Aspire Board Member Spotlight - Interview with Danielle Sharkey , Associate at Charles Russell Speechlys

Aspire Board Member Spotlight - Interview with Danielle Sharkey , Associate at Charles Russell Speechlys

Sophie Gould interviews Danielle Sharkey about her role at Charles Russell Speechlys and discusses the current legal landscape and opportunities within her industry. Danielle talks about her role on the Aspire Advisory Board explaining why in-house lawyers, trainees and paralegals should join the Aspire Forum.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a qualified lawyer in Charles Russell Speechlys Commercial Dispute Resolution Team. My specialty is in sports law and I have spent the first part of my career working in-house for a sports regulatory body. In my spare time, I like to keep active and enjoy the great outdoors.

What are the key challenges you face in your role?

I would say one of the key challenges within my role is advising clients in an uncertain Brexit climate. Additionally, finding innovative ways to price work which is not based on the traditional hourly rate model.

What are the biggest opportunities in your role?

The biggest opportunities in my role, come from advising a really wide variety of clients. From corporate entities to sports governing bodies, I get to work on some interesting (and sometimes very novel!) topics. I also work for international bodies, which means there is the opportunity to travel, and experience different working cultures and I love that.

What are the key areas of change in your industry?

There is currently a bigger shift towards more in-house legal teams being set up, or those that were set up, being expanded and up-skilled significantly. This sometimes means that there is less of a demand for the regular and recurring private practice instruction. However, this is great news for aspiring lawyers and there are far more in-house opportunities now than there ever were when I qualified!

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

Without a doubt it has to be the networking opportunities and the support that you get from the different members within Aspire, it is invaluable. If you come across an issue that you are unfamiliar with, or a task that you haven’t faced before and don’t know how to go about tackling it, it’s great to be able to bounce ideas and solutions off each other. The group is also really friendly and welcoming.

Why would you recommend others join Aspire?

I would recommend others to join Aspire because it is an opportunity to learn and develop soft skills, in an informal, welcoming and safe environment. No question is ‘silly’ if you don’t know the answer. Everyone is happy to help you, share their experiences and talk openly without judgement. It’s a great place to meet other lawyers at the same stage of their careers and to also network and meet in-house counsel and industry experts in senior stages of their careers. Aspire is a fantastic way to expand your network with a broad range of people from a hugely diverse range of business sectors.  

Find out more about Aspire and our regular events to connect like-minded peers - including our Autumn virtual forums across October to December.

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About the author:

Louisa leads marketing for the in-house legal community at LexisNexis. She joined the dedicated in-house team at LexisNexis four years ago and has a passion for driving and facilitating initiatives which are customer-focused at their heart. Her vision is to support in-house counsel succeed in their fast-evolving role based on deep insight, data analysis and best practice gathered across the in-house community.

Prior to her in-house focused role, Louisa led the marketing for the bar and mid-market private practice sectors as well as product marketing lead for LexisPSL - LexisNexis' cloud based, practical guidance and legal research software solution.

She brings 20 years' marketing experience both client and agency side, specialising in B2B marketing in the Legal, TMT (Telco, Media and Technology) and Financial Services industries. In both South Africa, Europe and the UK.

Louisa is also an active member on the LexisNexis Gender Equality Matters (GEM) steering committee and is involved with the Families at LexisNexis Group which brings together, supports and lobbies for change those with an interest in balancing the challenges of work and family.