Nick has been able to work on a broad range of legal issues at Johnson Matthey that have most recently led to a permanent move to China

Nick Cranfield, BA Politics and Economics from Newcastle University and GDL & LPC from BPP Law School; joined Johnson Matthey in 2012 as a Legal Advisor

Before I started work at Johnson Matthey I was a litigation and disputes lawyer working in private practice. Lawyers working in private legal practice tend to become more specialised with time, but my first role at Johnson Matthey offered me the chance to provide advice to the business on a wide range of legal issues. The diversity of my work and the freedom to be creative in developing solutions with the business was a refreshing change.

Exposure to new areas

I was assigned to the Emission Control Technologies (ECT) division of Johnson Matthey with an initial focus on, amongst other things, strategic raw materials purchasing. Being exposed to a completely new product area made this a particularly fascinating time for me; it did involve brushing up on my GCSE chemistry knowledge! I was leading the legal advice in high level negotiations with key suppliers and exploring new territories across the world, from Macedonia to Japan. This was an exciting and invaluable experience, particularly in terms of relationships built through face-to-face communication across language and cultural barriers.

An international secondment

In 2013, a three month secondment in Shanghai proved to be too good an opportunity to refuse. I was just about to get married, and as is often the case everything seemed to happen at once… I of course accepted. I soon found myself living in China and travelling extensively around the area. I became responsible for all of ECT Asia, a significant but invigorating challenge (that involved a lot of airports)!

In early 2014 I agreed to a long term move and went back to Shanghai in May. This means that my wife and I will both be based in China for two years – we are very excited and are looking forward to immersing ourselves in Chinese culture.

Thoughts on Johnson Matthey

I have relished my career so far at Johnson Matthey. I think it would be difficult to find the quality of experience and opportunity elsewhere in the legal field. Johnson Matthey provides an environment that hard-working, ambitious people can thrive in. What would I say to anybody considering a career with Johnson Matthey? Do it! And to anyone doing a lot of travelling with their job? Don't eat spicy octopus for breakfast…