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  • RSC Head of Legal Marina Zain

    Posted on 31st May 2016 in Interviews

    Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble. 

    The RSC employs 1000 staff, produces approximately 20 productions a year from its home in Stratford and plays regularly in London, Newcastle upon Tyne and on tour across the UK and internationally. 

    This year the charity celebrated Shakespeare’s birthday on Saturday 23rd April, 2016 and the 400th anniversary of his death with a huge range of events, both in his hometown of Stratford, across the UK and around the world.

    RSC Head of Legal Marina Zain casts a spell on us with some insight into the magic that keeps all those plates spinning.  

     

     

    1. Tell us a bit about your employer the RSC. It’s quite a big year isn’t it?

    The Royal Shakespeare Company is an iconic theatre company and charity incorporated by Royal Charter. It’s based in Stratford-Upon-Avon and employs 1000 staff. It produces approximately 20 productions a year from its home in Stratford and plays regularly in London, Newcastle upon Tyne and on tour across the UK and internationally. As well as the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, the RSC produces new work from living artists and develops creative links with theatre-makers from around the world. It also works with teachers to inspire a lifelong love of Shakespeare in young people and runs various events for everyone to explore and participate in its work.

    This year the RSC marked Shakespeare’s birthday on Saturday 23rd April, 2016 and the 400th anniversary of his death with a huge range of events, both in his hometown of Stratford, across the UK and around the world. They took various forms such as live performances, exhibitions and cinema and television broadcasts. In addition the programme of events continued throughout the year with amongst other things the King and Country Tour of China and will culminate with a ground-breaking production of The Tempest in November.

    2. And can you expand on what your role is there Marina?

    I am the Head of Legal and sole counsel for the company. I have one other team member who manages and does a lot of the project management work in relation to all projects undertaken by the department.

    My role is really quite unbelievably wide in scope and involves everything that falls under the remit of a typical GC and some things that perhaps would not - due to the nature of our business and the enormous amount of creativity and innovation it generates.

    3. What made you decide on a career in the legal profession?

    Serendipity really. There was no big plan. It seemed like a sound profession and a good idea at the time. I had done well enough at school to be offered a scholarship to study law abroad so I took the opportunity and have never looked back.

    4. What do you enjoy most about your job?

    The fact that there isn’t a typical day.

    The RSC is made up of many moving parts – everything from the Artistic and Production teams who take words on a page all the way to the magic you see on stage to the Education team’s practice that works with over 3,000 schools and from the retail operations to our Board of Governors.

    It could be that one minute I’m looking at some health and safety regulations, the next minute I’m being asked to review a venue agreement for any of our productions transferring to London, or I could be involved in contracts for adapting new works for stage. It could be a staff directory and processes; even setting up things within the department.

    I find it incredibly rewarding and enriching. You need to have a “can do” attitude and be happy to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in.

    5. How have you developed personally and professionally in the 3 years you have been in the RSC?

    Both personally and professionally they have cemented my confidence in my ability to adapt, learn, thrive and succeed even when thrown in at the deep end.

    6. Who’s been the biggest influence on your career?

    My parents. They have been a great source of inspiration to me all my life and continue to be.

    7. What has been your greatest achievement so far in life (personal or professional)? I think my greatest achievement in life is yet to come. We are told that life is a journey so I’d like to think that I am still pretty far away from the destination. In the meantime there is much to see and learn.

    8. Can you tell us a bit about your personal life? Growing up, education and family? I was born and grew up in Malaysia in a nuclear family – mum, dad and 2 kids. I have a younger brother who is successful in his own right and works in financial services in the Asia Pacific region. My parents were both in the army and were part of a generation who essentially helped to build Malaysia as a nation.

    I went to school in Malaysia till I was 17 and after completing my entrance exams was fortunate enough to be offered a scholarship to read Law at the University of Bristol. I returned home to Malaysia to complete my Bar exams and chambering and went straight into an in-house career. I moved permanently to the UK in 2010 when I married my husband and have lived most of my time here in the beautiful North Cotswolds.

    I have worked in-house for various organisations for over 20 years and have no regrets in choosing that path. It’s a career that allows me the privilege of continuing to learn and evolve professionally and personally as well as the ability to work for some very interesting organisations all over the world.

    9. How do you relax? What interests outside of law float your boat?

    Cooking, reading, gardening, photography, long walks in the countryside and spending time with those I care about. I find these activities give me a sense of perspective and also remind me of the bigger picture.

    10. And finally, from a lawyer with lots of international commercial experience. Stay or leave the EU?

    Whichever way we go as a nation it will be an adventure and what is life if not a big adventure…

     

    Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble. 

    The RSC employs 1000 staff, produces approximately 20 productions a year from its home in Stratford and plays regularly in London, Newcastle upon Tyne and on tour across the UK and internationally. 

    This year the charity celebrated Shakespeare’s birthday on Saturday 23rd April, 2016 and the 400th anniversary of his death with a huge range of events, both in his hometown of Stratford, across the UK and around the world.

    RSC Head of Legal Marina Zain casts a spell with some insight into the magic that keeps all those plates spinning.

    Tagged:

    In-House Lawyer, RSC, Shakespeare,

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