“Intesa Sanpaolo has, at its core, personality, which really makes it stand out in the City”

Jessica Rees-Hole works as Senior Legal Counsel in the London office of Intesa Sanpaolo. She joined the bank in 2015 after spending five years at an English law firm based in London and is enjoying the European and International focus of the job.

Rhiannon Edwards


What does your work involve?

I am a member of the London-based legal team that is responsible for providing English legal advice to all business and non-business areas of Intesa Sanpaolo and the International network. The legal team supports the corporate and investment banking arm of Intesa Sanpaolo, with a strong focus on trade finance. The team has recently been involved in a number of very high-profile, cross-jurisdiction and bespoke transactions – providing an exciting opportunity to assist at the forefront of market-leading finance transactions! As a member of a small legal team, I also assist in the day-to-day commercial contracts for the London office, providing a great variety of work.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I joined Intesa Sanpaolo from a law firm that was quintessentially English. The transition from working in a typically “stiff-upper-lip” environment to a more personable one has definitely created a more positive atmosphere for me to thrive in. On a day-to-day basis, it is also fantastic to work with colleagues in the wider International network and assist in cross-jurisdiction transactions – which are always fascinating and carry many quirks!

What is special about Intesa Sanpaolo?

The combination of working in a finance environment in London is notoriously stressful and unforgiving – Intesa Sanpaolo bucks this trend with a strong emphasis on being focused but friendly and respecting a work-life balance. This makes Intesa Sanpaolo unique.

How has the international experience helped you to grow?

As a London-based employee of an Italian bank, all transactions have an International aspect. Intesa Sanpaolo provides you with exposure to some fantastic high-profile International clients whose business needs are constantly changing and correspondingly require strong commercial support and thinking “outside of the box”. Whilst challenging at times, facilitating our client’s needs and expectations is incredibly fulfilling and aids ongoing personal development.

“There is definitely a unique Intesa Sanpaolo mindset that combines commerciality, enthusiasm and support – all sealed in good humour”
What are the characteristics of Intesa Sanpaolo and its people?

Commercial, personable and supportive. A unique balance of all three.

What has been your best experience been so far?

Last month I assisted the Dubai team in the finalisation of a project-finance transaction. New laws were issued in Dubai for that specific transaction and it was for the respective lenders’ business and legal teams to review the associated risk – something unprecedented and very interesting. Being part of a law-changing International process is exciting in the life of lawyer! It was also super to meet my colleagues in Dubai.


From a personal perspective – one of my favourite things about working at Intesa Sanpaolo is working closely with the business teams in the bank and meeting people from different parts of Italy – alas for holiday advice! I quickly discovered that the Italian desk were best versed in this regard and so now no holiday is complete without a visit to their desk for some handy tips!


Where would you like to be in your career in five years’ time?

As a legal team, we are pushing for a strengthening London market post-Brexit and increased exposure to documentation-agency roles. From a personal perspective, it would be fabulous to have the opportunity to work abroad and support the International network, preferably somewhere hot!

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