Jacquie Hodgson (34)

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2019 Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans

Justice & Law

Jacquie Hodgson (34)

Jacquie Hodgson (34)

Head of Alternative Legal Solutions, Herbert Smith Freehills

I don’t need to dim my light to make other people feel more comfortable.

Jacquie Hodgson was one of five executives brought in to assist e.tv in launching OpenView HD as a start-up to market. Her role was executive of legal and business affairs and she was responsible for putting in place the entire legal framework from scratch, across the technical requirements for the satellite platform, distribution agreements, marketing and PR, supply agreements, regulatory requirements and the channel agreements upon which the entire business model was premised. She was also co-responsible for the business development of bringing on new channels onto the platform, to drive both viewership and revenue in terms of the business model. The channel started at zero viewers and now is viewed in over 1.5 million households.

Hodgson is now the head of alternative legal services at Herbert Smith Freehills, a global law firm with a global practice group of 350 people across New York, Belfast, London, Johannesburg, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Hong Kong and Shanghai.  She is heading up the Johannesburg branch that forms part of the global practice and she sits on the regional executive team. She notes that one of the things that drew her to the role was the opportunity to develop legal graduates to enable them to gain traction at the start of their careers and learn some of the softer skills-set required to thrive and navigate in the corporate legal environment.

She was practising at Webber Wentzel as an associate lawyer when she was introduced to her life coach, Louise Latham, by a partner at the practice. At age 31, after transitioning away from the traditional practice of law and undertook the Martha Beck life coaching course, more to deepen her own practice of groundedness and understanding the tools better. “In that process, I came to realise that there was value to sharing my own experiences and process, specifically in supporting young professionals in transitioning into careers that will light them up and give them energy, rather than operating from a place of obligation and fear,” she says.

Being young and a woman in a male and mature environment, she says she’s had to work hard at her confidence, and trust that what she had to offer was valuable. “One of my mantras is that I don’t need to dim my light to make other people feel more comfortable,” says Hodgson. — Welcome Lishivha 

LinkedIn: Jacquie Hodgson