How Product Lawyer Naomi Gaffney Found a Flexible Fit at Axiom
By Axiom Law
Naomi Gaffney lives and works in London and has been an Axiom lawyer for over three years. Her current engagement is with a global asset management company where she works as a product lawyer interpreting European financial regulations. After working at a traditional law firm and at several in-house roles at different companies, Naomi has enjoyed the clients she has worked with at Axiom and has benefited from the flexible, hands-on approach her engagements have provided her.
Finding a strong fit at Axiom
Naomi started her career working in traditional in-house roles as well as a large law firm. After taking time off from work to travel, Naomi decided she wanted to find a more flexible place to practice law than where she had worked before. “I was looking for an organization that had structures in place that could attract well-established clients that I would be excited to work with,” says Naomi, “and I was looking for something that would be a bit more flexible. Axiom kind of ticked both boxes because you can indicate the type of work you’re looking for, and they’ll find it for you. And if you have a life event or you just want to take a break for longer than just a normal holiday period, you can let them know, and look to incorporate that into your work schedule over the next few months or years. You can really be very flexible.”
Naomi loves the amount of structure and support Axiom’s engagement model provides. “The infrastructure that Axiom offers provides a support structure to you so that you’re not out there looking for work yourself or figuring out how to do your own taxes. You get the benefits of being an employee with the flexibility of being a freelancer.”
Naomi’s current engagement: Interpreting European financial legislation
Naomi has been at her current engagement for more than two years. As a product lawyer at an asset management company, she works with the product development team to advise on relevant European regulations. The company has a range of products with clients all over Europe, so she works with her colleagues to decide how to structure products and where they can be distributed. A key challenge is balancing EU legislation and regulations with those in specific European countries.
One of the things she likes most about her current engagement is the wide variety of projects she gets to work on. She loves these opportunities to learn more and collaborate cross-departmentally, which is essential because Naomi works with offices across Europe. “I was brought in to cover product work,” says Naomi, “and I’ve been involved in a number of projects that have covered all of our European product base. I haven’t just been involved in launches and mergers and the product-oriented stuff. I’ve also been involved in regulatory implementation projects that cover a spectrum of funds across Europe.”
Seeing the business impact of in-house legal practice
Naomi much prefers working in-house to working at a law firm. “You get a much better overview of what you’re working on,” says Naomi. “You have a context in which to implement the legislation that you’re working with. You have a full understanding of how that legislation is going to impact that business. It’s a much more fulfilling experience. In a law firm there’s much advising on law, and it can be as though you’re operating within a kind of vacuum to a certain extent because you don’t have the familiarity with the business that you’re advising that an in-house lawyer has.”
Brexit looms large
When asked about pressing legal issues in her area of work, one stands tall above others for Naomi. “The biggest challenge at the moment is Brexit,” she says. “We have no certainty. Currently, there’s really not a deadline in sight as to when [Brexit] will be resolved or how it may be resolved. I think that’s the biggest challenge in the financial services industry right now.”
Axiom provides talented lawyers like Naomi the opportunity to do exciting legal work with high-quality clients while providing them with flexibility and options for career growth. Watch the video to meet her and learn more about her experience working at Axiom.