Aspire Board Member Spotlight - Interview with Caroline Sabiiti, Junior Legal Counsel at Clearbank

Aspire Board Member Spotlight - Interview with Caroline Sabiiti, Junior Legal Counsel at Clearbank

Sophie Gould talks to Caroline Sabiiti who has been an Aspire Board Member since 2019, how she has found being an Aspire Board member and the biggest opportunities within her role at Clearbank.


Tell us a bit about yourself

Prior to qualifying as a Junior Legal Counsel at ClearBank, I undertook a Law and Business Degree at the University of Liverpool, which sparked my interest in business law.

My first stint in-house was as a legal intern within Samsung European HQ’s Legal and Compliance team. My year long experience at Samsung taught me a massive amount and cemented my interest in using my legal skills within a business. For the most part I built my skills working in private practice regionally. I decided to try working in-house again in 2018 and joined the Aspire Board in 2019. 

What are the key challenges you face in your role?

Working within a new bank, what is considered BAU is a small amount of my day to day. This can be exciting but also challenging managing the wide and varied workload.

What are the biggest opportunities at Clearbank?

Working in an organisation such as Clearbank gave me the opportunity to get involved with different types of work and whilst it can be the biggest challenge, it is also the biggest reward. The size of our team means that we have the opportunity to turn our hand to different areas of law.

Currently, my role is primarily corporate commercial focused but I have taken an interest in regulation and currently work on regulatory projects which are fundamental to the business’s strategy.

What are the key areas of change in your industry?

Technological advancements and blockchain 

The continued advances in technology is one key area of change for the financial services sector. Blockchain is spoken about a lot in relation to the financial services and this conversation is not dying down anytime soon. How this will manifest in the long term remains to be seen but I think we will see more use cases being worked through.

Increase regulatory scrutiny for payment service providers  

It was recently noted that non-banks now make up for a quarter of the institutions offering payment services. I think this change is likely to mean more regulatory scrutiny on payment service providers to ensure consumers continue to be appropriately protected.

Greater partnerships for financial institutions and unregulated entities  

Increased partnerships between financial institutions and unregulated entities is another change that we will see in the financial services. Adapting and developing legacy IT infrastructure for the future may mean more partnerships across the financial services industry.

What do you most enjoy about being a part of Aspire?

I enjoy talking about issues that affect junior lawyers openly. Being part of Aspire has meant that I can pinpoint an aspect of being a junior lawyer that I am passionate about and run a project on it.

Why would you recommend others join Aspire?

Networking is a great way to meet like-minded people but also a great way to learn. What you learn at Aspire events is not limited to updates on law as learning points relating to the management of your career in-house are also covered. We are privileged enough to get anecdotes from peers and more senior lawyers, giving us an insight into different sectors and different career journeys.

Find out more about Aspire and our regular events to connect like-minded peers - including our summer virtual series across June and July. 

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About the author:

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.