TrueTalk with Julie
Meet our entrepreneurial colleague Julie, a diversity and inclusion champion and Senior Legal Counsel at TrueLayer.
is one of our Legal superstars, navigating complex financial services regulation while helping us to scale fast, ship new products and expand internationally. She’s no stranger to startup life, having founded her own sustainable women’s sportswear brand. At TrueLayer, Julie’s also on a mission to make our workplace a great place to work for women, leading our Women’s Employee Resource group.
Tell us about your role.
I’m a Senior Legal Counsel in a team of three at TrueLayer. We support different teams around the business in managing the range of legal risks we face while operating as a regulated financial services business.
No two days are the same for me – I could be helping to build out our Payments product one day, then advising on how to expand internationally the next.
I’m also one of the co-leads of TrueLayer’s Women’s Employee Resource Group: we’re on a mission to establish TrueLayer as a truly great place for women to work.
What attracted you to the role?
It’s not every day that you get to join a fast-growing start-up as its first legal hire! Especially one that is working to change the way people around the world interact with their finances.
Before TrueLayer, I was consulting for other start-ups and running a sustainable sportswear brand for two years. Those experiences made me want to be somewhere focused on building impactful products, and where I could apply a Product mindset to solving legal problems.
What’s the best thing about working at TrueLayer?
The people! I feel lucky to have found a group of incredibly diverse, smart thinkers and innovators at TrueLayer, who are passionate about their craft.
Being able to shape the business is also very rewarding. We’re still growing at a rapid rate and there are so many exciting challenges, which means that I’m always learning. I have the opportunity to continuously shape my role, for example, by looking at embedding a legal advisory function within our Product teams.
If you weren’t here, what would you be doing?
What wouldn’t I be doing! I’d love to start another sustainability-focused business, kit out a camper van and drive around Europe in search of the best surf spots, learn to salsa or learn how to make gelato from a gelato master (and travel around the world taste testing the best gelato, of course).
What keeps you motivated?
Three things: working with a driven, diverse group of people (not only from the perspective of gender, ethnicity, age, disability and sexual orientation but also diverse in thought); immersing myself in a Product-focused environment where an adventurous and creative mindset is a must, and being somewhere where it is recognised that not everything is perfect and anyone can provide creative solutions.
Tell us your favourite TrueLayer anecdote.
That would have to be our 2019 company retreat – 2 weeks after I’d started!
I can’t describe the hilariousness of racing your new colleagues to jump into human-sized washing machines filled with foam to retrieve matching pairs of socks 🧦 and hanging them on dwarf-sized hills hoists. Or of everyone coming out of the inflatable obstacle course with red, scraped noses because they thought the best way to win was to dive head-first through the course! Or seeing first-hand the dad dancing from a certain C-suite member.🕺
You can’t fail to make great friends in that environment and realise it’s completely acceptable to be yourself at work. The best part is you get to work with them the next week.
What advice would you give to aspiring lawyers wanting to move into startups?
Do it. I haven’t regretted it for a second. Being able to step away from a rigid structure into a product-focused environment is very liberating.
I’ve found legal training and experience to be incredibly valuable in this environment too – it gives you a privileged view of what happens across a startup. And because I support so many teams I have a unique understanding of what’s happening in the business.
We’re in a really fast-evolving space of financial services. If you’d like to join a start-up with a real, down-to-earth culture that cares about you, where you’ll be able to make an impact on a global scale, apply!
We also care very much about inclusion and diversity and I’d urge people of all backgrounds to consider applying. It’s not perfect yet, but we have a strong contingent of employee-led resource groups looking at how we can create the most inclusive and diverse environment for all.
Tell us about a great book that you’ve read or podcast you’ve listened to recently.
Marie Colvin’s biography. When I was younger I wanted to be a war correspondent! It’s really inspiring to get an insight into the drive that Marie Colvin had to deliver the stories of war and to forge that career path as a woman.
I would also highly recommend Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz — the perfect antidote to traditional negotiation tactics that I learned in law school, and incredibly practical tips I’ve used day-to-day.
Words to live by?
Live with no regrets 🙌