Starting from a banking and finance background, Miranda Brawn graduated from The University of Law in 2011, qualifying as a barrister. She has had exceptional successes in her career, and is now making strides in increasing diversity across various corporate sectors. We caught up with Miranda to find out more about her whirlwind career and what the future holds.
I chose to study law because I wanted to gain greater knowledge and skills within the banking and finance sector. My career ambitions were to become a lawyer, writer and bank manager. I’ve managed to achieve all three of these roles, and much more, as part of my portfolio career.
My current role as Director of Legal and Transaction Management involves leading the legal risk for derivatives and regulations across Europe for Daiwa Capital Markets. Daiwa is a Japanese investment bank with offices in the City of London. The role requires a combination of legal and business acumen, suiting my experiences of managing legal risk, investments, sales trading and operations. Outside of my day job, I am also the founder and CEO of The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation – a non-profit organisation that I set up to help black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) future leaders – and an international public speaker.
I am most proud of being in a position to help others become a success, especially the next generation of leaders. My diversity work and Foundation won an award from Prime Minister Theresa May, as well as personal praise from HRH Prince of Wales, for making history by launching the first diversity lecture aimed at school children. I was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Brighton earlier this year for my contribution and services to business, financial services, law, diversity and the next generation.
To be a successful lawyer at Daiwa Capital Markets you need the ability to build and maintain strong relationships with others. There is a lot of collaborative work required to meet deadlines and this needs to be complemented with being able to draft in a timely fashion, with great attention to detail. Clients want to receive prompt and pragmatic advice, delivered in a commercially focused manner, so commercial awareness is definitely key. Keeping up to date with the financial markets, regulations and Brexit are vital for understanding how to anticipate changes. I’d also advise networking as much as possible and trying to vary your work experience to stand out from the crowd.
I see great opportunities for the next generation coming in the form of apprenticeship schemes. It’s important to think differently and be innovative in your pursuit to succeed. The legal sector is changing and there are more and more companies outside of the traditional law firms and chambers looking for legal professionals. Start-ups and tech firms, for example, require lawyers. My recommendation is to do your research and get some experience in different areas to see where you’ll actually enjoy working in the legal sector, then stretch beyond the conventional route. You may just surprise yourself.
Looking to the future, I wish to simply keep pushing for true equality and diversity in the workplace. I think that there are still challenges for students and lawyers from diverse backgrounds due to a lack of diversity, equality and inclusion, but this is gradually improving. Everyone can play their part to help speed it up, though.
Find out how we could set you up for a career as successful as Miranda’s by booking on an open day with us.