Elizabeth Bradley, head of corporate tax group, BLPName: Elizabeth Bradley

Position: Partner, global head of tax

Firm: Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

Trained at: Berwin Leighton Paisner

In Hot 100 for: Taking tax to the top of BCLP’s agenda. Read her full Hot 100 profile.

What’s your most vivid memory from being a trainee?

While I was a corporate trainee, I was asked to attend a closing meeting in Birmingham with the client where all the documentation was supposedly agreed. However, to my dismay, what should have been a closing/signing meeting turned into detailed negotiations of several new points raised by the other side which we had to agree before they would agree to close the deal!

I ended up (being supervised remotely by the corporate partner) leading and finalising the new commercial points which signed in the early hours of the following morning. It was a great experience where I was entrusted by the corporate partner and the client to close my first deal at such an early stage of my career.

Who has been the most influential person in your career? Why, and how have they helped you?

I have been influenced by many people in my career. Within a work context, on the tax side, John Overs. John has been my tax mentor over many years. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of tax law, is very clever, considered and measured. John is an inspirational tax role-model.

What was the best career decision you ever made, and why?

Becoming a tax lawyer. Tax is an area of the law that is constantly evolving and technically challenging. Being a transactional tax lawyer, I very much enjoy working as part of a collaborative team on complicated, multi-disciplinary, cross-border transactions. There is always a tremendous sense of achievement for the team when the deal is done – not to mention the celebrations!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get to where you are/do the job you do?

Be focused, driven and set realistic goals. Believe in yourself and never give up!

What work or career-related project or activity would you really like to do, but don’t have time for?

If I had time (aside from spending additional time with my family) I would like to travel to our international offices more frequently. While it is great to arrange regular video conferences with my international tax team, there really is no substitute for spending time in person with our tax team.