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In-House Champion – Winston Green

What is your role and day to day function at Irwin Mitchell? 

I'm the partner leading and building our Commercial Law team in the London office.  This means advising clients on all aspects of commercial law, but with a technology focus.  I'm also trying to get out to meet as many clients and potential clients as possible, to tell them about our fantastic teams offering a full range of business law services.

How have you utilised any in-house experience to shape how you support in-house teams? 

I only recently started back in private practice after a couple of years as the Head of Legal for Sainsbury’s Bank.  Whilst there I really appreciated it when the lawyers we instructed took the time to think beyond the immediate, and had an eye to what might happen to the advice they were giving, once it was ingested into the organisation, how it might be used and who my ultimate audience might be.  In almost every case, practical risk management is more valuable than a lengthy legal treatise.

Since returning to private practice I've taken that learning to heart and try to use that lesson and create advice that is practical and targeted, and (where appropriate) C-suite or board ready.

What are the big issues coming across your desk? 

Brexit, of course.  It worries me just how late some businesses are leaving it to come to grips with their potential exposures – these could be through their supply chain or even sit with their customers’ businesses.

GDPR is still a key concern.  Although, it’s fair to say that clients are now looking beyond initial GDPR programmes with in-house lawyers using GDPR compliance, particularly regarding personal data breaches, as a launch-pad for starting wider conversations about reputational risk management.

If you could work in-house anywhere, where would it be and why? 

I've been really lucky over my career to spend time in fantastic organisations such as RBS, Applied Materials, Virgin Management (top-co for the Virgin Group) and Virgin Atlantic.  I've also just finished an in-house role at Sainsbury’s Bank, in which I was also responsible for Argos Financial Services.  So at this stage, I have to say that I’m very happy to have landed at Irwin Mitchell.  

Winter 2019

Key Contact

Winston Green