Tonia Lovell: My executive career journey was very simple: seven years at Linklaters, followed by twenty-one years at the consumer goods multinational, Unilever.
At Unilever I was a corporate/commercial lawyer before becoming head of the UK legal team in 2002. In 2010 I was appointed Chief Legal Officer of Unilever, and my final role was as Group Company Secretary/ General Counsel Governance.
I really didn’t expect to stay at Unilever for the majority of my executive career, but the combination of great people, the company’s values and purpose, and the quality of the work (including multiple mergers and acquisitions, a takeover defence, strategic review, corporate structure review and a number of competition law challenges) was more than enough to keep me there.
Two further highlights for me were building the foundations of a 400-strong global legal function with a strategy and vision, and the privilege of working with the Unilever Board through my role as Group Company Secretary.