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The Crown Estate is an independent commercial business, created by an Act of Parliament, with a diverse and commanding portfolio of UK buildings, shoreline, seabed, forestry, agriculture and common land. As one can imagine with a portfolio of this nature, there is a significant demand for sophisticated legal advice. As General Counsel, Rob Booth oversees a modern, progressive and efficient in-house team that is resolved to manage the legal affairs of the corporation in the most effective way possible. Sophie Gould, Head of In-house at LexisNexis, sits down with Rob and talks about his scientific background, the “three rungs of technology” and the role of that law firms should take as collaborative partners.
Tell us a little bit about your background …
For my undergraduate degree I studied science with a biology focus. This was a great discipline to learn and I’m a big fan of scientific rigour but, without wishing to sound too grandiose, I couldn’t see how it would allow me to make
a big difference in the world. Law allowed me to do this in a compelling way. I spent eight happy years as a real estate lawyer with Herbert Smith Freehills in London, including an eye-opening secondment to the New Nuclear Build team at
EDF; where I was fortunate enough to be part of some very significant legal work, but also to watch them expand in size at an astonishing rate.
In 2012 I started at The Crown Estate, working in the renewable energy sector. This was a fantastic experience, drawing the best from my time with HSF and EDF. Two years later, I moved to Head of Legal, then in January 2016 I made the step
up to General Counsel. Working at The Crown Estate is immensely rewarding and completely absorbing – which was quite surprising to me initially as the property law module
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Since joining LexisNexis in 2009 Sophie has worked on developing our legal and business content for the in-house legal community. She also runs various networking and mentoring groups for in-house lawyers and works with schools to promote social mobility within the legal profession.
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