Louise Hourigan tells us about her experience of working at Monzo as a legal consultant and what she thinks are the key ingredients you need to succeed when working in a fast-growing digital business.
Tell us about your recent experience, what did you enjoy most about being part of a fast-growing digital bank?
Monzo is a digital bank with over 5 million customers and was founded with a mission to make money work for everyone. I joined Monzo as Interim Head of Legal in October 2020 while awaiting the arrival of the new General Counsel and Company Secretary in March. I then continued to work closely with her whilst she grew her team.
Working with committed and creative teams as well as being part of a digital bank that is giving people control and visibility over their money was incredibly inspiring.
You’ve got great experience in a range of large organisations. What differences have you found working for a digital bank/fast-growing company in terms of work and culture?
I have worked at a number of large investment banks with a global presence and a significant infrastructure to support that footprint. Traditional regulated firms with legacy systems and layers of bureaucracy can sometimes get bogged down in overcomplicating solutions to meet regulatory challenges.
I love the entrepreneurial build of a fast-growing company. There are no ivory towers; it is very much a meritocracy. Importantly for me, it is an inclusive and people-focused culture; everyone feels part of the build and the solution. It really is a unique and rewarding place to have worked.
What would you say are the top three skills or pieces of advice that a lawyer should consider when working in a fast-growing digital company?
Energy – as with any in-house role you need to be able to manage multiple stakeholders, ask lots of questions, prioritise and reprioritise!
Agility and curiosity – no question is the same. My background is not retail banking and you need to be comfortable working outside your comfort zone – one minute you may be working on an employment issue and then the next share awards, litigation, real estate, governance, insurance, intellectual property, cybercrime, or a treasury product.
Strong and effective communication skills – communication skills are key to any successful role – ask questions, listen, be responsive, be engaged with your team and the business to build trusted relationships. Communication skills have been particularly important with remote working and you need to find ways of recreating the learning osmosis you would have in an office environment.
What are the benefits of legal consulting for you? How does it work with other areas of your life?
I enjoy the flexibility and autonomy of legal consulting. For me, it felt very different to being employed as a senior executive and I have been fortunate to have had brilliant and interesting roles through Peerpoint – both of which started as quite short-term opportunities and then extended.
Legal consulting gives me time to reflect and appreciate what I have. I now have the time to think about how I can contribute to our wider community and areas outside of the law and corporate space. It also gives me the flexibility to focus on my other interests of theatre and the arts (including as a patron for the Almeida Theatre) along with spending quality time with family and friends. I can also spend extended time in my other homeland, Australia, or pursue new adventures like exploring Madagascar (travel restrictions permitting of course!).
Find out more
To learn more about Peerpoint and how it might benefit you, please contact a member of the team:
Nikki Pantges in Australia
Georgeanna Mok in Asia
Lucy Hamblin in the UK
Azara Digan in the UAE
Amie Davidson in the U.S.
You can also take a look at our latest job opportunities here.
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