A look inside Lexis®PSL: an interview with Emma Millington, Solicitor, Head of Lexis®PSL Finance Group

A look inside Lexis®PSL: an interview with Emma Millington, Solicitor, Head of Lexis®PSL Finance Group

A Q&A with Solicitor and Head of Lexis®PSL Finance Group, Emma Millington.


What is your role and how did you get there?

I head up the Finance Group at LexisPSL, which comprises of the Banking & Finance, Financial Services and Restructuring & Insolvency teams. I started my legal career at Allen & Overy where I trained and qualified into the derivatives and structured finance team. I then worked at Deutsche Bank on the FX derivatives desk followed by a director role at Credit Agricole CIB working primarily on credit derivatives and structured products. Seven years ago, I joined LexisPSL as the derivatives PSL and during this time I became head of the Banking & Finance team, and just over a year ago was promoted to head of the group.


What can customers expect from the B&F team?

The Banking & Finance team is made up of a variety of specialist banking and finance lawyers. Each of us have our own focus based on our many years in practice (both private practice and in-house) before joining LexisPSL. Our focus is always on making sure that our content is as useful and accessible to our customers as possible. We have all been in the office in the early hours and working hard to meet tight deadlines, and so we understand how important it is to be able to access information quickly and easily. To that end, we have a raft of checklists and quick guides to help lawyers find answers swiftly, but we also have very detailed notes for when lawyers have more time to read into the law and how to apply it, and need to have a full understanding of the background and how to apply that in practice. We remember what it is like being in stressful situations and so our focus is always on making our content as useful as possible to our customers.


What is your focus on this year?

This year, the B&F team have been particularly busy on the divergence that is starting to emerge in the UK as a result of Brexit as well as the implications of the transition away from LIBOR. We also are focused on sustainable finance, with lots of explanatory guides on the different types of sustainable finance and how to document these transactions. 


How does the B&F practice area help different types of lawyers?

We are conscious that at different stages in your career, you are looking for different types of content and information. In B&F we hope to have content suitable for lawyers across all periods of their career.

(a)    Paralegals, trainees and junior lawyers (as well as more senior lawyers exploring  topics outside their comfort zone): we produce introductory and beginners guides which set out an overview of the topic in question and clear guidance on how these topics work in practice. 

(b)    Senior lawyers: will benefit from our more detailed and focused guidance, as well as our trackers which set out exactly where we are in terms of regulation and market development.

(c)     Professional support lawyers: training guides to help with presentations on topical legal issues, daily and weekly news alerts to help with keeping your teams up to date with the latest developments.

(d)    In-house lawyers: not only do we have a focused in-house subtopic, but we also have a specific in-house editorial board comprised of senior finance lawyers working in-house so that we can ensure that we stay on top of the key issues facing in-house lawyers. We also link to a number of Crafty Counsel videos.

(e)    All lawyers: we track key industry bodies such as the LMA, ISDA, ICMA and FIA so that you can always be up to speed with what is going on in the market at a glance.


How can B&F help me on a day to day basis?

The aim of the team is always to make your day easier and more productive. Everything we do is done with that in mind! If you subscribe to our daily alerts, every morning you will receive an email containing the latest developments in the finance world to keep on top on the multitude of changes, or if you subscribe to our weekly highlights, the B&F team take the daily stories and filter them down to contain the most important stories so that you can focus on the very key stories of the week.

Our drafting notes for our precedents are written from both a lender and borrower perspective and so if you are negotiating a contract and your counterpart suggests a change you haven’t seen before or don’t understand, you can quickly check our notes to see why they might have suggested that. Further, if your firm or department don’t have in-house precedents that you use, at a click of a button you can download our precedents into word and start negotiations!

Our trackers and timelines, as mentioned above, will help keep you up to date with specific legal developments such as sustainable finance, LIBOR, industry body developments as well as on the key regulations affecting finance lawyers today.


What is your favourite part of the B&F module?

Having studied law at university, I have always been interested in cases and how case law has shaped and developed the way that the finance world works. My favourite section is our Case tracker and analysis subtopic. Not only do we have a general B&F case tracker so that you can quickly see what cases have recently been published and what their implications are, but we also have a series of practice notes called “Key cases” which set out certain key cases and associated relevant content in relation to certain topics, including important issues such as fixed and floating charges, how finance documents are constructed, assignment, guarantees…and many more! They are a great aide memoir when you know that you have read a case about an issue but can’t remember the parties, or just to get up to speed with how the courts are ruling on certain topics.  The first key cases note was for derivatives, because at the time there were so many cases relating to the capacity to enter derivatives cases, that it was easy to forget which case was about each point.  Feedback from our customers is that they love these practice notes, both for dipping in to remind themselves on certain cases and for a more informative read to get back up to speed with key cases. Not only do we summarise the cases in these practice notes but we also link up to news analysis that we have commissioned or written on the cases and we also link to our affiliated journal, Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, the leading monthly journal providing practitioners with the very latest on developments in banking and financial law throughout the world.

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About the author:

Emma is head of the Banking and Finance team and the Finance Group at LexisNexis®UK.

Emma has wide-ranging experience in derivatives and capital markets with a particular emphasis on credit derivatives and structured products. Emma qualified as a solicitor with Allen & Overy LLP, working in the derivatives and structured finance teams in both their London and Paris offices before gaining experience with Deutsche Bank AG (advising the foreign exchange prime brokerage desk) and Crédit Agricole CIB (advising the fixed income and derivatives desk) before joining LexisNexis®.