Cherry Swift

Cherry Swift | DLA Piper UK LLP

Cherry Swift

I think my friends and family would agree that I have always been an "interpreter".

When my younger brother was learning to talk, I would step in and help him. Then, when I started high school and began learning foreign languages, I realised that there was the potential to communicate with people all over the world, and I could help those who couldn't understand that language too.

This led me to study a degree in Modern Languages (German and Spanish) with Business Management at The University of Birmingham, with a year abroad during my third year at The University of the Basque Country and The University of Freiburg. I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of my course. It was so varied - we would learn about history, politics, culture and social issues affecting the countries that spoke my chosen languages. It was like opening a giant doorway into the world.

However, on graduation, I considered how best to use my diverse skills and decided to pursue a career in commercial law. I completed the GDL and LPC courses at The University of Law, and was delighted to be offered a training contract with DLA Piper, a leading global business law firm.

On qualification with DLA Piper in 2017, I joined the firm's Real Estate team in Manchester, and now work with a number of high profile landlords, tenants, funders and developers. What I love is that Real Estate is a fast paced industry with really tangible results. Property is a huge part of a locality's DNA, and a part that has infinite potential to be developed and redeveloped as the society around it changes.

That's why I'm so passionate about my Partnership Engagement role with the CREation property network (https://www.cre-ation.co.uk/) in Manchester, planning and hosting exciting networking and professional development events in the city, discussing hot topics and helping junior professionals to expand their personal networks. I also thoroughly enjoy my work as a mentor with Regeneration Brainery (https://regenerationbrainery.co.uk/), a brilliant initiative aiming to inspire young people to pursue a career in property.

Ultimately though, I'm still an "interpreter", even if I'm not translating from one language to another. Instead, I interpret the law for our clients, breaking down the often complex legal provisions and practices into manageable and understandable concepts and solutions that align with their strategic aims.

A career in commercial law isn't just about providing a strong service to commercial clients. I believe that knowledge really is power, and something we should share with those who need it most. That's what led me to my additional role as a Pro Bono Coordinator, through which I run a mini-secondment programme with Hope for Justice (https://hopeforjustice.org/), a charity working to eliminate modern slavery and help victims of human trafficking all over the world, and a legal support service for The Prince's Trust (https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/), providing legal advice to young entrepreneurs through the Trust's "Enterprise" programme (https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/help-for-young-people/support-starting-business).

Outside of law and property, I'm a huge Wolverhampton Wanderers fan and attend matches whenever I can. At the time of writing, I'm really looking forward to my first trip to Wembley for our FA Cup semi-final match - up the Wolves!


Asma Al Abbarova

Asma Al Abbarova | Law Business Research

Asma Al Abbarova

Asma is the Deputy Research Editor at Law Business Research and the Senior Coordinator of youth engagement and social mobility charity, Big Voice London.

At the age of 17, she moved to the UK from the Middle East to pursue her higher education. Asma graduated from the University of Kent with a Law degree and shortly thereafter obtained her LLM in Media Law from Queen Mary University of London, specialising in e-Commerce, Cyberspace and Media Law. Her dissertation focused on copyright and consumer protection in massively multiplayer online role-playing games. Asma’s research and creative approach resulted in her invitation to collaborate with and jointly present, as one of the youngest panellists to date, on the topic of ‘Consumer Protection in the EU and US’ at Cyberspace 2017, a two-day conference in the Czech Republic.

During the day, Asma channels her love for research and intellectual property into her position as Deputy Research Editor, a role she was promoted to six months after starting at the firm. She interviews, liaises with and builds strong relationships with leading trademark and patent practitioners across 25 jurisdictions to identify global trends in this highly dynamic industry for the World Trademark Review 1000 and Intellectual Asset Management 1000 guides.

In the evenings and every spare moment she has, Asma is dedicated to improving diversity in the legal profession. She is the Senior Coordinator of Big Voice London, a social mobility charity which seeks to engage young people from non-traditional backgrounds in law and legal policy. Big Voice London runs several projects for A-Level students each year, including a Mooting Competition in association with the UK Supreme Court and the country’s only Model Law Commission.


Natalie Carter

Natalie Carter | Greenberg Traurig LLP

Natalie Carter

I studied Anthropology and Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science and am currently a commercial real estate associate solicitor at Greenberg Traurig LLP, an international US firm.

I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a solicitor but I was extremely passionate about the community from which I came (being a young second generation Jamaican born and raised in Tottenham) and wanted to ensure that regardless of the career path, I played an active role in improving the lives of those in my community.

I have worked on some of the highest profile commercial real estate transactions in London such as the purchase of 33 Horseferry Road for £188 Million by Sinar Mas Land (with financing from investment bank OCBC), the purchase of Aldwych House for £250 Million and the acquisition of 99 Gresham Street for £143 Million as well as the £1.15Bn sale of the Leadenhall Building in 2017 alone.

I was part of the first corporate law programme run by SEO London in 2010 and trained at Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP (now BCLP) and qualified in 2013. Since then, I have assisting various charities and organisations which seek to improve diversity in the legal industry as well as mentoring multiple young black women applying for training contracts. Aside from mentoring informally, I am the director of Women in the City African and Caribbean Network and have also participated as mentor for the Legal Launch Pad programme run by the Black Lawyer’s Directory which seeks to help BAME students trying to enter into the legal industry for over 7 years. In 2016, I designed and delivered the UK’s first full day legal conference for students from diverse backgrounds for the legal charity Urban Lawyers and am a founding member of the Junior Lawyers Division of the Black Solicitors Network.

I am also the co-founder of Black Girls Book Club, which is a book club creating a safe space for black women who bond over a love of literature. Since its inception in 2016, Black Girls Book Club has hosted over 50 events which have been attended by over 2000 women and has also been featured in The Stylist, BET, The Metro, BBC Radio London and Pride Magazine. BGBC has hosted formidable, trailblazing women such as June Sarpong, Afua Hirsch, Dorothy Koomson, Liv Little, Angie Thomas, Malorie Blackman, Munroe Bergdorf and Jamia Wilson.


Katherine Ramo

Katherine Ramo | CMS

Katherine Ramo

Katherine (Katia) Ramo is an Associate in Technology & Media at the global law firm CMS, London office.

She advises on corporate, commercial and telecommunications regulatory issues for a diverse global client base.

She is listed as a top global 30 Financial Times Women In Business HERoes and Future Female Leader 2018. She is a core member of CMS equIP helping technology start-ups scale, a member of CMS BUZZ Network for Media Professionals. She serves in all diversity matters in the City and globally.

She is the Founder and Chair of CMS ENABLE Network (disability and wellbeing) and supports the other internal diversity networks (Women, BAME and LGBT*). She is a Co-head of InterLaw Diversity Forum’s Enable Disability Network and member of the United Nations Stakeholders Group on Persons with Disability and its High-level Political Forum (HLPF) which is the main United Nations (UN) platform on sustainable development, playing a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level.

Katherine is a Trustee on the Board of BlindAid and sits on the Editorial Board of City Solicitor’s Magazine. She is currently completing a PhD in International Law. She was shortlisted for a Personal Achievement award by enei (the Employers’ Network for Equality and Inclusion) in 2018 and nominated for the First 100 Years Project Inspirational Women in Law Awards in 2018.


Dana Abdulkarim

Dana Abdulkarim | Linklaters LLP

Dana Abdulkarim

Dana is an associate in Linklaters’ corporate team and has experience in both public and private M&A as well as private equity.

She has acted on a range of domestic and international M&A transactions, including Takeda's takeover of Shire and AB InBev's takeover of SAB Miller in the public sphere and Unilever's sale of its Spreads business as well as a number of other acquisitions and disposals for various PE house in the private sphere.

Dana is originally from Bahrain, a small Gulf nation to which she still has very strong ties (family included!) and speaks fluent English and Arabic. She moved to London in 2011 to pursue a degree in law at the London School of Economics, graduating with first class honours in 2014. Dana is passionate about women's rights, and is closely involved with both the Embassy of Bahrain in London and various charities and other initiatives to try to promote access to justice and encourage women to join the legal profession.