Career Stories: Mari-Anne Baker, Assistant Contracts and Litigation Manager for North West Europe Legal


What does your role entail at Bureau Veritas and how long have you been in the role?

I joined Bureau Veritas in January this year as an Assistant Contracts and Litigation Manager within the Legal team. Generally speaking, my day-to-day role will involve reviewing and marking up contracts, reviewing terms and conditions, assisting the business in any negotiations and occasionally working with external council. However, recently my role has started to change whereby I am getting more involved in litigation with council. It has proved to be a very varied role!

What about Bureau Veritas attracted you to join and now you are in the role, have your expectations been met?

To be honest, I had not heard of Bureau Veritas before joining the company. I initially applied for a different role, but during the interview process it was agreed that my skillset would be better suited to a different position. I appreciated this decision as it demonstrated to me that, career-wise, my future employers had my best interests in mind. During the recruitment process, they were very transparent with what my role would entail, which sounded varied and exciting.

I feel that during my time here, Bureau Veritas have exceeded my expectations. The role was very new to me and the training process was brilliant. My manager has been supportive and helpful in shaping my role to best suit my skills. I am getting involved in a wide variety of activities and higher business dealings than I ever expected.

Do you have any personal development goals in your current position and can you see Bureau Veritas supporting those goals?

Bureau Veritas are currently supporting me in my career development and are putting me through a CILEX (Chartered Institute of Legal Execs) course. By completing this course, I will gain a higher level qualification in law and eventually be a chartered legal exec in civil litigation and employment law. The CILEX course is an alternative route to gaining a higher legal qualification as opposed to an LPC (Legal Practice Course) which can expensive and difficult to access. The CILEX course is a more practical way of training and has a heavier focus on business law. As a part of the course requirements I will need to build a portfolio based on my role at Bureau Veritas. This is beneficial for the company as my learning and experience will be around the business and beneficial for myself as I will be gaining hands on experience on real life issues. In addition to my portfolio, as a part of the course there are various competences that I will need to evidence and Bureau Veritas are arranging experience in a variety of sectors to achieve this, which is a great asset to my career portfolio.

By supporting me and giving me this opportunity, Bureau Veritas is enabling me to progress my career, increase my future prospects and enabling me to become more qualified in my role. I may not have had such a valuable opportunity without being a part of this business.

How does working at Bureau Veritas differ from other companies that you have worked at?

Bureau Veritas is completely different to anywhere I have ever worked before. I previously worked at a private law firm which is largely different to in-house law. My day-to-day role here at Bureau Veritas involves a wide variety of different activities whereas my previous roles were quite specific in what work I was involved in. Being so different, it took some time to get used to working in-house and, compared to previous roles, my team here is much smaller and more connected, which I enjoy.

Coming from a legal practice, the subject matter at Bureau Veritas was very new to me. Although the roles are both legal, Bureau Veritas offer such a wide scope of services, I have more exposure to different sectors, industries and business models. Although different, this brings me more opportunities and experience to enable my career development.

What is your favourite part of your day-to-day role?

I’m very fortunate in my role because it involves communicating with executive members of the business on a daily basis, which is I feel is a great way of feeling connected in the business. I also enjoy being involved in assisting with difficult matters and resolving them, therefore being able to see matters from scratch right through to completion.

Have you got a key piece of advice that you would give to your younger self?

Take opportunities! I have been fortunate enough to work within private practice and now in-house law, but I would not have had this experience if I was put off certain subjects or roles without trying them first. Also, do not underestimate yourself. Based on the job description alone and due to having no previous knowledge of the brand, I may not have applied and would never have got the opportunities presented to me!

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