Senior Associate, White & Case
Wilbert Luna completed the MSc in Law and Finance in 2017. He worked for the Mexican Ministry of Finance, serving as national representative to international organisations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. He has since joined White & Case, specialising in anti-bribery and corruption, data privacy, and financial regulation.
Wilbert Luna, MSc in Law and Finance (St Cross College, 2016)
Could you tell us about your journey to Oxford? Why did you want to study the MSC in Law and Finance?
I consider my journey to Oxford as a pathway that allowed me to better grasp how law, finance, and economics interact.
Being a legal professional, I have focused my career on financial services regulation. However, before Oxford I was missing a thorough understanding of the Economics and Finance behind the rules applicable to institutions like banks, capital markets participants, etc. I did not know enough about Corporate Finance or Valuation, so I only had a partial picture of what, even nowadays, interests me the most from my profession.
When I came across the programme of the MSc in Law and Finance (“MLF”) at the University of Oxford, I knew it would be ideal to round my preparation to become a successful financial regulatory lawyer. I immediately realised that the courses of the MLF would help me to develop a more business-oriented mindset, able to respond, both promptly and effectively, to the daily challenges of the legal profession: enabling economic activity while managing risks and duly complying with the applicable rules.
My deep thanks and appreciation go not only to the University of Oxford, but also to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office of the United Kingdom, who arrange and support the Chevening Scholarship through which I was able to fund my MLF studies.
What did you most enjoy about your time at Oxford?
I could say that studying at Oxford has been my life’s highlight. First of all, the city is beautiful, and all the University premises make you realise you are in a truly special place. Everyone is very friendly but, at the same time, you can feel the academic rigour and commitment students, professors, researchers, and administrative staff have.
Nonetheless, I would say that the best part of my Oxford experience was the people I interacted with, particularly my classmates, who are just wonderful.
What is your current role?
I am a Senior Associate at White & Case and based in Mexico City. I mainly deal with issues related to financial regulation, data privacy, anti-bribery and corruption, as well as antitrust.
I work a lot for clients like BlackRock, Facebook, Santander, Sumitomo, and WhatsApp, with whom I have the opportunity to interact constantly.
What I like the most is that White & Case encourages teamwork in all matters. Teams are usually led by partners, who rely on the coordination and technical expertise of senior associates. There, my role is to make sure medium- and junior-level associates do valuable work that solves clients’ needs, although I also aim at becoming a mentor for younger generations of lawyers.
What has been your proudest moment in your career so far?
Representing the government of my home country, Mexico, as a delegate before international financial standard-setters like the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, as well as the Financial Action Task Force.
What charities do you support and why?
I am currently the counsel of the Oxford Alumni Association in Mexico. We strive to make it a functional organization that mentors and supports Mexican students to study at such a great university.
At White & Case, I have had the opportunity to advise the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on humanitarian law regarding different countries, such as Brazil, Costa Rica, and Ivory Coast.
What careers advice do you have for current Law students?
It is important to seek and follow the advice of your career services, and in particular that you learn how to network. It is also good to stay in touch with other Oxford graduates, to develop professional and personal ties.
What are your favourite places to visit in Oxford?
I love going to concerts at the Sheldonian. The place is beautiful and evokes nice memories, the Oxford Philarmonic is a world-class orchestra, and they invite incredible soloists. For example, I had the opportunity to hear Janine Jansen playing the Brahms Violin Concerto. Simply awesome.
Which figure(s) do you look up to?
I admire Sir Isaac Newton very much because, to me, he was the first major figure who helped us understand how the universe works. In my opinion, Mozart is the most important creative genius that has ever existed, of all arts. His music simply flows like water. Beautiful.
What advice would you give to past self when you were a student?
Not to worry so much about the future, or the life after Oxford. Enjoy more the whole academic and personal experience it means.
The MLF helped me to develop a more business-oriented mindset, able to respond, both promptly and effectively, to the daily challenges of the legal profession