The banking jobs : Junior Legal Counsel
Maryam Saeed, Junior Legal Counsel at BNP Paribas, in Manama - Bahrein, tells her missions in 5 questions.
What do you do at BNP Paribas?
As a Junior Legal Counsel within the Middle East & Africa Legal Department, I deal, alongside my colleagues, with several different tasks: reviewing contracts and agreements for the different business lines and functions that we cater to, conducting legal watch and updating the bank’s legal documentation and procedures. We serve the Group’s entities and businesses in the Gulf countries to meet their needs in terms of local law and regulation.
What qualities does it take to do this job?
Above all, I think it takes an ability to multitask and keep up with your to-do list on a daily basis, while responding to unexpected urgent requests and sticking to deadlines. Teamwork is crucial, as well as excellent interpersonal and communication skills. A big part of the job, and one of the greatest challenges, involves providing specific responses to requests from different entities within the bank. This requires a thorough knowledge of the local legal landscape and a strong ability to adapt.
Do you work mostly in English or Arabic?
I juggle the two languages. In Saudi Arabia, for example, we mostly work in Arabic in terms of documentation and negotiation. But in the United Arab Emirates, English is more common. Bilingualism is very much a part of my daily life.
You started this position with BNP Paribas in June 2014. What attracted you to BNP Paribas?
The internship I did at BNP Paribas in summer of 2009 had a big positive impact on me. I did an internship with the same legal department that I continue to work with today. It was an enriching experience both personally and professionally. After that, I did a few internships and jobs for firms in London, Dubai, and finally in Manama, here in Bahrain. But as soon as the opportunity came up, I did not hesitate to return to BNP Paribas. In retrospect, I realize how different the experience of practicing law in a law firm is from that of a bank. Now, my role is much more open, dynamic and multidisciplinary.
What is your goal for 2017?
Since I recently got married, my goal is to strike the right balance between my personal and professional lives. But I’m not too worried since BNP Paribas really looks out for its employees’ well-being.
“ Stay motivated and remember that joining BNP Paribas means joining a big, tight-knit, happy family. ”
Junior Legal Counsel at BNP Paribas