Buy-side legal eagle
A spotter’s guide to the men and women of finance.
A legal eagle who works for an asset manager or a hedge fund. Distrustful of brokers, probably having been an ISDA negotiator at one once — an experience it is, in fairness, quite hard to enjoy. The average buy-side legal eagle is a bit smaller than a normal legal eagle, but is preternaturally cunning often puts up quite the show and often get the better of bigger, lopier, dopier sell-side legal eagles with bravura displays of growling and tipping. Had she been to Hogwarts, would almost certainly have been in Slytherin.
A sub-specie is the buyside private practice legal eagle. These inhabit “boutique” law firms — little ones, usually, founded by former negotiators, but sometimes medium-sized ones with delusions of grandeur — and sometimes sequestered arms of silver-circle firms who have sent a bunch of ne’er-do-wells to the basement as a sort of concession to some demanding real money manager client. Sometimes these teams flourish in their new environment.
In any case this is the only known variant of law-firm lawyer who still has direct, hands-on experience negotiating ISDA Master Agreements. All sell-side firms have long since internalised their ISDA negotiation process, delegated it to paralegals and shipped it off to call centres in Bulgaria.