What advice would you offer to women just starting out in the industry?
Seize every opportunity! Focus on being a real expert in your field. This will
involve some hard yards in the early
part of your career, but will pay dividends in the long run. We are living
in interesting times which presents
a fantastic opportunity to develop a
more diverse skill set. There will be as
many possibilities for the young talent
in our industry to work on distressed
cases as with performing businesses,
not to mention Fintech and some
of the other exciting developments
which are changing the market.
Seeking out opportunities in order to
develop as broad experience as possible will position anyone perfectly for
those senior positions in the future.
What do you know now that you wish you
knew in the beginning of your career?
The importance of networking. It
is never too early to build a profes-
What do you think the industry could
do to attract and retain the best and
the brightest today?
We should all regard it as our responsibility to contribute to the development of a more diverse industry.
This will by definition have a greater
chance of attracting the very best,
simply because there is a wider pool
of individuals to draw from. Banking,
private equity and other similar professions have historically tended to
be less diverse because they are tough
and involve people having to make
compromises on a personal basis.
Changing perceptions takes time but
our industry should be at the forefront
of challenging any behaviors which
run contrary to the impression that
the industry is other than one where
talented individuals can progress and
thrive based purely on merit.
sional network. This is particularly
important for women because they
have less obvious forums where they
can engage with others in a business context. However, the value of
having a good network cannot be
underestimated. What you know is
vital, but whom you know can help
you demonstrate your expertise more
widely and help to grow your profile.
Also don’t be afraid of self-publicity.
Done in the right way, it gets the message out there that you are confident
and capable and can be trusted with
those important decisions.
What kind of role has mentoring and/
or sponsorship played in your career?
It’s been vital. I have been fortunate
to work with a number of people over
the years who have really shaped the
development of my career. I am now
involved in a number of mentoring
and thought-leadership programs, so
that I can try to pass on that knowledge to women coming through (or
aspiring to come through) to the
Squire Patton Boggs
aula currently heads up the European Financial Services team within
Squire Patton Boggs, which constitutes 53 lawyers specializing in all
forms of financial services. In this role, Paula is required to address the
concerns of colleagues across jurisdictions and at all levels within the
team and provide a clear strategy for the team to follow.
Paula’s own practice centers around her expertise in structured asset-based lending
and asset finance transactions, both domestic and cross border. Her practice also
spans banking and corporate support, typically acting for major financial institutions
and corporates on asset finance transactions including operating leasing, receivables finance, asset-based lending, sale of leasing/asset finance portfolios and
Before joining Squire Patton Boggs, Paula was head of banking at an international
law firm and, prior to that, head of legal and company secretary at a UK-based
bank. Paula is a highly-respected practitioner in the ABL and asset finance fields,
having been consistently recognized by leading legal publications including The
Legal 500 and Chambers UK.
Paula epitomizes the emerging breed of successful women business leaders, combining a ferocious work ethic with considerable empathic skills, sharp intellect and high-level business acumen. She is especially good at getting to the heart of an issue,
both when negotiating for her clients and when dealing with the colleagues whom