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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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Sophie is Head of Learning & Development at F-LEX Legal - an award winning legal tech startup helping law firms and organisations manage a flexible work force and supporting lawyers to make smarter life/work choices.
As part of her portfolio career Sophie runs various learning and development and networking forums for in-house lawyers and mentors junior lawyers. These include Flying Solo for small and solo legal teams and Aspire for junior in-house lawyers which she runs for LexisNexis UK. She also works with schools and organisations to promote social mobility within the legal profession, working with The Social Mobility Business Partnership and Aspiring Solicitors.
She trained as a lawyer in the City and worked as an in-house lawyer for 10 years including as Head of Legal for Virgin Radio and Ginger Media Group.
Outside of work she is happily married with three sons and enjoys morning walks along the beach with her two dogs.
0330 161 1234