This week in our MHC Life Series, we speak to Allison O'Gorman, Knowledge Lawyer on our Knowledge & Financial Service teams. Allison tells us about everything from her journey to law and her career highlight.
Tell us a bit about you and your career journey to MHC – what inspired you to get into this career?
I’m not sure what inspired my legal journey but I always enjoyed trying to find the solution to a set of problems. There is always an answer, it just has to be found. Fortunately, wanting to find solutions suits law perfectly. My legal career began with work experience at 15 and then as a trainee in Cameron McKenna, now CMS LLP, in London. I eventually became a Senior Associate in CMS’ Corporate and Leveraged Finance team and then moved in-house to Lloyds TSB Bank plc as a Director of Loans Syndications. It was extremely beneficial to my career to experience transactions through the eyes of the client as well as the legal service provider.
Eventually I moved to Gibraltar and had my 3 children. I worked for Ramparts in Gibraltar before settling in Dublin. I joined Mason Hayes & Curran 3 years ago as one of the Financial Services Professional Service lawyers and I consider myself lucky to have found such great people to work with.
Whilst at Lloyds, I worked on a £1.2 billion bid for the acquisition of various airports in the UK. There were numerous tiers of lenders involved and Lloyds were one of the few to have a dedicated internal legal team present throughout at negotiation meetings. It was a complex deal and was extremely time and document intensive, however, it was a fantastic learning opportunity and I like to think enhanced the reputation of our internal legal team in the market.
Favourite thing about your role?
First and foremost are the people that I work with. The job also requires that I stay up to date on future likely legislative changes and development in case law. The ever changing developments ensure the role always brings something new. I get a great sense of achievement if I am able to assist the Financial Service team in delivering the best service possible to clients and to make the working day easier for the fee earners.
What was your first job?
Perhaps my interest in finance was inspired by my first job, working on the till at a male clothes shop in Essex. I learnt a great deal about customer service and enjoyed the numerical side of the job. We were also taught about certain elements of the retail business and that included increasing the number of items bought by each customer. Unfortunately, that meant I had to ask every customer if they wanted three pairs of pants for £10 which was utterly mortifying!
One thing people don’t know about me?
I play the violin. I played in orchestras up until I left university. I was fortunate enough to travel to Moscow and tour Europe with various orchestras. I don’t get the chance to play much now unfortunately but am trying to learn the piano along with my daughters. My son is about to start learning the drums!
What books have you read recently?
I have been reading Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss – a former head negotiator for the FBI. Excellent preparation for those legal negotiations. Invisible Women Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez – a real eye opener on the way society is run/shaped. Mythos by Stephen Fry – he has a fantastic ability to tell the Greek Myths. I will shortly be starting Inventing Ourselves The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain by Sarah-Jayne Blakemore. My eldest daughter is approaching teenage years and it slightly terrifies me.