In this spotlight series, we showcase the talent of our solicitors and the people behind the advice. This week we caught up with Brigitta Naunton – a senior corporate solicitor, dog-owner and mother. Brigitta joined the corporate team in February 2022 following experience with a range of law firms and in-house team.
How did you start your career?
‘Law is my second career having spent 10 years practising as a hospital based dental surgeon. I originally started studying law thinking about pursuing a career in medical negligence, however during my legal studies I found corporate law far more interesting and eventually qualified into that field at Eversheds LLP (now known as Eversheds Sutherland).’
What are the main areas of your corporate law expertise and will you cover a particular specialist or niche area within the corporate team at Harper James?
Brigitta, like many solicitors in our corporate team, has a variety of skills and expertise across many areas of corporate law. However, her main area of practise is private company corporate matters.
‘My expertise lies predominantly in private company corporate matters such as acquisitions, disposals, investments, management buy-outs, joint ventures, structural reorganisations (such as demergers) and general governance issues.’ Brigitta said.
She has advised and acted for clients in a wide variety of sectors, from technology to retail to food and drink businesses. Her experience is telling of the impressive amount of expertise she has built throughout her career.
Can you recall any key moments from your career?
Beginning her career more than two decades ago, Brigitta has a breadth of experience from national law firms to in-house.
‘I spent a significant period of my career working in-house for a global technology company headquartered in Cambridge called ARM. It was fascinating to get an insight into the mechanics of a large business and see the issues and challenges that legal matters can present. It was surprising how much discussion can take place regarding these issues and how complex they can be to resolve when commercial and business factors come into play.’
Brigitta commented: ‘It gave me an appreciation of why it can sometimes take a while for us lawyers to receive instructions from clients!’
What do you think your clients value most about how you work with them?
‘I like to think I give straightforward and pragmatic advice and I’m a big fan of using plain English as much as possible rather than jargon.’
‘It’s also preferable in my view to spend a bit of time drafting reasonable and balanced documents as much as possible to reduce the amount of time needed to negotiate the terms with other parties.’
Can you comment on any recent stories or trends within corporate law?
When asked if she could comment on any recent trends within corporate law, Brigitta cited the new National Security and Investment Act 2021 that recently came into force. She stated:
‘The Act has only been in force for a short time, and it allows for government scrutiny of certain acquisitions and investments for the purposes of national security.’
‘It will be interesting to see how many deals that will capture as the Act is wide ranging in its scope. Where the Act applies, the mandatory notification process will have a significant impact on timing to complete deals. I think there will be an increase in conditional deals that fall within the scope of the Act.’
Offering her expert advice to businesses looking to acquire other firms which are caught within the realms of the Act, Brigitta commented: ‘Businesses should prepare for these deals to take a lot longer than they normally would.’
How have you found Harper James so far? Any first impressions?
‘Harper James is attracting high quality and entrepreneurial clients. I enjoy working with such clients and seeing them through their journey. The firm is full of friendly and supportive people who are a pleasure to work with.’
Do you have any hobbies?
‘I spend a lot of time walking my dog, doing a type of yoga called barre, weight training and trying to keep on top of current affairs.’
What are 3 things on your bucket list?
‘I don’t specifically have a bucket list, but there are parts of the USA and Europe I haven’t visited yet and I feel another road trip coming on.’