World Services Group's Chair Anastasia Campbell Featured in's "How I Made It" Series

May, 2024 - United States of America

Anastasia Campbell, World Services Group Chair and Partner at GrahamThompson, was recently featured in this "How I Made It" series article that highlights her important role leading the most prominent global network of independent firms, her successful legal career path and the importance of mentorship for emerging leaders in law.

How I Made International Legal Network Chair: 'Versatility and Creativity Kept Me Afloat,' Says Anastasia M. Campbell of GrahamThompson

"Practicing while remaining healthy during COVID was a real challenge that required, in some respects, a significant shift in the way we worked and interacted. During that period, versatility and creativity kept me afloat.'

Anastasia M. Campbell - Chair, World Services Group; Partner, GrahamThompson, Nassau, Bahamas

Practice areas: Bankingand finance; corporate, commercialand securities; private clients, regulatory
How long have you been an attorney?

What year were you promoted/elected to your current role?

I became a partner at GrahamThompson,the largest commercial law firm in the Bahamas servicing clients both domestically and globally,in 2016. I was elected chair of World Services Group (WSG) in 2023. WSG isthemost prominent global network of independent firms and provides cross-industry access to a select few investment banking and accounting firms creating more expansive opportunities to service clients. The network is comprised of over 120 firms worldwide and members act in over 150 jurisdictions with over 23,000 professionals globally.

My trajectory has been organic for the most part—things have fallen into place naturally but with great mentorship along the way. I accidentally discovered that I had an innate draw to the law during my high school senior year and applied to law school on a whim. Needless to say, this was not my childhood dream. However, once I became a practicing attorney, I loved it and was blessed enough to have great mentoring partners within GrahamThompson who encouraged me to take opportunities that I may have otherwise missed or waited too long to “strike”.

What challenges, if any, did you face or had to overcome in your career path and what was the lesson learned? How did it affect or influence your career?

Practicing while remaining healthy during COVID was a real challenge that required, in some respects, a significant shift in the way we worked and interacted. During that period, versatility and creativity kept me afloat. It was certainly not business as usual; time management also became uber-important as I was working under the same roof as my kindergartener attending virtual school. The days were long and often challenging, to say the least. However, we saw our way through and lived to tell the tale. The key takeaways from maintaining a practice during COVID were:

- Not every crisis is a crisis. - Where there is a will, there is a way. - Collaboration wins every time (my favorite saying has always been, “teamwork makes the dream work”). - Remaining current with technology is very necessary.

How has the role given you insights into client needs?

Good counsel goes beyond strict legal advice. Clients want to feel understood and secure—after all, we are dealing with sensitive matters that are of great importance to them. Being competent goes a long way, but being dependable and attentive, whilst not purely legal skills, are also very important to meet clients’ needs.

What unique challenges do you face as it relates to your role?

Practicing in a jurisdiction that is an offshore financial center, and often grossly mislabeled as a “tax haven” has meant having to adapt very quickly to unexpected regulatory changes stemming from grey-listings and/or black-listings. These changes can be somewhat erratic and leave little lead time for compliance. Remaining nimble and knowledgeable have been the primary saving graces during these past few years of almost constant transition.

Knowing what you know now about your career path, what advice would you give to your younger self?

I would tell my younger self that “your work product and work ethic will speak for itself. Remain consistent and trust your gut. You’ve got this!”

Who has had the greatest influence in your career that helped propel you to where you are today?

My mother, Pauline Bastian, before her recent passing, was the hardest working woman I knew. As a trailblazing female entrepreneur in The Bahamas from the 1980s, she has been the blueprint and gold standard my whole life. Her work ethic, grace, and skill have unquestionably influenced how I tackle my daily tasks. I would be remiss, however, not to also mention Judy Whitehead, GrahamThompson’s managing partner, who was my mentor for many years.

Working with Judy gave me exposure to clients and transactions that sharpened my skills and ultimately propelled my career to the present level. Judy also introduced me to WSG and brought me along to the various meetings where I was able to join the Emerging Leaders Group (ELG) and participate in an engaging and meaningful way.

Do you have a prediction on how the legal industry will evolve over the next several years?

My prediction, particularly for The Bahamas, is that tax and environmental matters will become more prominent and pressing. Indeed, we are amid the birth of this movement presently. Tax reform is very topical, and the importance of environmental sustainability is at the forefront of everyone’s minds in all aspects of Bahamian society.

What impact would you like to have on the legal industry? (e.g., any specific initiatives you are working on, goals, visions for the future)

I hope to give back; to feed into others the way my mentors fed into and nurtured me. Succession and training will ensure the longevity of the legal profession; as my team grows, I want to ensure we remain inclusive and work to provide tangible guidance to piers and juniors. The Emerging Leaders Group (ELG) within WSG is a great example of this. It represents a conscious growth initiative to showcase and develop our members’ firms’ bright-and-best. The ELG is a wonderful movement to promote succession and membership engagement, which are two key elements to safeguarding WSG’s viability and continued vibrancy.