Andrew has spent much of his time at Vario on assignment with a major bank. Quite a change from his previous life as in-house counsel for a whiskey manufacturer!

‘After 20+ years in the drinks industry I decided it was time to broaden my legal experience and work in other fields. Freelancing is a fantastic path to new industries as assignments are often relatively short term but still long enough to gain knowledge and understanding of the sector. For me, based in Scotland where Financial Services are a big part of the economy, I was really keen to explore this particular opportunity.

Pinsent Masons had been the lead law firm for my previous company and so I was introduced to Vario in 2014. After a couple of other contracts, I’ve now been with a major international bank for 18 months, working on a high-priority project to create a new ring-fenced bank. I come down to the London head office every other week for a few days — it’s a great balance between staying connected to the people I work with, and not travelling unnecessarily.

When you’ve been in a particular job or industry for a long time, it is good to confirm that your skills and experience are relevant in other roles, and it’s been amazing to see how transferable my experience is. By nature I’m hugely inquisitive (I think it’s a prerequisite of a good lawyer!), and I love figuring out how new companies and new teams work, why they do what they do and how I can help them achieve it. Freelancing works for me because I believe in the value that my experience brings to assignments. You need to be able to see different aspects of a situation, think creatively about a solution and have the confidence to influence new colleagues.

It’s been an interesting change not having to navigate the office politics and being able to focus completely on delivering the work. But I absolutely feel part of the team at the bank — at Christmas, the permanent employees chose to allocate their entertainment budget across all team members, so that freelancers and FTEs could all attend the party! As freelancing becomes a more and more established resource model, there are fewer and fewer barriers to integration.’

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