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Warwick Connections - Kingsley Napley

We spoke to Nicola Hill (LLB Law, 1995), Leor Franks (BA Politics with International Studies, 1999) and
Linda Woolley (BA English and American Literature, 1983) about their time at Warwick and their roles at
Kingsley Napley.  


Have you met Warwick fellow graduates in the workplace?

With more than 275,000 Warwick alumni around the world, you are never too far away from a Warwick connection. Kingsley Napley, a leading London law firm, has three Warwick graduates at its helm, sitting on the firm’s eight-strong board.

Meet the Graduates

Linda (BA English and American Literature, 1980-1983) is Managing Partner, having worked in the company since 1990. At Warwick, a careers questionnaire suggested she could be a solicitor, but wanting ‘real world’ experience she went into admin roles after graduating during a recession. Realising this wasn’t for her, she took an A-Level in Law, then her CPE and LPC. She went to Kingsley Napley to do her articles and has been there ever since. She was a Criminal lawyer before rising to Partner then Managing Partner in 2007.

Nicola (LLB Law, 1992-1995) is a Partner, the practice area leader for the Regulatory team, a member of the Board and the Continuous Improvement Champion. After graduating and some time travelling, she completed the LPC and trained at a high street firm. In 1999, she joined the Criminal Team at another firm for nearly four years, advising clients in the police stations and magistrates courts of East London before moving to Kingsley Napley in 2003. She currently leads a team of 70 people.

Leor (BA Politics with International Studies, 1996-1999) leads the Marketing and Business Development team and Knowledge and Information team and is a member of the Board. He began his career in journalism before a master’s degree in Business took him into consulting. He returned to marketing with roles in large firms such as Deloitte and EY. He sits on a number of external boards including at a business school, at an industry body, and for his local police.

What challenges does the Law sector face and how are you working together to overcome these at Kingsley Napley?

Nicola: There is still a barrier to entry in relation to diversity. Things are changing but really rather slowly. In 2020, we very sadly lost one of our partners, Brandusa Tataru-Marinescu, who was passionate about social mobility. Through The Law Society we have set up an award in her memory that supports one student with contributions towards their Law School fees and monthly mentoring sessions. We are supporting another applicant of the award and will be providing work experience for five other applicants. That is just one example. We have a wide-reaching ED&I offering that we don’t just pay lip service to.

Leor: There is increasing competition in the legal industry. Various ‘challenger’ firms have sprung up, and new technologies are changing business models. Established firms such as ours need to evolve. Understanding these trends and charting a path forward requires a range of different skillsets at the board level. The mix of experienced lawyers and functional leaders working together on our board is a great combination. We all have different perspectives, but combined, we come up with the right answers.


What are you most proud of and what are your hopes for the future?

Linda: I feel very lucky and proud that I have had the opportunity to do great work at an outstanding firm and to gradually have more and more influence over its development and particularly its culture. My proudest professional moment was acting pro bono to secure the quashing of a client’s conviction for murder in 2003, after 13 years’ imprisonment.

Nicola: Professionally I am proud to say that when I was the President of the London Criminal Courts’ Solicitors Association (LCCSA) we took successful judicial review proceedings against the then Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling and his proposed changes to publicly funded criminal legal aid. We were represented by Kingsley Napley’s Public Law team. My hope is that the ongoing destruction of the criminal justice system and access to justice is reversed as we are so close to it being too late.

You all studied at Warwick at different times, do you have any favourite memories or long-lasting lessons you learnt from your time at Warwick?

Leor: Perspective. I had quite a narrow view of the world when I first arrived at Warwick. My range of experiences and friends were limited until I began my degree. Meeting people from all over the world and studying how the world worked really opened my eyes. I formed some great friendships during my three years at Warwick, which have endured until today, and will hopefully last for many years to come!

Nicola: In my first year, my team ‘Ubiquitous’ won the Wednesday afternoon club’s 10 pin bowling championship. I found the trophy a few years ago in the loft and now have it on display as it makes me smile.

Linda: The live events were a real highlight. I fondly remember seeing Mary Wilson performing in the Mandela Bar and Dexy’s Midnight Runners in the Warwick Arts Centre.

Share your story: If you discovered unknown Warwick connections after graduating, we would love to hear from you. Get in touch via alumni at warwick dot ac dot uk