March '21 Lawyer of the Month: Simon Clegg
We couldn’t be happier to declare the incomparable Simon Clegg our Lawyer of the Month for March 2021! Simon is a broadly experienced commercial lawyer with an impressive career history. He has a unique perspective on Flex - having used Flex as a client before signing up as an interim lawyer himself in late 2019. We took the opportunity to put some questions to Simon about his current work, his career thus far, and his experiences with Flex.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
Hi Flex peeps - I'm a super experienced commercial corporate lawyer with a particular interest in media, television, technology, software and advertising. I qualified originally in New Zealand in the 1990s, and after moving to London I worked in media roles in-house (dealing with the likes of Agatha Christie TV and other literary estates), a highlight of which saw me on the field (okay, the sidelines) during the FIFA Football World Cup, in connection with the official film. I had a stint in Paris with a tech giant and then returned to London to help build and grow start-ups in technology and media rights. I had business roles for a few years, and sold two businesses. To help fill in spare time (not), I picked up an MBA, which I did partly when based in Paris. That allowed me to spend quality time with fellow antipodean Kylie Minogue in the Eurostar business lounges...
Why did you choose to transition into interim lawyer work?
After selling a media production business in 2016, I reckoned I could get some additional experience and interest factor in working with TV channels and platforms, on an interim basis, the market for which had opened up in the preceding 5 years or so. Which I then did with the 'Vs', a collection of companies all rather randomly starting with the letter 'V': Viacom (Comedy Central), Virgin Media, Vodafone and VICE Media, with some tech work along the way in PE-backed SaaS software. I enjoyed the flexibility of project work as well as learning about new adjacent markets. The money was great and it was very flexible.
How are you finding your current role?
I'm presently doing a project with a hyper-growth media monitoring and sentiment analysis business, across corporate, IP licensing, content and software. The function is integral to the business and still satisfying my Dad's oft-repeated message about making sure that regardless of what you choose to do, you keep 'learning and earning'. The development piece continues even when you've been practising on and off for 20+ years. Oh, and I'm a part-time GC with a media agency group.
Could you tell us a bit more about your experience working through Flex Legal?
I first worked with Flex in effect as a client, bringing in a paralegal to a media business. I found the experience very nimble. In more recent times, as a candidate / consultant lawyer myself, I find FLEX a tremendously efficient and engaging platform to match clients with lawyers. I'm always impressed at the breadth of opportunities which arise, and the process around all that.
What advice would you give to aspiring solicitors currently working as paralegals through Flex Legal?
The Flex Legal platform offers I think, a pretty decent route for aspiring solicitors - indeed, the paralegal I hired previously is now set up on an in-house based training contract, and I see this happening more, most recently (in my own field), at Sky Television. Getting a TC is tough but interim work can open up opportunities. Network, network, network. Rinse. Repeat.
Finally, do you have any top tips for coping with lockdown life?
Put. The. Keyboard. Down. Walk around the park.
- Lawyer of the Month February ‘21 - read about how our previous LOTM, Evan Milton, finds the Flex lawyer lifestyle and working on an interim basis around his other commitments.
- How Anthi works as a remote legal consultant in Greece - the remote working world presents opportunities for interesting workplaces. One of our Flex legal professionals, Anthi, took full advantage of this and has been working from Sunny Greece! Read what she had to say.
- Flex YouTube Channel - our YouTube channel is home to a great many videos of previous Flex LOTMs and POTMs talking about their experiences with the interim legal world. Give them a watch!