Deborah D'Aubney, Rolls RoyceName: Deborah D’Aubney

Organisation: Rolls Royce

Position: General counsel

In Hot 100 for: Taking on the challenge of transforming the company’s internal legal function. Read her full Hot 100 profile.

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

I was once sent to do a site visit with counsel. In the days before sat nav I got hopelessly lost, missed the appointment altogether and had to return to the office to confess. I was so embarrassed and was convinced I would be sacked on the spot. Fortunately I wasn’t!

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

The former HSBC General Counsel, Richard Bennett. Richard was a great mentor to me, gave me some fantastic opportunities at HSBC and, by asking me to manage the group-level response to DoJ cases against the bank, gave me my first real experience of global investigations which took my career in a totally new and unexpected direction.

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

Going in house at an international company at an early stage. I was so lucky to have joined a subsidiary of Midland Bank just as HSBC was completing its’ takeover as it opened up so many avenues for me.

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

Grab chances as they come along and don’t be afraid to move outside your comfort zone.

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

I’d love to have more time to promote equality issues.