Debs Leonin

Deborah Leonin




Deborah works across various teams at Ignition, with focus on Corporate, Commercial and Employment. Her practice includes acting for entrepreneurs and start ups across various industries; advising on corporate governance, day to day employment issues and contentious matters, investment rounds and general corporate matters. 

Debs has a particular interest in female-led businesses and education and wellness brands, having worked on various negotiated exits for female founders seeking new challenges following discrimination in their former careers. 

She spent over four years with a boutique start up Employment law firm prior to joining Ignition, so is acutely aware of the challenges faced by founders and their initial teams first hand. A self-starter, Debs sought out the opportunity to qualify by satisfying the regulator that she had earned the necessary experience through her client work, rather than traditional trainee route.  She is keen to understand her clients’ businesses and to provide advice and services tailored to them and recognising their particular demands.

Relevant employment experience includes:

  • Acting on a Tribunal claim for unfair treatment and detriment caused by Covid-related issues. 
  • Advising one of the first FCA approved, UK based crypto custodian entities on its day to day employment needs. 
  • Preparing contractor agreements for the remote based workforce of a large, multi-jurisdictional software business. 
  • Acting on a senior level executive dispute involving psychiatric injury, disability discrimination and whistleblowing issues.
  • Preparing and advising on ancillary employment documents for various mergers and acquisitions, including service agreements, board changes and settlement agreements.
  • Securing costs and successful outcome at Tribunal for a long-standing corporate client in a discrimination claim.
  • Drafting employment contracts key initial employment documents for start-up teams tailored to their specific needs and updating the same as the company scales.

Relevant corporate experience includes:

  • Advising on and implementing a complex share capital restructuring for an international surf-wear brand.
  • Advisory corporate governance work for a range of clients across various industries including fintech, media, food and beverage and lifestyle. 
  • Assisting the Finance team with drafting of various conditions precedent to completion for the Sterling Suffolk transaction. 
  • Amending constitutional documents of start-up companies to reflect the legal requirement for B Corporation status.
  • General corporate governance advisory work for a crypto company, including reflecting and recording its complex debt transactions. 
  • Advising on key constitutional documents for companies seeking investment, including Articles of Association, Shareholders’ agreements and employment documentation. 
  • Acting on various investment rounds including for university spin-out enterprises, incubator alumni and for exciting businesses who secure funding from family offices and crowdfunding. 

Fine Print


Classical Studies with English Literature; Associate of King’s College – King’s College London; GDL, Graduate LLB and LPC – BPP University London.


Jones Chase Employment Lawyers, a boutique City firm that I joined on the firm’s inception as a start-up practice as its first employee; and was part of its expansion (2014-2019).


Leadership Mentor at King’s College London, BPP Pro Bono, Help for Heroes volunteer.

A social cause I care about

Mentoring university students.

Other interests

Literature, theatre, fitness, event organisation and exploring new cuisines.