Meet the GCD&I Social Mobility Community:  What does Social Mobility Means to Us?

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Meet our Social Mobility Community

Introducing the Social Mobility Community team

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Social Mobility Community: Joint Leads

Chief Legal & Risk Officer, Company Secretary, IMI
Louise Waldek

Chief Legal & Risk Officer, Company Secretary, IMI

Louise Waldek joined IMI in July 2021 as Group General Counsel & Company Secretary.  She is a member of the IMI Executive Committee and sponsors the IMI Better World team. Prior to joining IMI, Louise was General Counsel & Company Secretary at Victrex plc.  She has held legal roles in Speedy Hire plc, United Utilities plc and DLA Piper. She brings extensive experience in legal, risk and compliance matters to support IMI’s growth.   Louise is a Board Member of General Counsel for Diversity & Inclusion and leads its Social Mobility Community.

Matthew Wilson, General Counsel, Fremantle
Matthew Wilson

Matthew Wilson, General Counsel, Fremantle

Matt is Group General Counsel at global content producer Fremantle. Fremantle produces over 12,000 hours of original programming every year across drama, entertainment, documentaries and film. He joined Fremantle in August 2021 and sits on the global board. Prior to Fremantle, Matt was based in Amsterdam as General Counsel for EMEA & APAC for Uber, leading a diverse, international team who helped Uber Rides to scale, launch Uber Eats and JUMP bikes (now Lime) and stabilise and grow the business across over 50 countries, culminating in a successful listing on the NYSE in 2019.  Matt started his career with four years at Baker & McKenzie, followed by an overall six-year stint in senior roles for global telco Telefónica with a spell at Arsenal Football Club in the middle. Matt studied Economics and Politics and is a practicing Solicitor (England and Wales).

General Counsel, Consumer, BT
Russell Johnstone

General Counsel, Consumer, BT

Russell leads the legal, risk and compliance teams for the largest consumer business in the UK: BT’s Consumer division (BT, EE and Plusnet) which serves 30 million customers and generates £10bn in annual revenue.

Starting his career as a media lawyer, Russell joined BT in 2011.  After leading the BT Sport launch, he was appointed General Counsel for BT Consumer in 2015, and then General Counsel for the combined consumer businesses in 2017.

He is Vice Chair of the Social Tech Trust (a social impact investor) and a trustee of the Social Mobility Business Partnership (a charity dedicated to improving social mobility in law and finance).

Social Mobility Community Team

Managing Counsel, Global Treasury, bp
Jo Norman

Managing Counsel, Global Treasury, bp

bp delivers heat, light and mobility products and services to people all around the world in ways that will help to drive the transition to a lower carbon future.

Jo was appointed head of the global team responsible for legal activities related to all Treasury work, including capital markets, credit facilities, structured financings, corporate restructuring, group funding, trading, insurance and pensions in 2017 after joining bp in 2006.

Previously Jo qualified and worked at Slaughter and May and has 25 years of international corporate and financing experience.  She holds a degree in Chemistry from Imperial College and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Trinity College, Cambridge.  Jo was a founding member of a UK women’s network in 2007 at bp and has supported different strands of D&I within bp with a current passion for Social Mobility.

 

 

 

 

Managing Director, Head of Legal, International, Gordon Brothers
Ben Olushola

Managing Director, Head of Legal, International, Gordon Brothers

As Head of Legal, International, at Gordon Brothers, Ben leads a team of front-line transactional and corporate counsel for Gordon Brothers’ international business. He advises on legal strategy, transaction structuring and negotiation, and manages deal documentation and execution, among other corporate matters, as well as disputes and litigation.

Ben’s responsibilities at Gordon Brothers also involve acting as General Counsel for Gordon Brothers’ European portfolio investments: Laura Ashley and Orsay, providing legal support and guidance to those two international retail brand licensing and franchising businesses.

Ben has over 15 years’ experience of cross-border restructuring and insolvency matters including distressed M&A, pre-pack sales, bank resolutions, corporate financial restructurings, and formal insolvencies. He has worked on numerous complex restructurings and insolvency transactions, involving English administrations, schemes of arrangement, CVAs, liquidations, and US Chapter 11 proceedings. Ben’s experience also spans pre-insolvency and insolvency processes in numerous other jurisdictions including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Australia, South Africa, Singapore and Mexico.

Before joining Gordon Brothers, Ben was head of legal for a privately-owned special situations asset manager and investment company. Prior to this, Ben was Managing Associate at the global law firm Linklaters, where he worked for over five years in their restructuring and insolvency practice. Ben started his career in the Dentons restructuring and insolvency practice.

Ben holds an LLB from Leeds University Law School and is admitted as a Solicitor-Advocate of the Senior Courts of England and Wales.

Counsel, BP
João Oliveira

Counsel, BP

Joao is a senior corporate energy lawyer working for bp in the UK. He graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon, completed an LL.M in “Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Law” from the University of Houston, and an executive master’s degree in “Global Business” from the University of Oxford.

Joao started his career as a tax attorney at a major law firm and then went on to become a commercial upstream lawyer. After several years working in upstream, Joao shifted to projects and became a major projects senior counsel specialized in Offshore Wind and Oil & Gas

 In addition to his professional activity, João is the coordinator of the Postgraduate Program in Energy Law at Católica Lisbon (Portugal). João is also regularly invited to speak on energy topics and has published several articles on the subject.

 Outside of work Joao enjoys spending time with his wife and their two kids, playing Padel tennis, buying records and visiting art galleries” 

SVP Legal for Gas & Low Carbon Energy and Regions, Corporates & Solutions, bp
Layla Al-Hassani

SVP Legal for Gas & Low Carbon Energy and Regions, Corporates & Solutions, bp

Layla Al-Hassani is SVP Legal for Gas & Low Carbon Energy and Regions, Corporates & Solutions at bp. She joined bp in 2011 and has held a number of legal roles around the group, and previously trained and worked at the international law firm CMS. She sits on bp legal’s UK D&EI committee supporting various initiatives.

Global Head of Antitrust at Nestlé
Marceline Tournier

Global Head of Antitrust at Nestlé

Marceline Tournier is Global Head of Antitrust for Nestlé in Vevey, Switzerland.

Prior to joining Nestlé S.A. in 2008, Marceline worked as a UK and EU antitrust lawyer in London at Clifford Chance and Hogan & Hartson.

Marceline has extensive competition and antitrust law experience covering investigations, sector inquiries, national and international merger control, joint ventures and utilities regulation across a number of jurisdictions throughout the world. Her experience spans diverse sectors including fast moving consumer goods, financial services, private equity, energy, water and transport. She regularly works in English, French, German and Spanish.

Marceline is co-chair of the ICC’s Global Competition Commission Taskforce on Competition Policy and Sustainability and is committed to improving social mobility issues in the legal profession as a member of the Nestlé Legal & Compliance DE&I committee.

Marceline obtained a B.A. (cum laude) from George Washington University in Washington D.C. and is a UK qualified solicitor.

 

Social Mobility Lead, Hogan Lovells
Talia Chirouf

Social Mobility Lead, Hogan Lovells

Talia is Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager at Hogan Lovells, focusing on delivering the firm’s DEI goals in the UK, and has been with the firm for five years. She has previously held roles in the third sector, in charities focusing on developing employment skills and opportunities for young people and worked as an English coach in Paris prior to joining Hogan Lovells. Talia has sat on the GCD&I Social Mobility Pilar since its inception in 2022 and is passionate about raising awareness of the topic beyond early careers and recruitment challenges to ensure the retention, progression and inclusion of those from lower socio-economic backgrounds within the legal sector.

 

Community Investment Manager, Allen & Overy
Emma Turnbull

Community Investment Manager, Allen & Overy

Emma is Community Investment Manager at Allen & Overy in the Social Impact Group.  Emma manages volunteering programmes around the themes of access to education and employment as well as the London grants programme of the A&O Foundation.  Emma has been instrumental in setting up the firm’s partner-led Social Mobility Working Group and Social Mobility Employee Resource Group at A&O.  Emma leads on A&O’s submission in the Social Mobility Employer Index and is currently ranked 7th.  Emma is a Trustee of the London Legal Support Trust that raises funds for free legal advice services in London and the South East.

Partner Sponsor for Social Mobility, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Annette Byron

Partner Sponsor for Social Mobility, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Annette acts for clients on real estate investments, debt and restructurings, often involving portfolios of property. She draws on her experience to assess  the property interests and liabilities with a view to determining the appropriate level of risk for the client, and – in the case of disposals – in order to prepare the groundwork to achieve maximum value.

Many of the transactions on which she works have a cross-border element, raising issues in multiple jurisdictions. In such cases, Annette co-ordinates and manages the process for the client, marshalling the local law advice into an overall strategy and apportioning the agreed risk in a uniform manner across jurisdictions.

She takes a pragmatic, commercial approach to transactions, quickly assessing what is relevant and material to the client and what is not. She has a wide, international client base and is adept at guiding new investors through the unfamiliar territory of the UK and European real estate market.

Annette is the firm’s sponsor for social mobility and sits on the Diversity Committee with a particular interest in the multicultural aspects of our firm.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager, Allen & Overy
Matthew York

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager, Allen & Overy

Matthew York is one of Allen & Overy’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Managers based in their London office. Prior to working in the firm’s DE&I team, Matthew worked in the Early Careers Recruitment team at A&O focusing on DE&I. Before joining A&O, Matthew also worked in Early Careers Recruitment at two other firms within the legal sector. Matthew is actively involved in the firm’s social mobility network and committee and supports with initiatives including the firm’s Social Mobility Employer Index submission and the firm’s sixth form outreach initiatives including the A&O Bursary designed to support students from less advantaged backgrounds.

Corporate Partner, Slaughter and May
Andrew Jolly

Corporate Partner, Slaughter and May

Andrew Jolly is a corporate partner at Slaughter and May.  He joined the firm as a trainee in 1997, qualified in 1999 and became a partner in 2006.  He is Head of one of the firm’s three Corporate Groups.   Andrew’s practice consists principally of acting for clients on domestic and international corporate finance transactions, including public and private M&A, equity financings, joint ventures and restructurings.  He also advises on company law, corporate governance and other board-related matters and is a member of the Company Law Committee of the Law Society.  Andrew is also Head of the firm’s Sports Practice.

Andrew is Chair of the Slaughter and May Social Mobility Working Group and sponsor partner to the firm’s Social Mobility network (SoMo).

 

Counsel, Allen & Overy
Helen Biggin

Counsel, Allen & Overy

Helen is an experienced litigator. She has extensive experience acting for corporate clients and financial institutions in complex, reputationally sensitive and often multi-jurisdiction litigation and arbitration. Helen specialises in commercial claims, breach of confidence claims and acting for clients in high value fraud matters. She also has notable experience representing clients in litigation relating to breaches of aircraft lease agreements (and other related matters such as aircraft delivery, technical claims and repossessions). Helen has extensive trial experience in the English Commercial Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. Helen also has substantial arbitration experience (particularly of LCIA and LMAA arbitrations).

Helen is a member of the legal advisory panel of the Aviation Working Group, a not-for-profit body comprised of major aviation manufacturers, leasing companies and financial institutions that contribute to the development of policies, laws and regulations that facilitate advanced international aviation financing and leasing.

Helen has been recognised by Legal 500 UK as a ‘Rising Star’ for Commercial Litigation and Civil Fraud.

Senior Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Slaughter and May (Community Project Manager)
Gemma Porter

Senior Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Slaughter and May (Community Project Manager)

Gemma Porter is a Diversity & Inclusion leader with over 15 years’ experience working within the professional services industry. Gemma has experience working across Big 4 Accountancy firms, strategy consulting and more recently at Slaughter and May, a magic circle law firm. Throughout her career she has managed different HR functions including graduate recruitment and talent management, with a focus on embedding Diversity & Inclusion into the employee lifecycle. In recent years Gemma has specialised in Diversity & Inclusion and is now a Senior Diversity & Inclusion Manager at Slaughter and May. Gemma is passionate about developing inclusive cultures where people can thrive and bring their best selves to work.

 

Associate, Hogan Lovells
Hannah Schofield

Associate, Hogan Lovells

Hannah is an Associate in the IP team at Hogan Lovells in London. Hannah’s legal practice is predominantly concerned with multi-jurisdictional patent litigation across the technology, media, telecommunications and life sciences sectors. Her main focus is advising clients on both assertion of patents and defence against infringement claims. She has also been involved with various non-litigious matters, including advising on patent assignments and assisting with IP-related due-diligence.

Hannah is passionate about social mobility, and is proud to be part of the GCD&I Social Mobility Pillar. She was part of the project management team for the pillar in 2023 and helped coordinate a successful event for the pillar, hosted at Hogan Lovells.

 

Senior Associate, Hogan Lovells
Beth Sheehan

Senior Associate, Hogan Lovells

Beth is a Counsel in the pension group at Hogan Lovells and joined the Firm in 2015. Her experience includes advising both trustees and sponsoring employers in relation to complex scheme mergers, liability management options and benefit changes. She is a member of the Association of Pension Lawyers and sits on the steering committee for Hogan Lovells’ Social Mobility Network.

Solicitor, Vodafone
Katie Vernon

Solicitor, Vodafone

Senior Legal Counsel, Airbus Defence and Space
Mélissa Ounis

Senior Legal Counsel, Airbus Defence and Space

Group Senior Legal and Compliance Counsel, IMI plc
Caroline Smith

Group Senior Legal and Compliance Counsel, IMI plc

Caroline became a member of the Group Legal & Compliance team at IMI in October 2023. She began her career as a commercial litigator and spent ten years in private practice. Later, Caroline transitioned in-house, joining Victrex plc, where she was subsequently appointed as the Head of Legal for the Industrial business. Additionally, Caroline serves as the Human Rights Officer for IMI’s German entities.