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 !