Following graduation from the University of Edinburgh, Mark worked successfully and very happily as a private practice lawyer within a small selection of prestigious law firms. However, following a downturn within the oil and gas sector, Mark decided it was time to bring a new direction to his career and looked at the opportunities presented through working as a freelance lawyer.

Mark was recommended to Vario by a Pinsent Masons Partner. He was drawn to the service for a number of reasons, such as Vario’s connection to the firm and the support that naturally comes with this, as well as the quality of the client base that Pinsent Masons, and therefore Vario, represents.  Following on from his application, Mark undertook the assessment process and was confirmed as a Vario lawyer and at that point was able to look for freelance work. At this point, Mark was open-minded about his long-term plans, but he was keen to broaden his experience and to continue developing his skills as a senior legal professional.

Mark’s first assignment was with a major investment bank in London through another freelance provider. However, immediately following successful completion of this, he started an assignment with Vario. He took a twelve month contract with a major international asset management company in a very senior in-house role. In this position, Mark reported directly into the Group GC, led a team of twelve in-house lawyers and supported senior stakeholders in the business. Mark undertook a range of strategic initiatives during the course of the year, most notably being involved with the organisation’s disposal of a multi-billion pound asset, amongst several other large and interesting projects. During his successful time with these organisations Mark developed new contacts and friendships.

Although Mark enjoyed his time as a freelancer, he has since moved on and now works in an offshore role, as a Partner at Appleby, based in Jersey. Mark’s experience, personal development and the contacts he made during his time freelancing were instrumental in this appointment and for that reason he is incredibly grateful the experience. His story is further evidence which is contrary to the myth that freelancing is indicative of a career reaching a standstill. In fact, Mark takes quite an opposing view and believes that his career developed, if anything, at an even greater rate as a freelancer than it would have done in his previous permanent role, while it also provided opportunities to gain valuable commercial insight into the businesses that he supported.

Reflecting on his time as a freelancer, Mark commented:

“I would whole-heartedly encourage anyone to consider working through Vario. I see freelancing as a way to build a very broad range of skills, experience and contacts. This can enable lawyers to more rapidly progress their career to a senior position. While freelancing might have been a longer term arrangement, I personally missed front-line transactional work and the rewarding aspects of business development in private practice. I also wanted to work in a different jurisdiction. I am delighted with my new role as a Partner at Appleby. Overall, my time as a freelancer was fantastic and I will always look back on that time fondly”.

Mark Brady is now a group partner in Appleby’s Jersey office and a member of the corporate department. He practices in a wide range of banking & finance and other commercial and corporate law related matters, supporting clients and intermediaries in the UK and internationally.

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