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Rob Gray

Profile

An experienced, capable, dual qualified commercial and compliance lawyer with broad commercial experience and acumen. Experienced General Counsel for a medium-large firm of solicitors, Data Protection Officer and responsible for all non-regulator compliance.

Previously a partner in two firms of solicitors, a large Durban firm and a small 5-partner firm in London, undertaking a broad range of work in private practice (for over 20 years).

 

Key Accomplishments

 

Contracts:

  • Provided a comprehensive contract regulation service – reviewing, drafting, negotiating, and amending of a wide variety of contracts for suppliers and clients. Contracts include client service contracts, supply contracts, undertakings, guarantees, assignments/novations, shareholders, share sale and loan agreements.

  • Set up and maintained a contract database and schedule of contract renewal dates.

  • Provided useful advice on contract terms and risks for partners and clients.

 

Compliance & Policies: 

  • DPO and AMLRO responsible for Data Protection, Anti-Money Laundering, Bribery & Corruption, Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking and Sanctions for 900 + staff.

  • Established & maintained data breach registers and advised on and where appropriate, reported personal data breaches to ICO and suspicious activity reports to the NCA.

  • Introduced (and drafted/reviewed) a plethora of compliance policies and procedures and had them rolled out, together with training materials and guidance notes on all non-regulatory compliance issues which improved firm wide compliance and awareness.

 

Risk & Governance:

  • Established and kept Risk Register and Register of Insurances, up to date. Introduced a supplier due diligence process to firm and provided support in relation to tenders and bids, client and supplier due diligence questionnaires, and client audits to provide consistency and transparency across the business.

  • Brought all statutory registers for group’s 30 odd corporate entities up to date so they were compliant and filed all required CH returns and maintained the statutory registers for these entities.

  • Reviewed website terms, standard terms of business, letterhead paper and email footers to ensure regulator, Companies Act and Companies (Trading Disclosures) Regs compliant.

  • Drafted and ensured Privacy Statements and S. 54 Modern Slavery Statement were up to date.

       

Marketing:

  • Devised and implemented business and marketing plans and identifying target markets.

  • Drafted printed marketing material – brochures, advertising, client newsletter and editorial comment and responsible for partial re-branding of a law firm.

 

 

 

Other Accomplishments:

  • Promoted to the rank of Sergeant in the SA Police Service after only 3 years’ service and awarded Divisional Commissioner’s Commendation.

  • Selected to undertake Accelerated Management Training Course (ATP) whilst with Standard Trust, part of the Standard Chartered Bank Group.

  • Appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of a 76-shareholder share block company before I had turned 25 years of age (youngest shareholder, director & chairman) and after disinvesting, appointed Company Secretary.

  • Appointed a partner at Livingston Leandy Inc. after only 1-year pqe, regularly the firm’s top non-debt recovery fee earner, amassed an impressive client base, including many South African household names** and had cases reported in SA Law Reports (at first instance and on appeal) [Dos Santos].

  • Offered a partnership at BWS whilst 5 months into a six-month fixed term contract and had a successful private international law case reported in All England Law Reports [Armstrong].

  • Responsible for setting up the Company Secretarial function for the Plexus Group of 30 odd companies and LLP’s and ensuring they were all compliant.

  • Successfully led Plexus’ initiative to be GDPR ready by 23 May 2018 and prepared the full array of policies, statements, documentation including template letters and forms, registers and training and guidance pamphlets, FAQs for Intranet, etc. This was rolled out to over 900 members of staff in 10 branch offices across the UK to ensure compliance in a timely fashion.

 

** Clients included: Unilever, Blue Ribbon Bakeries, Colas East, Nampak Corrugated, Gilbey Distillers & Vintners, Standard General Insurance (Generali), Murray & Roberts Construction, Santam Insurance, Fidelity Springbok Patrols, Wakefield’s Property Management, JH Isaacs Geshen and SA Cultural Holdings (Encyclopaedia Britannica, etc.).

 

Career History

 

  • Plexus Law/Axiom Ince  – General Council and Company Secretary 

  • Barwell’s – Head of Commercial Department

  • Home Wills –  Consultant

  • Rainier & Partners – Consultant Legal Director

  • BW Solicitors – Partner

  • Livingston Leandy Inc. – Senior Partner

  • Standard Trust Ltd – Accelerated Management Trainee 

  • SA Police Service – Police Officer (Sergeant)

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