Name: Karima Fahmy
Position: General counsel
Organisation: Grosvenor Estates
Trained at: Lovells
In the Hot 100 for: Leading Grosvenor’s legal team to help deliver a series of headline transactions. Read her full Hot 100 profile.
What’s your most vivid memory from being a trainee?
I was on secondment to the Brussels office of Lovells (as it was then) and I attended the European Court of Justice on a major anti-trust case relating to the container shipping industry. I was very struck by the power of succinct and clearly articulated arguments – no matter how complex the point at issue, the more simply you can put your case, the more persuasive it will be.
Who has been the most influential person in your career? Why and how have they helped you?
My supervising partner when I qualified into the London Corporate team at Lovells. He set a great example in how to be an empowering leader – giving me responsibility for running deals and leading deal-teams very early in my career, and he always encouraged me to trust my own judgement.
What was the best career decision you ever made and why?
Moving in-house to Grosvenor. I love being part of shaping and driving forward a business, influencing at both a strategic and operational level for better business outcomes – it’s the reason I chose to be a corporate lawyer!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get to where you are/do the job you do?
It’s so important to enjoy what you do day-to-day. Whether you are in private practice or in-house, I would always advise being very honest with yourself about what you find truly motivating in your work. For me, it is the feeling that I am directly contributing to improving business performance whilst also constantly developing myself professionally. Once you have clarity on your goals and what you want from your career, it then comes down to perseverance.
Don’t be disheartened by the occasional knock-back but do learn from each one, and then move on. Finally, keep pushing the boundaries of your comfort-zone and challenging yourself to develop – it always pays off!
What work or career-related project or activity would you really like to do, but don’t have time for?
I would like to use my experience and the lessons I’ve learnt to help other lawyers in leadership roles – whether they are just starting out as a leader or have been in post for some time but are considering making changes to the way in which they work as a team, their approach to their business or clients. I mentor a number of leaders of business teams in Grosvenor and I would like to extend this to lawyers, as well as other professionals, in other organisations.