“I have oversight of legal, regulatory, and governance functions for our operations in Nigeria. As a stakeholder in the company’s business decisions, my team and I provide advice to our executive management and other internal stakeholders on compliance, governance, legal, risk management and strategic matters.”
Her role has been both challenging and rewarding, requiring international travel and collaboration.
“It has created the opportunity for me to apply a global view to unique conditions in Nigeria, while also advising our non-resident stakeholders on the specific opportunities which Nigeria offers.”
She admits that navigating between legal and business realities is a major challenge.
“I have been able to maintain this balance by having a strategic and commercial mindset and ensuring our advice is based on context and well-aligned with the business and legal strategies and policies of the company.”
The fast-changing markets, customer preferences, new technologies and the heightened global and local regulatory environment are other examples of the recurring challenges she manages.
“Addressing challenges also involves my awareness of my team’s limits and realising situations where we must consult or escalate to other stakeholders — for instance, we regularly consult with external law firms and industry regulators on grey or borderline regulatory compliance topics. Only recently, we engaged with a regulator to push for the reform of an industry regulation to reflect today’s commercial and technological realities.”
Leading and developing the legal team at Siemens Nigeria, acting as a strategic business partner and trusted advisor to the company’s leadership and proactively anticipating and mitigating risks, are what she enjoys most.
“For as long as I can remember, my interests have driven each step of my career path,” says Pearse who graduated of the University of Lagos.
She obtained an LL.M in Energy Law and Policy from the University of Dundee in Scotland and a Masters in Legal Technology and Innovation from the IE Law School in Madrid in Spain.
Her career in the taxation and oil and gas practice groups began when she was an Associate at Law Union. To expand her knowledge on business operations, she transitioned from law practise into consulting, working in the tax teams of both Ernst & Young and then Deloitte Nigeria.
“The decision to move to consulting marked a turning point in my career. Beyond legal expertise, I honed my advisory skills and gained a more global perspective on the issues confronting diverse clients.”
This background and experience opened several doors including her current role where she has taken on expanded leadership roles over the last nine years.
Given the busy nature of being General Counsel, she prioritises relaxation and has found a way to combine her love for travel with her passion for cooking.
To lawyers of the future and those considering a path in-house, Pearse says, “Knowledge of the law is not enough. You need to expand your knowledge to other important fields of the company. Being technology savvy, adapting to global perspectives, understanding your role as a team-player, problem-solver and influencing others, are all important.”
To join Africa Legal's mailing list please click here