Maria Ludkin, GMBName: Maria Ludkin

Position: Chief Counsel

Organisation: WaveOptics (formerly at GMB)

In Hot 100 for: As GMB’s head of legal, fighting valiantly for workers’ rights. Read her full Hot 100 profile here.

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

My supervising partner having early confidence in me and giving me my own cases to work on. I was determined not to let him down. 

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

I’ve been very lucky with a lot of great lawyers and employers who have supported and advised me along the way. I became a lawyer because I loved the American TV show Petrocelli as a kid – he seemed to know what he was doing. During my career, the stand out is Rupert Boswall of Reynolds Porter Chamberlain; while we have always worked in different areas from each other, he has always been a great sounding board, friend and strategist. 

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

Moving to New York with Christie’s. My career transformed to a broader base of deal making and working with multi functional teams in an international environment.

Also joining GMB, and being given the scope to start campaign wars using litigation as one tool in that armoury to bring about change. 

Never be afraid to make a leap of faith to try something new.

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

My career has been varied but mainly in house – art world, technology companies, trade unions. They are united by the fact that I always move somewhere where I feel passionately interested in what they are trying to accomplish and I have the freedom to build a great team. 

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

I’ve never had time to sit the New York bar despite saying I will every couple of years.