Ms. Nargiza Albekova joined The Coca-Cola Company in 2022 and she is the Regional Legal Counsel and Ethics & Compliance Officer Eurasia & Middle East Operating Unit. Having a major in International Law along with an LL.M in International Trade and Commercial Law in Oxford Brookes, Nargiza has a great understanding of competition, advertising, corporate law and different fields of business law which is supplemented by great understanding of business after obtaining MBA degree in MSU (Russia).
Host: What motivated you to choose the Legal sector as a domain of work and how has been your career span?
Nargiza: The legal profession was interesting to me since my childhood. My aunt was a judge and several times I had a chance to visit the premises of the court. These were inspiring visits and gave me the understanding that someday I would also like to protect someone’s rights and interests. Besides, it also echoed my willingness to be fair and stand for fairness. So, as soon as I understood that it is a living principle for me, I started to chase my dream. While I have been growing in my career, more and more I realized that I chose the right way where I could fully realize my potential as a professional and live my principles as a human being at the same time.
Host: What are the different challenges and opportunities that you have or had faced while working in this field?
Nargiza: While working in the Legal field I realized that the knowledge I have got sometimes is not enough to find a solution. The challenge was that on top of legal knowledge and way of legal thinking, I need to learn more about business, how the business operates, and be flexible for getting more insights from external stakeholders. This is an ongoing learning path to contribute to my key partners. That’s why the challenge itself has turned into a great opportunity for the learning path. This also helps to cultivate growth mindset culture.
Host: As a professional how did you deal with the challenges and also how did you figure out the solutions to counter these challenges?
Nargiza: When there is a challenge, it may often come in a crisis mode. Firstly, any legal professional should be able to assess the impact of this challenge on business/industry and upon its effect to prioritize it respectively. Secondly, it is very important to understand perspectives from different angles to define the right approach for handling the challenge and make the right conclusion with a providence legal solution. Needless to say, that action planning on how to overcome the challenge should be done smartly time-wise. While working on a solution with regard to the challenge it is also important to have several solutions at the table with a clear assessment of the pros and cons of each option with transparent communication to the decision maker.
Host: What kind of solutions would you like to advise others, especially those who want to take up this profession?
Nargiza: For those who want to take up the legal profession, but do not know what to start with, I would suggest the following advice to consider. It is important to understand the true motivation of a person who is going to take up this profession. It is also important to understand future perspectives of the profession in a short-term and long-term perspective. Besides, it is also worth mentioning how the person might define success factors for himself or herself. Definitely, the person should define in which area of law he or she wants to be a legal expert and in what sector or industry. That would also influence the set of skills and knowledge the person must obtain to start practicing. Obviously, the person should be able constantly to gather lots of information from different resources and analyze it and learn as well. That means that non-stop self-development is crucial in this profession. This is an important aspect to be considered by any future lawyer in any field of law or industry.
Host: Tell us about a complex legal issue you worked on. Describe the complexity and tell us how you approached it?
Nargiza: The most complex legal issues usually are those that might affect or somehow impact people. That’s why based on the principles every legal professional operates it is also important to have a level of empathy and moral sense to make the right conclusion and judgments. The legal professional should be able to listen to and find out information from both sides to make the right conclusion. The complexity of any legal issue might be due to the lack of all information or some of the details which make sense. Therefore, in such cases, there should not be any unreasonable rush. If there is any suspicion, it is better to take some time to better understand the legal issue, gather full information and details, and listen to all involved stakeholders to solve it.
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