General Counsel & Company Secretary, Diageo PLC
I was born and brought up in Dublin, Ireland. Although my education was in the state system, it was unusual, as it was conducted primarily through the Irish (Gaelic) language, so was part of a minority sector there . I studied law in University College Dublin, going on to qualify as a solicitor, initially in Ireland and later in the UK. My training included a 6-month stint in Brussels as a “stagiaire” with the EU Commission. I came over to London in the late 1980s to get a few years’ experience in the City of London, post “Big Bang”. I am still here over 30 years later. I have worked in law firms in both Dublin and London, latterly for 8 years with Clifford chance before joining Diageo in 1997. I am now here for over 20 years having worked my way up the ranks to the role of General Counsel on the Exec Committee and more recently in the combined role of General Counsel and Company Secretary. I am also a non-executive director on the friends Board of the Royal Academy of Arts.