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Q&A with Tracey Dovaston

20 September 2017

Tracey Dovaston is managing director and head of Litigation, Investigations and Enforcement for the EME region at Barclays.

Tracey Dovaston

You're talking to a friend of a friend at a party. How do you describe what you do?

I'm a lawyer at Barclays heading up the litigation, investigations and enforcement team for the Europe and Middle East (EME) region.

What are you working on at the moment?

If I told you, I’d have to kill you. On a more serious note, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work on a variety of significant banking finance litigation and investigation matters, some of which may be in the press right now.

What was your first job?

Filing in a Filofax factory on a factory line one school summer holiday. It taught me to focus…or you might lose a finger. 

Career highlight?

There are a few but one that immediately comes to mind is at a relatively early stage in my career, pursuing and successfully in recovering full sums and costs in multi-million arbitration in circumstances where the client initially had reservations about pursuing the matter. This was a turning point in terms of how I was perceived by senior stakeholders by my then employer. 

Share some great advice you've been given.

Sleep on it – most things can be resolved after some careful consideration.

What's in your desk drawers?

Pens (of varying quality) from multiple law firms, some pistachios and coasters with pictures of my children.

Can you recommend a local lunch or coffee spot?

I’m not sure that I can…I generally grab something from the sushi aisle in Waitrose.

How do you relax?

I have two children under four. Relax?!

What's your pet hate?

Reply all.

Sum up working as a solicitor in one word.

Challenging (in a good way).

Favourite city apart from London?

I'd say Hong Kong (although not quite a city for anyone being pedantic). I lived there first as a trainee and then a qualified Hong Kong solicitor.

What book is on your bedside table ?

Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

What needs to happen to get more women into leadership roles?

There need to be more women candidates in the selection process for senior roles recruited externally, more should be done for the development and advancement of women at every stage of their career and women should be considered in succession planning. We set a great example in Barclays Legal where at the managing director/director level, we have more than 40 per cent women.

If you hadn't become a solicitor, what would you have done?

I was always going to be a solicitor but if I were to pursue a different career path, I would likely follow the pursuits of influential women in my family like my mother and sister who both, separately, head up charitable organisations in the UK, promoting and supporting women and educating about tolerance in our society. Alternatively, I could have gifted my karaoke talents to the world.