A chat with… Alan Meneghetti
Welcome to the first in a series of chats with our Partners. We ask a few questions about what they get up to during their day job to give a glimpse into their lives at work, and outside of it.
We will chat with Partners from across the firm over the coming months. Our first chat is with Alan Meneghetti, a Partner in our Corporate team.
Alan, tell us about your own area of Corporate practice?
I’m an “old school” general commercial lawyer which is essentially a lawyer who negotiates deals and makes sure that our clients’ businesses are legally compliant. So, contract reviews and negotiations, and advising our clients on how best to proceed on a transaction or a thorny contractual issue. I have two specialisations in which I have built up a practice; data protection/privacy and aviation law. I advise on all aspects of privacy law and privacy related incidents, such as ensuring that our clients’ businesses are legally compliant (privacy policies, GDPR and UK Data Protection Act 2018 training, subject access requests, data breaches, cyber incidents and liaising with UK and EEA regulatory authorities). In relation to aviation, I do all of what I ordinarily do, except for airline clients and suppliers to the airline industry. I have worked on deals to put cockpit seats in all the Boeings (such as the state-of-the-art 777X seats which may even find their way onto the 787 also), cockpit seats in Boeing and Airbus military aircraft, and the fancy leather seats in a number of business jets, through to the perhaps less glamorous but many would say equally important microwaves, fridges and beverage makers specced for the Airbus A350. …And even a cooktop to deliver steaks, rice dishes and toast to the more discerning of passengers.
How do you see clients’ needs evolving in future?
This is interesting and the answer to this really is an evolving one. I think that the need for face to face meetings is becoming less, certainly for my clients who are, by and large, multinationals which do deals with counterparties based overseas. So, less time and expense travelling to meetings, and more use of technology. I don’t, however, think that face to face meetings will become obsolete, but I do believe people will more readily seek out a Zoom meeting than they did this time last year. I also see an emphasis on rates and more focus on costs; this is one of the areas where RadcliffesLeBrasseur is particularly strong as we have such impressive lawyers who charge rates which are far more palatable than most of our peers in the City.
Any professional or personal learning points from the pandemic situation?
I have found that having a routine is vital. This is not something I have had for years, being pulled all over the world for meetings of one sort or another, and it is something I have had to work on. So, structure your day and ensure that you do a certain amount of marketing each day, even if it is only 15 minutes keeping in touch with someone you have not had an instruction from in a while. Respond to emails promptly, and don’t forget to take meaningful breaks. Also, try to pursue interests outside work: I have found that this really helps to keep the mind engaged, avoids boredom and keeps things “fresh”. For example, I do various English literature and art courses which I work into my day, and means I don’t just sit like a blob in front of Netflix every night!
Tell us something we might not know about you…
Gosh, how to answer this without creating ammunition for ridicule? Perhaps the least known thing might be that I was the youngest bagpiper to march through the streets of Cape Town with (at the time) the top pipe band in South Africa, the Cape Town Highlanders. My grandfather was a proud Scot, and I spent a lot of my youth consigned in a building outside our house in 36c heat practising the pipes. Needless to say, I had a relatively lonely childhood.
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