Career spotlight: business development

From law graduate in the city to business development at Burges Salmon in Bristol, find out more about Alex Harkness’ career journey in our latest blog

10 November 2020

In this blog, we ask Alex Harkness in our business development team a number of questions to learn more about what it is like to work in the business development team at Burges Salmon and what attracted her to the firm.

1. What is your career background?

Before relocating to Bristol, I worked in BD teams at international law firms in London and Sydney. People are often surprised to learn that Marketing and Business Development roles exist in the legal sector. However the market has become increasingly saturated and as such, firms are having to be more strategic in terms of how they look to maintain their current relationships and acquire new clients.

There is no one set route into legal BD and Marketing - my colleagues have worked for a variety of organisations. My academic background drew me to the legal sector. I studied Philosophy & Politics at university - much of the theory was inextricably linked to the nature of law and its relationship to ethics. Knowing I enjoyed the theoretical side, I went on to complete the GDL and LPC to learn more about the practical application of law. Instead of pursuing a training contract, I decided to combine my legal knowledge with the skills I had built whilst working in a variety of temporary marketing and events roles.

2. What attracted you to Burges Salmon?

The culture and the people. Burges Salmon strives to operate as a responsible business. The firm is led by its values and it does a lot to support the wider community. People are genuinely friendly; everyone is encouraged to put forward ideas and develop their potential, irrespective of job title or position. This was the real differentiator for me.

3. What do you enjoy most about your role?

The variety - no two days are ever the same. I work with a huge range of people across all levels of the organisation. The business development team are involved in producing and implementing effective marketing plans, managing client relationships, proposal writing, digital campaigns and event organisation. I also enjoy the exposure we get to topical legal and regulatory issues. For example, at the moment we are working with the legal teams to develop campaigns around Net Zero, ESG and Sustainable Finance.

For more information about working at Burges Salmon, visit our careers section or to view roles we are currently recruiting for, visit our job board.

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