Managing the transition between in-house, private practice and legal specialisms - Baljeet Panesar, Senior Legal Counsel at DHL

Managing the transition between in-house, private practice and legal specialisms - Baljeet Panesar, Senior Legal Counsel at DHL


At our recent LexisNexis Aspire networking and professional group facilitated by Sophie Gould, we had the pleasure of welcoming Baljeet Panesar, Senior Legal Counsel at DHL, formerly of Dentons to share her personal experiences working both in-house and in private practice.


Baljeet started off by talking a bit about her background and route into the legal industry. She was a real anomaly within her family – they didn’t know anyone who was a lawyer, and she was the first person in her family to go to university.

She described how much of it felt accidental or fortuitous. She didn’t really choose to be a lawyer, lots of her friends had chosen it and it seemed to be reasonable enough choice to qualify for her parent’s approval. She applied for training contracts (again because that’s what everyone else was doing) and managed to secure a trainee role at Dentons.

Early years

During much of her first few years at Dentons, Baljeet told us she really didn’t feel like she knew what she was doing. when asked later on, how she coped with that feeling, Baljeet said the following aspects helped:

  •  she enjoyed her work and received strong feedback
  •  she found allies, and
  •  (most importantly) she found her own authentic voice, and found clients responded much more warmly to this approach

Baljeet qualified into M&A and continued to practice in this area for 15 years. Whilst she really enjoyed the work, she chose not to take on a partner role because, in her words ‘it didn’t look like fun’, and it was more about whip cracking those below them than actually interacting with clients and doing fulfilling work. On top of this, she really enjoyed being able to train up the new trainees, getting deals done and working collaboratively with other teams in the company.

Private Practice to In-house

After a while, Baljeet realised that she wanted to start a family, but that everyone on her team who had left to have children had never come

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About the author:

Claire is a paralegal is the LexisAsk and Commercial and Sectors teams at LexisNexis teams. She previously did a law conversion at BPP Law school and plans to study the LPC latterly. She is an English literature graduate and hopes to combine her studies by pursuing a career in the IP sector.

Claire is a keen member of the LexisNexis Singers and practices with them weekly. Outside of work, Claire is a keen hockey player and cyclist and brings this energy into everything she does in her job.