Monisha Bhargava, In-house Legal Consultant

Posted in Interviews on 21 Mar 2018

Tell us about what you do?

I have my own company and work as a Legal consultant/contractor. I have worked for companies such as Avis Budget and Whitbread in the past.

Tell us about your role?

l provide generalist legal support to a variety of businesses.  This could range from drafting and negotiating contracts, advising on and implementing policies, providing legal support to the sales department and attending court on litigation matters.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy the variety and sense of achieving results. My role is to facilitate the business by providing legal solutions. I also enjoy meeting people from different backgrounds which I feel expands my knowledge and understanding.

What are the main challenges of your role?

Ensuring the legal challenges are communicating in a pragmatic and collaborative way.

Why the law and why In House?

TV programmes and a family friend who was a barrister made it seemed like a profession that would be interesting and intellectually challenging. I moved in-house after selling my private practice and decided I wanted a change.

Have you always worked in House? Where did you train and work before?

I trained in a small west London law firm. It was so long ago we didn't have any Internet and used dicta phones!  

What is the best piece of advice you can give to an ambitious Solicitor at the start of their legal career?

I would tell young lawyers to get ready for a lot of hard work, and constant challenges. You should really want to enter this profession as managing client expectations can be demanding.  You are constantly learning but the personal satisfaction can be very rewarding. 

Who has been the biggest influence on your career and why?

My parents were the most influential as they taught me that if you work hard you can achieve anything.  I have worked with and for a number of lawyers whom I have admired but far too many to mention. 

So far what has been your career highlight?

My career highlight so far was starting my own law firm and building up the business. I was also thrilled at being selected from 6000 applicants to 400 in a deputy district judge selection exercise.  I would have liked to continue to pursue this but my business commitments did not give me the time.

What has been your greatest achievement so far in life?

My greatest achievement has been to keep happy and ignore the naysayers! 

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I have been a lawyer for approx 19 years but have also run a small bespoke catering service for private dinner parties as I love cooking. I would love to expand this or own a restaurant. I enjoy travelling to places like Thailand, Brazil and Sri Lanka.

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