How lawyers help their clients in the economic uncertainty | Media Pyro


Ainslie Benzie of TLT explains why the firm’s bond line, ‘For what’s next’, is even better.

TLT’s legal director Ainslie Benzie

With the financial markets changing so fast, lawyers need to be quick to help their clients. “You need to understand how current events affect your work and your client’s business,” explains Ainslie Benzie, director of freelance law and restructuring at TLT, “by moving as quickly as possible.” we are saving jobs, keeping businesses and the economy going.”

Understanding economic changes is an important part of commercial understanding for students planning to enter the legal profession. The past few weeks have always been in the news, but what does this mean for law firms working in the financial sector? “Everything is in full swing at the moment”, says Benzie, “it’s the most unusual market I’ve seen in my business to date. The Horizon scan and what was discussed by us and customers a few months ago are now almost obsolete.

Benzie was the first in his straight family to go to university but studying law was not always a dream. “I really wanted to be an actress”, she laughs. “I got accepted to study drama at university.” But a career in art wasn’t on the cards, he says, “My parents didn’t really say it wasn’t a very well-funded career.”

And her family’s advice seems to have worked, but her career ideas will prove to be a lifesaver for many students. “I enjoyed my law degree,” he says, “but it wasn’t until I graduated and started practicing law that I really started to love what I was doing. Of course, students have more choices about how they want to earn a degree these days. At TLT we’ve launched our six-year Legal Apprenticeship, giving students with A-Levels a great option to get their education and qualifications in one time.

Law may not have been his first choice at university but when it came time to work, commercial law was the obvious choice. “My father’s background is in marketing and sales, and he runs his own business,” he said. “That led me to train with a commercial law firm because it was a place I liked and I was interested in helping people and understanding business.” Benzie received a training contract with Dundas Wilson, now CMS, where she met her husband and had the opportunity to work in the repair industry for free. “At first I didn’t really know what it would be like to be a correctional lawyer”, he remembers, “but I fell in love with the diversity of the work, the enthusiasm and the camaraderie between our colleagues as a team and our customers. I knew then what I wanted to focus on for the rest of my career.

Applications are now open and closed for TLT’s spring break programs in Bristol and London 10 January 2023

In order to fully understand the characteristics of its customers, Benzie has benefited from four sectors and high-end banks such as Lloyds, Clydesdale Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland. “Each time, I have worked directly with their relationship managers to meet customers,” he said. “I’m not a lawyer for those times of my career – instead, it’s about supporting clients’ businesses to understand their needs.”

Since the pandemic hit in 2020, global markets are constantly changing and to support their clients in these challenging economic times, law firms need to act quickly. “We’re always trying to figure out what’s going to happen and it’s always going to change, so the challenge is to stay up to date with the current situation and consider the customer’s needs to keep moving forward.” these challenges and identify commercial solutions that go beyond the law.” Here it is important to have a long-standing relationship like TLT with their customer base in the financial sector, he said. “We can translate the issues into solutions for them because we really understand to market and understand what they’re looking for.”

This forward-thinking approach served TLT well; Benzie joined the industry just six months after the pandemic hit, and he was amazed at how smart the sick were. “You have to sink or swim and embrace the opportunities out there,” he said. “In terms of revenue growth we have achieved our target: we have £140 million for 2025 and we reached £144 million at the end of the last financial year. It’s three years ahead and over £4 million — so we’re very committed to embracing these kinds of challenges.”

Like many companies, TLT seems to be fully embracing the post-pandemic world and has implemented a very flexible TLT global employment policy that allows employees to participate in working where and when it suits them. The firm also moved into Cadworks’ new Glasgow offices this year, which have been built with recycled construction materials and have plenty of cycling facilities including Glasgow’s first access level! “This is the most sustainable office building in Scotland and the first net zero carbon building to operate in Scotland”, says Benzie. “We’ve designed our office space from the ground up to support agile working, and we have all the technical tools to make it easy to transition between remote work and the office.”

When faced with economic downturns, law firms are well-positioned to manage these types of changes due to their areas of resilience, such as restructuring, insolvency and litigation. Benzie is no stranger to economic change, having worked as a junior attorney during the 2008 financial crisis. He describes watching the domino effect from the U.S. mortgage market in the match begins. “We knew something deep was happening”, he says, “but when you live in history you don’t know at the time how big it is.” The crash has burdened the financial markets to this day with the measures and protection measures that have now been put in place. When asked what he learned from the experience, he offered some sage advice for those entering the legal profession. “I was taught that lawyers can’t rest on their laurels,” he says. “You have to adapt and not expect things to stay the same – you have to wait for where your work will come from.”

Ainslie Benzie will be speaking at ‘Navigating financial distress: a lawyer’s role — with TLT’, a virtual student meeting on Wednesday 2 November. You can apply to attend the event, free of charge, now.

Applications are now open and closed for TLT’s spring break programs in Bristol and London 10 January 2023

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