A day in the life of a General Counsel 31st October 2018 Life for Lindsay McQuillian, General Counsel at Probitas 1492, has certainly changed over the past 12 months. Since joining the team in January 2018, after over 20 years in private practice, Lindsay has found her daily rhythm and here she provides just a glimpse of her new life as GC. A Unique Opportunity… One of the things that attracted me to Probitas was that it represented a unique opportunity for me to shape my own role. Prior to my arrival, there was no internal legal function and the team was relying entirely on external support. Since my arrival, we have been working collaboratively, sharing ideas and working as a team. No two days are the same… In my former life I could predict, with some level of certainty, the likely shape of my week but those days are gone. The sheer breadth and variety that the role of General Counsel offers is remarkable. One moment, I could be advising on the drafting of an endorsement and, shortly after, I could be giving a view on whether writing a particular risk might be in breach of sanctions. New Surroundings… One of the most striking aspects of my job, is that I am surrounded all day, every day, by my ‘clients’. Being visible and available is critical to the success of my role and the open plan design of our Lime Street office means I am able to field queries as and when they arise; there is nowhere to hide! Getting stuck in… One of the first projects I got my teeth into was GDPR. It was a baptism of fire! The data mapping exercise meant I spent time with each individual in the business to understand the impact of GDPR on them. It proved to be an excellent way for me to get to know the business, and the entire team quickly. It also underscored the benefits of working in a small organisation. Having worked at a global law firm for so long, it has been eye opening how quickly decisions can be made and implemented without layers of bureaucracy slowing things down. The Learning Curve… Having worked for over 20 years in the insurance market, I thought I was fairly well versed in how the market worked, but the view from the inside is very different. It has been incredibly valuable to be surrounded by colleagues from all areas of the business, from underwriters to data analysts to our head of claims. I can hear in real time what the teams’ concerns and priorities are, which enables me to identify how I can assist from a legal perspective. My presence at weekly peer review meetings allows me to grow my understanding of the business we write, and conversely what we avoid. It’s not just a great learning experience for me – the more junior members of the team also get to learn first-hand about the front line of underwriting. The Queen of Multi-Tasking… There are so many aspects to my role as GC; reviewing wordings and updating them to reflect legal developments; vetting NDAs and TOBAs; advising on the terms of commercial agreements; arranging presentations from external advisors for continuing professional development purposes and, of course, advising on the ramifications of Brexit. Certainly, the variety keeps me on my toes! The move to General Counsel represents a new and exciting chapter in my career and I feel incredibly privileged to have joined the Probitas team at such a formative stage in what I believe will be its long and successful future.