Vanessa Barnett is a technology and media lawyer at City law firm Charles Russell, with a focus on internet and mobile business.
Barnett is the only technology and media lawyer on The Times’ Legal Panel, a group of thought leaders in law, and is ranked as a leading lawyer in Legal 500 and Chambers.
Barnett is the latest high-profile executive to take part in V3's Hot Seat after the likes of Canonical chief executive Jane Silber, Fujitsu UK chief executive Duncan Tait and Bletchley Park chief executive Iain Standen.
V3: What would be your dream job (apart from your current role, of course)?
Vanessa Barnett: It's hard to say exactly, but mountains and snow would be key aspects of it.
Which mobile phone and tablet do you currently use?
The BlackBerry and iPad - each of them has a definite place in my life. A BlackBerry is a real laywer's 'workhorse' which does email really well and you never run out of battery life. I use the iPad for both work and play.
Which person do you most admire in the IT industry?
Stephen Fry, not technically in the industry, but imagine how wonderful it could be if he were. A close second is Linus Torvalds. I like the way he just very quietly started a revolution.
Which technology has had the biggest impact on your working life?
Email. I love email, although hate spam, but spam has a shelf life anyway.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I could say lots of clichéd things about my 'success' but at the end of the day being a lawyer in this industry allows you to work with really great human beings. That's the highlight. The satisfaction from the job comes from helping people translate their business dream into the contractual documents that let it happen, or from taking the time to nurture talent and see it flourish.
And sometimes the people surprise you in other ways. A few years ago, I had a meeting in the States on an internet project. The client agreed to give me a lift to the meeting from the hotel, and it turned out it was on the back of a Harley Davidson. Apparently it's perfectly OK to scream in fear for your life all the way to a meeting.
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