16. The COO's Endless Battle: Navigating Legal and Enterprise Contracts

Our special guest is Ahmed Badr, COO of GoCardless. Ahmed also worked for Microsoft, where he supported multi-billion pound licensing deals.

11/9/20231 min read

Beth and Brandon discuss the following

  • The importance of a generic contract template

  • Empowering sales to get contracts done

  • Default and deal-breaker positions on indemnity and limitation of liability

We discuss the following with Ahmed

  • What did Microsoft do well and what could be reused at GoCardless?

  • What did the empowerment playbook look like with contracts?

  • What is a deal desk and how was it used?

  • What is the COO role at GoCardless?

  • When should organisations transition from outside to inhouse legal counsel?

  • Why is taking a reasonable, mid-point position on default terms so important?

  • What is a sensible approach to indemnity and limitation of liability?

  • What is the best way to roll out “contract empowerment” programs to sales?



Ahmed is Chief Operating Officer GoCardless, where he is responsible for all core operational teams, as well as being functionally responsible for legal, risk and compliance. GoCardless believes that bank payments are the best way to pay and get paid, and helps businesses collect both recurring and one-off payments, without chasing, stress or expensive fees.

Before joining GoCardless, Ahmed worked for Microsoft, where he supported the multi-billion pound UK licensing and developer support organisations. Before this, he was a project finance lawyer at Allen & Overy.

In 2015, he became GoCardless’ first lawyer and has since supported the business in its rapid expansion across legal, compliance, risk and operations. Ahmed also sponsors the company’s BEAM (Black, Ethnic and Asian Minority) group, and likes to use his experience to support young fast growth companies, help shape regulation, and open up access to legal careers to a wide range of individuals.