Paulette Mastin: UK Legal Employers Can Do More to Advance the Careers of Lawyers of Colour

Interview by the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, 2019 – a direct link to this article is provided within

Paulette Mastin, Counsel at Linklaters within the Capital Markets practice, started her career with an investment bank but found her calling to the law when she was assisted on a House of Lords case involving derivative contracts that her employer had entered into with local authorities.

After completing her post-graduate legal studies, she secured a training contract at Linklaters and with a great deal of perseverance, achieved her goal of becoming a city lawyer in London.

Her practice area involves advising financial institutions, corporate trustees, and multinationals on a wide spectrum of capital market transactions, as well as structured finance products, infrastructure and project financing, and Islamic finance.

Motivated by the Naysayers

In the early stages of her career, Mastin said she had to deal with a few cynics about the possibility of her success in London. In particular, one person advised her to avoid the law because she would struggle to make it as a city lawyer because “One, I’m a woman and two, I’m black.” When she heard this, Mastin doubled down on her determination. “Frankly, if I’m told I can’t do something that I’ve set my heart on, or that it’s beyond me, I tend to strive to turn that narrative on its head, and just really work towards being the best that I could be.” She attributes her drive to her parents, who immigrated to the U.K., and instilled in her a strong work ethic, a sense of gratitude, and a commitment to giving back.

Linklater’s Paulette Mastin

Mastin also has received some of the best network and career support through her involvement in the Black Solicitors’ Network (BSN), which she joined in 2005. After a few years, she became a founding member of the London City Branch of BSN in 2008; and since 2017, she has served as the national leader of the BSN… CONTINUE READING HERE