Jane Finlayson-Brown
  • Partner
  • Allen & Overy
United Kingdom
Jane Finlayson-Brown

Jane Finlayson-Brown

  • Partner
  • Allen & Overy
United Kingdom

I think the most material challenge for me has been taking control of and planning my career, practice and profile in a way that is true to me. As a female lawyer in the City I have had my fair share of inappropriate comments (whether intentional or otherwise) and witnessed them being levelled at other female lawyers. One has to develop an effective strategy to deal with these that is assertive and does not lessen one’s self-esteem.

Being a good lawyer is no longer sufficient: it is the starting point. Clients expect you to know the law and to understand new technology at least to the level that you are able to have credible conversations about their products and services. The best way to do is to engage – visit clients to see what they are doing in practice; read up on a technology trend such as blockchain and write about it or speak about it in a public forum.

The gender pay gap is definitely an issue in the legal profession and beyond. Diversity across all levels of seniority is one of Allen & Overy’s strategic business priorities. For me personally it’s a fundamental issue of fairness and ethics. That said, the benefits are also very clear. Diverse teams drive greater originality, innovation and creativity; they offer different viewpoints and enable stronger client relationships.