What do you use from your Oxford Law degree in your job?
As a solicitor, in the narrowest sense, part of my role includes applying the law. I am able to do so more effectively as a result of my understanding of the underlying principles standing behind such application – such as how third party rights apply in contract – which I gained from my degree. In a wider sense, that same understanding helps me to have a good gut sense as to what application is likely required by the law (in advance of confirming the point) so that I can advise clients ‘live’ in a dynamic way. I am able to use law as a universal language across multiple jurisdictions, so that I can apply local laws in such other jurisdictions in the same manner that I would English law.
What is special about studying Law at Oxford?
Training to think first what the outcome ‘should’ be, what ‘should’ the law say in order to reach that outcome, what ‘should’ be changed if there is a gap… Studying law at Oxford trained me to be a ’thought leader’, to distil down a wealth of information into the most pertinent points and to be able to always take a step back and see the ‘bigger picture’.
What’s your best memory of your time at Oxford?
I have so many incredible memories – law and non-law related; from the adrenaline rush of reading through the week’s reading list, working through all of the angles to settle on my own position, hammering out the essays, running to the pidge to drop it in time, debating with peers, tutorial partners, tutors, law dinners, bops, balls etc. My favourite work memory is of that feeling when suddenly something clicks – when all the reading, discussions and debates just come together and there’s a wave of clarity.
Who was the biggest influence on you when you studied here?
Everyone I met was an influence. The wealth of the network is one of the best parts of being in Oxford. However, the biggest influence has to have been my tutors. To be able to directly sit with and speak to the likes of William Swadling, Anne Davies, Arianna Pretto, John Davies – leaders in their respective fields – to hear their insights first hand, is a privilege which I continue to feel incredibly fortunate to have experienced.
What’s your specialism? And would you recommend that as a specialism to current Law undergraduates?
Private Equity/M&A. I would highly recommend this as a specialism as it brings together so many other practice areas: (i) contract law for the various agreements (including the sale and purchase agreements and terms of acquisition or disposal), (ii) antitrust/competition law for the acquisition approvals required, for example where the target is a market leader, (iii) land law, employment law, intellectual property law etc. for diligence over the target business, (iv) company law for structuring the investment or co-investment by other parties between equity/debt/ hybrid securities (including the management equity and terms of repurchase of the equity in certain scenarios from management), (v) tax law to maximise returns, (vi) insolvency law for winding up the portfolio/fund structure on exit or at the end of the fund cycle, etc., the list goes on.