Alumni newsletter - A year in review

We say goodbye to 2017 after another successful year for our alumni programme. Since officially launching the programme in 2016, we have really enjoyed engaging with such a varied group of people and hearing about all your experiences since leaving the firm. Thank you to everyone who has taken part this year and we are looking forward to hearing more from all of you in 2018.

In our final newsletter of 2017 we talk to three alumni who briefly reflect on their highlights of the past year. We hope you enjoy hearing their thoughts and we hope that you have a restful festive period and a happy New Year.

 

Chris Saul, Christopher Saul Associates

“Since leaving the firm after my term as Senior Partner ended on 30 April 2016, my main focus has been on setting up my consultancy, Christopher Saul Associates. The key proposition is to offer advice to, and moderate differences arising within, businesses at moments of difficulty, change or transition. “Businesses” here embraces three kinds of clients - listed company boards, family businesses and professional service firms.

“It has been really interesting because, for the first time ever, I am not offering advice as a lawyer (I am no longer a solicitor) but rather as a “weathered individual” who has advised clients over the years across a wide range of, sometimes stressful, situations. The fact that I was lucky enough to have had an executive role in such a wonderful firm also helps me add perspective where governance structures or generational transition are at issue.

“Although I miss the camaraderie of the team at Slaughter and May hugely, it has been exciting to be a start-up. I have found it very stimulating to articulate and refine the proposition (to “have a go” as Dame Carol Black said on Desert Island Discs) and I am fortunate to be meeting and working with some great people.”

 

Chris Prevett, Legal Director at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)

“2017 has been an incredibly busy and exciting year at the CMA, reflected in my own personal experience having advised on, and run, investigations across the CMA’s competition law enforcement, mergers and markets work.

“On enforcement, the year involved publishing a decision to fine five model agencies, and their trade association, for coordinating and fixing prices, a short investigation into a large consumer goods company for a suspected abuse of dominance concerning the supply of single-wrapped ice cream, fining six estate agents for fixing prices, and launching an investigation into a comparison site’s contractual restrictions in the home insurance sector suspected of being anti-competitive.

“Outside enforcement, mergers activity has included clearing a merger between two closely competing district general hospitals following an in-depth inquiry, on the unusual basis that the benefits the merger would generate for patients would outweigh any harm to competition. 2017 has also seen the gradual introduction of the CMA’s remedies from its energy market investigation, including a price cap and measures designed to modernise the energy market by encouraging customers to engage in the market, incentivising suppliers to compete, and changing the regulatory framework.

“A key challenge – and opportunity – in the coming year will be preparations for Brexit and, in light of recent budget awards from the Government, deciding where the CMA can make the best use of its resources to investigate sectors and address issues with the greatest strategic significance and impact.”

 

Hiba Siddique, Legal Counsel at the Bank of England

“2017 has been a year of uncertainty and challenge, and I seized the opportunity to be at the heart of all the forthcoming change by joining the Bank of England’s legal team.

“I work closely with and support the resolution division of the Bank, who are tasked with solving “too big to fail” by creating and building an international regime that ensures that banks can be allowed to fail in an orderly way. No small mandate, it’s been an exceptionally busy year for the team developing and publishing policy, working with banks to monitor compliance and negotiating internationally. At the European level it has been about what the international regime should look like and navigating what Brexit will mean for the Bank as the UK’s resolution authority going forward. And this is just the beginning!"