Jake Green’s deep knowledge of financial services law has made him a go-to man for journalists wrestling with the implications of Brexit.
An award-winning partner with leading London law firm Ashurst, Jake (OE 1992–1997) has been quoted several times in recent months on the front page of the Financial Times, with the newspaper turning to him for his expert knowledge of areas including regulation and compliance matters.
His day-to-day work involves giving advice on Brexit to banks and fund managers. In fact, he offers a valuable combination of expertise, since his knowledge of the law is complemented by practical experience from ‘the other side of the fence’: over the past few years, Jake has spent time on secondment at a hedge fund and a brokerage house.
Jake won the 2013 Thomson Reuters Annual Compliance Awards Best Regulatory Lawyer of the Year title. He was recognised in the Financial News’ 40 Under 40 Rising Stars in Legal Services in 2014 – although he had no idea he had even been put forward for such an accolade.
He qualified while at Nabarro, where he worked for more than five years. “I then followed my boss to Ashurst,” he says. Jake arrived at the firm in 2010 and was made a partner in 2015.
“I really enjoy it and, of course, there are the rewards. It’s a long job; it’s a taxing job, but work-life balance is changing in the City. The days of the ‘all-nighter’-type culture are slightly fading. I am emotionally invested in my clients, and most understand that a work-life balance is healthy!”
Other factors, such as serendipity and the willingness to make the best of any situation, can contribute as much, if not more, to an individual’s success as any carefully worked-out career plan, he believes.
Before reading Law at Leeds University from 2000–2003, Jake ‘took a year out’. He recalls: “I got very lucky and got a job at Sky, working on the Premier League. I was dumped straight into working with Andy Gray and Richard Keys. It was great fun. In life, things sometimes are a bit random – it can just be about being in the right place at the right time. I have found that being prepared to muck in gets you quite far and sharing gets you an awfully long way. I was offered the opportunity to stay at Sky but decided I wanted to do Law. Sport was a hobby that I found I was enjoying slightly less when I was working in it.”
Jake’s sporting prowess was very much in evidence during his time at QE: he played both Fives and cricket for the School. It is perhaps because of that that he fitted in so well, he says.
Like others, his memories include endless breaktime games of football using airflow balls. Other aspects include the ‘duckets’ – blue cards used to give boys credits, which added up to commendations, with these, in turn, counting towards House points.
Of the staff, it is History teacher Mr Marek Kolczynski who especially sticks in his mind, both for some enjoyable, thought-provoking lessons and for memorable encounters outside the classroom.
“He used to say: ‘Always ask yourself how do you know that you know?’ and ‘What evidence is good evidence? How do we weigh evidence?’ He would urge us to keep on probing.” Such a grounding proved valuable later in his legal career, Jake says.
He also recalls being ‘skewered’ by Mr Kolczynski over some minor misdemeanour: “’You are not sorry; you are sorry that you got caught,’ he told me.”
Jake left QE after GCSEs to attend a sixth form college nearer to his family home in Finchley. “My father died and I wanted to be close to home,” he says.
He still lives in the same area today. He is married to Miranda and has two children, Ethan, aged six, and Chloe, four. He maintains close friendships with a number of his QE contemporaries. In his spare time, Jake enjoys playing football.