seats
in Criminal Law, Personal Injury and Conveyancing), whilst also gaining my
Higher Rights. I began my first sole in-house counsel role immediately upon
qualification at a loss adjusting company. I progressed to senior legal counsel
and latterly as General Counsel & Company Secretary roles in listed and
private companies and somewhere along the way I qualified as an ICSA Chartered
What kind of work do you undertake at wejo?
have a broad role at wejo which includes heading up the Legal & Investor
Relations team. My day-to-day activities can include a range of commercial and
corporate matters, such as contracts; intellectual property focussing on brand
protection, acquisitions and privacy regulation; investor relations with
involvement in fundraising to working with wejo’s Data Advisory Council, which
has been set up to play an influencing role to shape and lobby privacy
legislation in the US.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your current role?
So many things!
But the top two are the talented and fun
people I work with and being a part of an exciting business that is quickly
becoming a truly global business. wejo is playing a key role in defining an
emerging industry, that will ultimately impact the way we live our lives, for
example from making it easier to find a parking space, to making our roads
safer, to easing congestion and making our commutes more manageable. Those are
impacts that will be felt by people on a day to day basis.
What first attracted you to law?
You’ve always worked in-house. Did private practice not appeal?
trained in private practice and a few months before I qualified, I was asked to
join a loss adjusting company as their first sole in-house counsel. The offer
came at a time when I was considering moving into commercial law, so I made the
decision to accept the role and have never looked back.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of working in-house?
Get some experience in private practice first and if you do decide to make
a move in-house early in your legal career, move to an organisation with a
legal team that can support you and from which you can learn from - but do make
the move. If you find that working in-house is not for you, there is nothing to
stop you from moving back.
You took nearly a year off in 2017 and travelled the world. What inspired that decision?
was a spontaneous decision that my husband and I made via a very short text
exchange, as I was considering my next challenge. Once the decision was made, I
did not think twice about it and swiftly moved on to plan the itinerary!
What benefits did it bring to you both personally and professionally?
Personally, travelling taught me to be patient, see things from a different perspective and try new things even if they did not appeal at first. Some of my most memorable times on my travels are ones of things that I never dreamt I would do, such as horse-riding in Cuba in what turned out to be the most thunderous weather conditions I have ever experienced, climbing mount Batur in time for sun rise, watching the moon rise in the Atacama Desert whilst in a hot spring with outside temperatures of minus three degrees and so many more.
Professionally not only has it reaffirmed
that my chosen career continues to be the right one for me and one that I
enjoy, but it has also given me a better understanding of how different
cultures play a part in business. If all else fails I could teach yoga having
managed to squeeze in a yoga teaching qualification during the final month of
Do you have a motto that you live by in business?
only thing guaranteed is change!
Finally, who has been your biggest career inspiration and why?
have two…my parents. They moved to the UK, leaving behind their family and
home, to a country they had never previously visited with no qualifications,
starting all over to give them and their children a better education and way of