Gowling WLG partner Alexandra Brodie has been named in the 2018 Power Part Time List: a national roll call of the UK's top 50 men and women who work in senior business-critical roles, all on less than five days per week.
Alex is one of the UK's leading Intellectual Property (IP) litigators, with more than 20 years of experience and a particular focus on running cross-jurisdictional litigation. She is also co-chair of the firm’s tech sector, which comprises some 400 lawyers globally. She has featured in Managing Intellectual Property's Global Top 250 Women in IP in both 2016 and 2017, is described by Chambers and Partners as "a great strategist and tactician who knows how to position for success at every level of trial" and by IAM's World's Leading Patent Professionals as "Extremely bright, highly knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with".
Alongside her legal role, Alex piloted and launched the firm’s first internal legal mentoring programme for female lawyers. She is also one of three partners leading Gowling WLG's internal diversity and inclusion initiative, More Women, aimed at growing the firm's number of female equity partners. The initiative provides mentoring, coaching and personal and professional development support to women at all levels of the firm. After a successful pilot the scheme is now being rolled out to all members of the firm.
Alex works a flexible four-day week to accommodate the requirements of both her business role and home life. She has been with the firm for 22 years, joining on a full-time basis before later adjusting her hours to allow for a more agile working pattern.
Explaining the motivation that has led to her success, Alex said: "This stems from a deep-seated need to be really good at everything that I do; be that being a lawyer, an owner in my business, a mum, a friend and a member of my community. At the beginning of my career I thought that I couldn't combine this with promotion and I'd have to 'catch-up' later, but my mentors and supporters, Gordon Harris (Global Head of IP) and David Barron (Head of Patents) have always believed in me and encouraged me to just give it a go – I owe them a lot."
Since going part-time Alex has been promoted twice (to Director on her first maternity leave and then subsequently into the partnership) and entrusted with marshalling and driving the firm’s global tech sector working closely with fellow tech sector heads, partner David Brennan in the UK Corporate team and Viona Duncan in the Canadian Corporate team.
Alex added: "I don’t perceive myself to be part-time, or full-time - I do what needs to be done because I really believe in all that I do. But, nobody can succeed in a vacuum, or not for very long. I am where I am due to my team and their support and belief in me and our shared goals and values."
The Power Part-Time Top 50 is an annual list compiled by Timewise, the aim of which is to create role models, emphasise that flexible working is both possible and practical, and debunk the myth that people cannot work a top-level job on a part-time or flexible basis.