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Professional Networks – Law 2024

26 FEBRUARY 2024


Sidley Austin
70 St Mary Axe, EC3A 8BE

We are delighted to be joined by members of our Community for the St Paul’s Law Networking Evening, hosted by Daragh Fagan (SPS Teacher of History and former lawyer).

The St Paul’s Professional Groups were first launched in 2016 in collaboration with the Old Pauline Club and Parents’ Group. Their aim is to connect those working in specific professional fields and to support current pupils and young OPs in their career journey.

Our Speakers:

Rebecca Davis, SPGS Alumnae 2000-2007

Rebecca is an associate in the corporate team at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP in London. Her practice focuses on general corporate matters, corporate reorganisations and cross-border M&A, working for a mixture of corporate and private equity clients, in particular in the energy and renewables sector. Rebecca has previously worked at law firms in Tokyo and Shanghai and completed a client secondment to the BBC, working in their TV comedy and entertainment division. Before becoming a lawyer, she studied English at Oxford University and was a Paulina from 2000 – 2007.

Sonia Ferguson, SPGS Alumnae 1983-1990

Sonia was called to the Bar in 2012 and has been working as a barrister in field of human rights/immigration since completing pupillage in 2017 at 12 Old Square Chambers. This involves appeals at First-tier and Upper Tribunal level; applications for Judicial Review and applications for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Joshua Metliss OP, 1994-1999

Joshua Metliss

Joshua is a partner in the firm’s Corporate & Commercial Group and advises businesses and individuals on corporate and commercial matters, including structuring start-ups, reorganisations, joint ventures, shareholder agreements, debt and equity investments, acquisitions and disposals with a particular focus on the media, technology, creative and leisure industries including live events and exhibitions, marketing communications, restaurants and sport as well as music, film and TV.

Joshua trained as a solicitor in the City before continuing his career at a West End media practice. He joined Lee & Thompson from sports, fashion and outdoor brands owner Pentland Brands plc where he was a member of their in-house legal team.

David Wakefield OP, 1981-1986

Brigadier David Charles Wakefield OBE (late AGC(ALS)) was born in 1968 and educated at St Paul’s School, London and at Southampton University, where he read Archaeology.  He went on to study law at the College of Law in London before three years with Macfarlanes solicitors in the City of London.

He was commissioned into AGC(ALS) in September 1996.  After initial prosecuting and advisory tours, he spent much of his career in operational law posts and is the only ALS officer to have completed a number of ‘E2’ (non-legal) appointments.  He has served in Headquarters at the 1, 2, 3 and 4-star levels of command.

He has served on operations in Georgia (as a United Nations Observer), the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.  He was SO2 Legal, Headquarters Land at Wilton (2002-2003) before deploying on promotion to Basra as Commander Legal in Multi-National Division (South-East) from December 2003 to July 2004 (for which he was awarded an OBE in March 2005).  He was then SO1 Legal in the Joint Force Headquarters (returning to Iraq in October 2004 for Op BRACKEN in Fallujah) and Permanent Joint Headquarters, Chief of Staff in the Directorate of Army Legal Services (2005-2007), a student on Advanced Command & Staff Course 11 (2007-2008), Commander Legal Headquarters 3 (United Kingdom) Division 2008-2009 and Chief Media & Spokesman for 11 (Light) Brigade on Op HERRICK 11 in Helmand 2009-2010.  He was a member of the Directing Staff on Intermediate Command & Staff Course (Land) (2010-2011), from which he went on to complete a PGCE (Post-Graduate Certificate in Education) and QTLS (Qualified Teacher Status).  Promoting off the 2010 Blue List he returned to mainstream ALS where he served as Commander Army Legal Assistance in Bielefeld, Germany providing advice and assistance on personal legal issues to soldiers and dependants overseas (2011-2013) then three and half years as AD ALS3 providing legal advice to the chain of command on disciplinary and administrative law matters.  He then returned to E2, serving as Colonel Army Media & Communication (August 2016-September 2018) and then Deputy Commander Headquarters 7th Infantry Brigade and Headquarters East (‘The Desert Rats’) from October 2018 to June 2021.  During Covid-19 he was also Commander Joint Military Command (East) (covering the East Midlands and East Anglia, an area bigger than Belgium with 11.7m people in it) from symmer 2020 to June 2021.  He then spent the next year on a 12-month tour as a military advisor to UNSMIL in Libya/Tunisia before promoting to Brigadier as Head Reserves in Chief Defence People in MOD from January 2023.

Brigadier Wakefield is married and has four adult children.  A rugby union player for 35 years (before ‘injury stopped play’ at 40) and a youth coach for 12 years at Devizes RFC, he has also been a rugby referee for the past 15 years, including being Chairman of Army Rugby Union Referees for 5 years.  He is a qualified HGV driver, has qualifications in Construction and enjoys general building and landscaping work for friends and family.  His other interests include sailing Cockles on the North-Norfolk coast and he remains a keen student of military history.

Find out more about St Paul’s Careers and Networking events here.

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