Founded in 2005 in Stockholm, Sweden, Klarna was a fintech business providing e-commerce payment solutions to make it easier for people to shop online. Klarna is now one of the Europe’s largest banks providing payment solutions for 60 million consumers across 100,000 merchants in 14 countries.

Being the In-house legal expert

Lara Oyesanya is the UK Counsel and Legal Director at Klarna. Based in the London office, Lara has led an auspicious career as legal counsel specialising in Regulatory, Consumer Protection, Enterprise Risk Management, Banking, SME Banking, Offshore and Commercial Banking in the finance industry.

Before joining Klarna, she worked as In-house Senior Legal Counsel for several financial and technology market leaders including HBOS, Barclays and BAE Systems. Her achievements have most recently been recognised in her receipt of the Forward Ladies “Outstanding Business Woman of the Year 2018” and “Business Leader 2018” awards.

Lara is the sole point of reference for all Klarna UK legal matters. She is responsible for providing local legal advice across the UK business and the Swedish headquarters. The business relies on Lara to ensure that they operate in a fully compliant and effective manner as they develop new business initiatives. Lara is a critical business enabler and as such she needs a reliable set of legal resources with access to the most relevant and up-to-date content allowing her to practice and provide accurate advice with confidence.

During her career Lara has used various legal software products. In establishing the best infrastructure for her role, Lara compared the features of various tools including user experience and results relevance and determined Lexis®PSL as the best solution for Klarna.

“I’d started at Klarna in February and by March was already working with Lexis®PSL Banking and Finance Law and Lexis®PSL Commercial Law. I am the sole In-house lawyer responsible for all UK legal issues and I needed a tool where I could easily access precedents, cases and articles all in one place.”

More than legislation and case law

Klarna’s business is critically focussed on banking and finance. Lara needed to be able to advise on the specific legislation and regulation in this space. Lexis®PSL’s subscription model allowed Lara the flexibility to precisely subscribe to the relevant practice area without committing to the whole package. At the same time Lara understood that advising the business required far more than access to the statutes and case law. Lara also relied on Lexis®PSL to provide access to authoritative content, comprehensive legal guidance and commentary. This comprehensive view provided Lara with a deep insight into industry sentiment and trends.

“I am rather mindful of my position, and I am always asking myself how I can add value through my work. When I joined Klarna, I had a clear vision of what was needed to move the business forward. With Lexis®PSL, I was able to make that vision tangible and be cost efficient by subscribing to precisely the practice areas that I needed to deliver real value for the company.”

The finance sector is increasingly a global market. Fintech has played a substantial part in transforming banking and financial services, reducing the impact of traditional geographical borders as new consumer services and markets are developed. Klarna operates in multiple complex and heavily regulated jurisdictions. The UK is often perceived as offering a pivotal position in the global finance market, and as such understanding the sentiment and legislative position in the UK is essential.

“Having worked for many years as an in-house lawyer for the financial sector, I am very familiar with the UK’s commercial legislation. However, I often need to develop a wider insight on the regulatory and political background of where the legislation and regulators are heading next. I know with Lexis®PSL, I can be more proactive. I can quickly check and compare articles, cases and legislation and advise the business with confidence.”, adds Lara

The role of legislation and regulation in finance cannot be understated. The ability to share the impact of both on business is a critical part of Lara’s role. Ensuring that the business understands the legal process is just as important as being able to share the legislation itself.

“I need to be able to advise my colleagues on how the law might affect them. Communication is with non-lawyers is essential. Lexis®PSL helps me make the legal process a tangible part of the business. For instance, the flow-charts are a very convenient tool when I want to illustrate and contextualise legal content and tasks to my Swedish colleagues. They offer visual overviews of the legal processes.”

“…With Lexis®PSL, I was able to make that vision tangible and cost efficient by subscribing to precisely the practice areas that I needed to deliver real value for the company.”

As with any in house legal role, there is always the risk of becoming isolated. The absence of other legally trained experts can reduce the ability to validate and challenge assumptions. Commercial sensitivities can mean that speaking externally can be difficult.

“I’ve found that Lexis®Ask is a valuable tool when it comes to that ‘second set of ears and eyes’ on specific legal points. The ability to ask a question with the press of a button and in return, receive an objective and credible response from an independent legal expert is invaluable.” Lara commented, “With Lexis®Ask, I have another method of keeping up to date and continuing my learning. Looking at the most popular questions asked by other users, I have the opportunity to expand my knowledge and discover something new”

Leading the Business

“At Klarna, we see ourselves as a disruptive company. We compete with big banks by bringing innovation to the financial sector and operating differently from anyone else. We must be precise, deeply entrenched in our customer’s needs and ahead of the next trend. I see a lot of that vision in Lexis®PSL. My colleagues rely on me to be the ultimate source for legal knowledge and insight as UK Counsel and Legal Director. Using Lexis®PSL, I am confident that I can deploy my expertise in the most effective way for my colleagues and the business.”, Lara said.

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