Heriot Brown

How did you land your first role in-house?

I went straight in-house from law school. I went to law school in San Francisco, and all my friends were working in tech, and I also wanted to work in tech like all the cool kids, so I took a job as a contracts analyst at a tech company and worked my way up. I realized early on in law school I didn’t have the attention span to work 80+ hour weeks in private practice. 

How did you get to Associate General Counsel & DPO – was it a leap or climb?

I leaped across the pond from the States and came to work for Beamery. It’s been a steady climb, as I’ve spent my entire career in enterprise tech, but every role brings new and exciting challenges (for a silly example: adapting to the UK-style date structure, the month should go before day guys!). 

What is the most interesting piece of information you have realised you didn’t know you didn’t know about Beamery?

A whole community is dedicated to HR Tech with its own versions of gurus and big players. People get into it, and seeing such participation in the space is exciting.   

As AGC & DPO, is there anything wish you didn’t have so much knowledge about?

Data protection, while my area of expertise, it can make you terribly dull at parties.  

What piece of advice has stuck with you since your TC days?

I’m American, so I didn’t have training contract days, but I do remember, as a young lawyer, the best piece of advice I ever got was that you are only ever as good as your work product. You provide sloppy work, suddenly you are a sloppy lawyer. I take great pride in my output and try to instil the same sense of self-discipline in my team. 

What advice would you give to someone looking to make the jump now?

Do it! Unless you love the money, then don’t do it. Jokes aside, if you value being part of the business process and constant learning and progression, I’d jump right away. 

What do you miss about private practice?

I’ve never worked in private practice, but what I think I would miss is having a whole crew of more experienced professionals to learn from. In my opinion, all the wisdom that comes from years of experience cannot be taught, I think that knowledge has to be earned, and I’m huge on learning from those that have come before me. Though, I’m lucky I have an incredibly talented boss that I learn from every day. 

Do you have a work-life balance?

Yes! Fortunately, I work at a company that truly values work-life balance. It’s not always slamming the laptop shut at 5 pm, but they value flexible working to accommodate everyone’s different lifestyle. I’m due for my month’s sabbatical, so looking for suggestions on what to do. 

And finally, what is your favourite ice cream?

My first real job was scooping ice cream on the beach, where I grew up, so I have a love/hate relationship with ice cream. However, Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food mixed with Chunky Monkey is my heaven on Earth; calories be damned.