In the grand tapestry of life, some threads are woven with a purpose that extends far beyond personal success.
My journey, deeply rooted in a solution-oriented alpha personality, has been a testament to the transformative power of education, opportunity, and a relentless commitment to giving back.
My legal experience began in the trenches of three prestigious Am Law 250 firms, where I honed my skills, navigated complexities, and ascended through the ranks. The turning point came in 2009 when, as a third-year associate, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime, to become the General Counsel for a $100 billion-dollar conglomerate. CL Financial was a complex narrative of initial success, rapid expansion, financial challenges, and subsequent government intervention.
The aftermath of the crisis raised questions about corporate governance, risk management, and regulatory oversight within the financial sector in Trinidad and Tobago and plagued by subsidiary issues in various parts of the world. It serves as a notable case study in the challenges faced by conglomerates operating in a dynamic and interconnected global financial environment. I worked alongside the government and shareholders to restructure the company. In just nine months, through hard work, discipline, and sheer grit, I excelled in the role saving the company millions of dollars and was promoted to Group Chief Legal Officer. In this role, I had the opportunity to work with attorneys from around the region and it solidified my belief that the resources available to lawyers in Latin America and the Caribbean was immeasurably different from what was available to lawyers in the United States.
I have always felt a deep desire when faced with imbalances in opportunities or the pressing need to address societal injustices, to actively seek solutions and contribute in any way I can, to rectifying these issues. The Association of Caribbean Corporate Counsel, a non-profit organization dedicated to training lawyers was born out of the desire to address this problem and what started as a modest initiative quickly burgeoned into a force for change, reaching over 12,000 lawyers.
A few years later, I decided to pursue a lifelong dream of attending Oxford University. I pursued my master's level Executive Diploma in Global Business and my Executive MBA which provided me with insights into strategy, leadership, cross-cultural management, corporate diplomacy, and finance. Armed with these invaluable tools, the Latin American and Caribbean Counsel Association was launched. This strategic move aligned with the principles of adaptation, aggregation, and arbitrage, helping to maximize the organization's impact in the regional legal landscape.
This association is not merely a training ground; it's a nexus of empowerment, bespoke education, and technological innovation for lawyers in the region. More importantly, it's a vehicle for catalyzing law reform, working in tandem with governments to foster lasting socio-economic impact.
The launch of the Latin American and Caribbean Counsel Association (LA&CCA) signifies the start of a movement that can help to create further integration of the region and address many of the institutional governance challenges through collaboration with international organisations, donor countries and government and non-governmental organisations.
LA&CCA is poised to become the unrivalled forum and voice for corporate counsel in Latin America and the Caribbean. Its mission is clear: to elevate the capabilities of corporate counsel, champion legal reforms, and advance business interests through transformative education, networking, and advocacy.
LA&CCA aims to play a vital role in empowering corporate counsel and countries in the region to address some of the challenges they face and to provide training and professional development for lawyers in the region. It is essential for legal professionals, bar associations, governments, and other relevant stakeholders to invest in and promote ongoing training and professional development programmes for lawyers. These programmes can enhance legal skills, promote ethical conduct, and contribute to a fairer and more effective justice system overall. LA&CCA is committed to unlocking potential by leading capacity-building initiatives, providing comprehensive training for in-house counsels, and advocating for regulatory reform.
With a deep understanding of the regional complexities, LA&CCA is uniquely positioned to not just bridge the gap, but to create a wave of change that will ripple across the legal and corporate landscapes of the region, transforming the professional lives of our members and their employers, and contributing to societal advancement.
To those considering the transformative journey that Oxford offers, I extend a resounding encouragement. If you seek to learn the secrets of strategy, master management, and wield the right tools to excel in the real world, Oxford Saïd Business School can be the gateway to unparalleled opportunities.