How to build a strong relationship with your business—an interview with Clare Woolley
How to build a strong relationship with your business—an interview with Clare Woolley

The following In-house Advisor practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • How to build a strong relationship with your business—an interview with Clare Woolley
  • Tell us a bit about your background and career to date…
  • How is the RAC legal team structured?
  • How important is it to sell yourself to the business and gain their respect? How do you do it?
  • How do you balance the need to sell yourself to the business versus not taking on everything and becoming overwhelmed as a team?

Lawyers can have a reputation for being overly risk-averse. Building good relationships with business colleagues to gain respect is key to overcoming this perception. We talk to Clare Woolley, Head of Legal at RAC, about how she sold the value of her team to the business and established a relationship that recognised the contribution lawyers make in a commercial environment.

Tell us a bit about your background and career to date…

I started off my career in private practice after qualifying into a commercial contracts role. I did a whole range of project work and large commercial contracts across the public and private sector and got a broad range of experience working for high profile clients.

At 6 years’ PQE, I’d been on secondments with companies and was getting to the stage where I felt frustrated in private practice. What I had really enjoyed about my secondments was getting under the skin of commercial deals. In private practice, you don’t see how a project comes into being or the commercial drivers, and you don’t see what happens to it afterwards. It felt like the right time to make a move in-house. I joined RAC in 2012.

How is the RAC legal team structured?

The team operates with a relatively flat structure. The team consists of eight lawyers, a contracts manager and PA. While we have broad areas that we

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