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.
Loves pina collada, walking in the rain, arguing about co-calculation agent rights and claiming all our other counterparties have agreed this.
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.