Work / Life: Legal Counsel

A day in the life of…
Katie Coomber, Legal Counsel

What is your main job responsibility?
My main responsibility is drafting and negotiating commercial contracts. My work tends to revolve around the needs of the factory. I review agreements ranging from the supply of catering services to the provision of software support and anything else in between! I look after the majority of our technical partner arrangements (where suppliers provide us with goods and/or services in return for Team sponsorship/association rights) and also our university student project programme where we support students carrying out car related projects as part of their degree course. I’m also the Team’s anti-bribery compliance officer so I’m responsible for our anti-bribery policy and ensuring it is communicated effectively to our staff.

Describe a typical day in your job?
I start by running through my emails and responding to anything that needs responding to! I will then either draft or review whatever agreements I am working on. I work 2 days from Enstone and 2 days from home and so the days I’m at the factory, I tend to meet with people to clarify instructions or run through agreements and the days I’m at home I tend to do the drafting.

How did you get the job and what’s your career background?
I trained in London at a firm called Withers of which the Team was a client. I qualified into the Corporate Department and did 8 years as a corporate lawyer involved predominantly in buying and selling private companies as well as non-transactional commercial work. I was seconded to the Team in April 2010 for a maximum of 3 months’ to assist following Renault’s departure and have been here ever since! It’s nice to have gone full circle and be back under Renault ownership.

What’s your most memorable moment here?
It’s yet to come! I’m visa victim for Singapore. I’ve never been to a race or to Singapore and so I’m really hoping my services are called upon and I get to witness a great result for the Team!

What’s the worst part of the job?
I’m lucky, there is nothing I really dislike about my role but, if pushed, it would be negotiating our standard non-disclosure agreement. I prepare a lot of non-disclosure agreements as preserving the confidentiality of our information and data is critical to our success and it erks me when the other side wants to make changes to what I consider to be an already well drafted, balanced document!

And what’s the best part?
There are a number of things I really enjoy about my job. On a personal level, it’s my colleagues. I work with some great people and we have fun. On a professional level, it’s having your client on site, getting to know the ‘in and outs’ of the business and building relationships. I also enjoy being part of a team and getting to see tangible evidence of my work on the car knowing I’ve played a small part in the process.

What do you get up to after work?
I have a lovely grey horse called Heathcliffe. I enjoy team chasing (a team speed event around a cross country course) but need about a month to recover both mentally and physically after each event!

And what do you do before going to bed?
I check on my 5 year old little boy to ensure he hasn’t discarded any bed clothes and still has ‘Pete’ (his polar bear)!

What would you be doing if you weren’t in this role? Maybe an estate agent for high end properties, a television researcher for This Morning or a film location scout!

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