Sabine Chalmers, Group General Counsel, Company Secretary & Regulatory Director, BT Group plc
Sabine Chalmers is the Group General Counsel, Company Secretary and Regulatory Director of BT Group Plc, one of the world’s leading telecommunications companies listed on the FTSE with headquarters in London.
Prior to BT, Sabine was the Chief Legal & Corporate Affairs Officer and Secretary to the Board of Directors of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the leading global brewer, from 2005 - 2017.
In addition to her more than a decade at Anheuser-Busch InBev, she served in a number of leadership positions, including General Counsel of the Latin American and U.S. Businesses at Diageo plc, the world’s largest producer of spirits from 1993 - 2004. She also worked in private practice at the law firm of Lovell White Durrant and was a lecturer at University College, London. Sabine holds a law degree from the London School of Economics and is qualified to practice in England and NY State.
She serves as a non-exec director on the Boards of AB InBev and the Royal National Theatre.
An American citizen of Indian and German origin, she has lived and worked across the world. Sabine has been married for 29 years to her husband Richard and they have one daughter, Natasha, who is 21 years old.
Alison Charnock, Legal Director, Wm Morrison Supermarkets Limited
Leigh Kirkpatrick, Managing Legal Counsel, Outsourcing, Technology & IP, The Royal Bank of Scotland
Leigh is a technology lawyer at the Royal Bank of Scotland advising on outsourcings, innovation projects and emerging technologies. She has particular interest in innovation in the law and using approaches such as design thinking to drive change. She won the Law Society of Scotland’s in-house “Rising Star” Award in 2015, and the Women in Finance “Legal Advisor of the Year” in 2017.
Georgina McManus, Chief Legal Officer, Manolo Blahnik
Georgina is Chief Legal Officer & Company Secretary of luxury footwear brand Manolo Blahnik. Georgina joined Manolo Blahnik in 2015 and established the internal legal function as sole counsel. Georgina now heads up a team of four, is a member of the Group’s C-Suite and participates in all aspects of strategic business planning. Georgina previously held the role of Corporate Counsel at Westfield Europe Limited, prior to which she worked in M&A at SJ Berwin LLP.
Lara Oyesanya, Group General Counsel, Company Secretary and C-Suite Executive, WorldRemit
Lara is an experienced solicitor in the financial services - digital payments sector that is skilled in regulatory, payments, enterprise risk management, consumer protection, small medium enterprises, retail and commercial banking. She is an external co-opted Member, Committee on Benefactions External and Legal Affairs, University of Cambridge, a non-Executive Director, Plan International UK and The Shaw Trust. She is also a Contributing Editor, LexisNexis Encyclopaedia of Banking Law and a Member, Consulting Editorial Board, LexisPSL. A Fellow of The RSA and 'Business Woman of the Year' & 'Corporate Leader', 2018 FL National Awards. Ranked in The Lawyer Hot 100 2021 and in the 50 Must Follow Black Female Leaders 2020. Winner of the Financial Services Senior Leader Category in the 2021 Black British Business Awards. Formerly, General Counsel and Chief Risk Officer at Contis, legal director at Klarna, senior legal counsel at Barclays and BAE Systems, a divisional counsel at RAC, legal director at HBOS (Lloyds Banking Group) and Group Head of Legal at Lex (Lex Autolease). Lara is also a barrister of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and a law graduate (LL.B Hons) of the University of Lagos with an LL.M in Comparative Company Law.
Catie Sheret, General Counsel and Company Secretary, Cambridge University Press & Assessment
I am the General Counsel for Cambridge University Press. I have worked as an in-house lawyer in educational publishing for most of my career moving to the Press in May 2018. I am responsible for legal and compliance, and lead a team of 35 supporting an international business.
Before joining the Press, I worked at Pearson first as a junior lawyer then eventually as SVP, Chief Privacy Officer, and Associate General Counsel for its £1bn Core Markets group. I trained at Linklaters, having graduated in law from the London School of Economics, and was in the Commercial team at Charles Russell before the move in-house.
I want to help the organisations I work for appreciate the value that in-house lawyers and compliance professionals bring. I think in-house colleagues can do a lot more to help demonstrate that value. I am particularly interested in bringing operational and process focus to our work to ensure that the work we do delivers that value.
Elizabeth Thompson, Chief Legal Officer, Gymshark
Elizabeth Thompson serves as Chief Legal Officer and is a member of the executive team at Gymshark. During her time at Gymshark, Elizabeth has had the privilege of building the legal team and its strategy. Prior to joining Gymshark, Elizabeth was Head of Legal at Muller UK & Ireland Group. During her 12-year tenure at the dairy business, she held several senior legal posts. She completed her solicitor training at multi-national law firm, Pinsent Masons, in Birmingham.
Lucy Vernall, General Counsel and Chief People Officer, Funding Circle
Lucy Vernall is General Counsel and Chief People Officer at Funding Circle, a listed SME loans platform. Lucy graduated from Cambridge in 1992 and trained and spent her early years as a corporate lawyer at Frere Cholmeley Bischoff before becoming one of the founder members of Kemp Little LLP, a renowned technology focussed City law firm, where as head of corporate she advised both large financial services corporate clients and entrepreneurial fintech companies on transactions including M&A, equity and debt financing. She was managing partner of Kemp Little from 2009 to 2011 when she became the first General Counsel at Wonga. There she built up the company's international legal team before joining Funding Circle in July 2014. At Funding Circle she is a member of the Global Leadership Team and runs the people, legal and compliance teams globally as well as the company secretarial team.