MULTI-SPECIALISM

Our lawyers are multi-specialists: they are equipped to advise each client on a wide range of legal issues. This expertise enables them to enjoy a challenging, varied and interesting workload.

Sarah Lee and Robert Byk

Sarah and Robert are our trainee solicitor recruitment partners. Sarah studied Law at Birmingham University and joined the firm as an associate in 1993. She became a partner in our Dispute Resolution group in 1999. Robert studied Law at Bristol University and joined the firm as a trainee in 1998. He became a partner in one of our Financing groups in 2007.

Video transcript


Sarah:
"Being a multi-specialist has meant that I’ve had a huge range of opportunities that I just wouldn’t have had at any other firm. It means that I’ve done cases that have gone to the House of Lords on tax issues; I’ve done FSA investigations; I’ve done fraud;… high-court disputes. So it’s given me a huge range of experience and opportunities that I just wouldn’t have otherwise had."

Robert:
"A good example of my work as a multi-specialist is that, in 2002 I think it was, we had a client who bought a company in the UK, so we helped them on that. Two years later they wanted to do a bond issue in the markets - we helped them on that. They then wanted to do some CO2 derivatives: again I was involved in that with a team of people. Then they wanted to buy an Australian company: we did the financing for that. And then ultimately, with the downturn, came some restructuring and quite significant banking difficulties, and I spent six months restructuring their debt. So you can see that from 2002 to now, I’ve been helping that client on virtually everything it’s been doing that relates to English law. And that means I get to know them well… understand them and actually, for me, it makes it far more interesting to know their business and see historically what they’ve done."

 
 

Richard Marron

Richard studied Law at Trinity College, Dublin. He joined the firm in September 2009. He qualified in September 2011 and is now working in one of our Corporate and Commercial groups.

Video transcript

"Multi-specialism is the idea that lawyers here are trained to work in a very broad range of transactions and they’re not pigeonholed into narrow practice areas. So, for example, if you do a season in one of our financing teams, you might work on a bond issue, an insolvency and a securitisation during the course of six months, whereas a lot of other firms would tend to have specific groups that would deal only with those types of work. So, from the trainee’s perspective, I think it’s very advantageous because it means that you get to develop a much broader experience. It also makes things very interesting because you never quite know what you’ll be expected to do next, what the next transaction will be, or what the next piece of work you’ll be given is. While that can also be quite daunting because you can get to the stage where you’re close to the end of a seat in a particular department and you really feel like you’re getting a handle on things and then all of a sudden, you’ll be given some work on a topic that you might not even have known existed before. But, having said that, there’s quite a good support network and there’s always somebody you can ask, be it your supervisor or somebody else on the team. So, while it can be daunting, it’s achievable."

 
 

Siobhán Allen

Siobhán studied Law at Trinity College, Dublin. She joined the firm in September 2009. She qualified in September 2011 and is now working in our Dispute Resolution group.

Video transcript

"I think they do have a unique multi-specialist approach in that all of our corporate groups are all general corporate groups - you don’t have a group that does mergers and a group that does takeovers… You’ll have a partner in each group who works with certain clients and whatever work comes in will get spread around the general corporate groups, so everybody has to know how to do a bit of everything. So you don’t have highly specialised partners that only do one type of work, which I think is very beneficial when you’re training because it means you’re exposed to an awful lot of different types of deals, and types of work that you may not otherwise be exposed to if you were spending six months in purely a Mergers group. It’s good for the client as well because it means that their lawyers are thinking laterally because they’re identifying issues that a specialised lawyer may not see or may not recognise. So I think it makes the partners here much more well-rounded in terms of expertise."

 
 

Anant Prakash

Anant studied History at Warwick University. He joined the firm in September 2009. He qualified in September 2011 and is now working in one of our Corporate and Commercial groups.

Video transcript

"I think as an advantage for trainees it’s very difficult to get bored because you can wake up one morning, check your emails and you’ve got something you would never expect to see - something you’ve never dealt with before, you’ve probably never heard of before, which can be daunting but on the positive side it can be really engaging, really interesting, because you get to deal with things you’ve never thought of before."

 
 
Back to top

CULTURE

The atmosphere here is supportive, friendly and collegiate. Individuality and independence of thought are encouraged and excellent results are achieved through collective effort.

Thomas Williams

Thomas studied Law at Sheffield University. He joined the firm in September 2010. As part of his fourth seat, Thomas was seconded to Stockholm for six months. He qualified in September this year and is now working in one of our Corporate and Commercial groups.

Video transcript

"I think Slaughter and May does have a reputation for being quite a serious firm and quite formal. But I think we are serious about work but that’s about it: you can just sort of be yourself here. I think people here have got a lot of other interests in their lives and have got a sense of humour, so you can just sort of relax and be yourself. I would admit that I was slightly worried that this place might not be for me, that it might be a bit stuffy, but I’m very happy - it’s not really that way at all."

 
 

Samyuktha Rajagopal

Samyuktha studied Sociology at the University of Madras followed by an MSc in Development Studies at the London School of Economics. She joined the firm in September 2010. She qualified in September this year and is now working in one of our Financing groups.

Video transcript

"It is a supportive peer group at Slaughter and May and they’re people who you will turn to throughout your training contract. I send round emails to my friends at the firm with stupid questions that I don’t want to ask my supervisor and, you know, they will quite often be things that someone else will have done or an experience that someone else will have had and people tend to be very helpful about giving you a helping hand if they’ve been in that position before. And I think that’s why the peer group works so well here because generally someone else has had the experience that you’ve had before and they’re willing to help you through it if you find yourself stuck. So it is a very supportive group."

 
 

Eysha Sethi

Eysha studied Philosophy at UCL. She joined the firm in September 2011. She is currently in the third seat of her training contract, working in our Real Estate group.

Video transcript

"There really isn’t a competitive atmosphere at Slaughter and May: you’ll find that your peers and your fellow trainees are your closest friends. And there are a few reasons for that: you will all study together before you join the firm and you make very close friendships and, what happens here is that, rather than there be competition, and you fighting for work, you work together and you very much cooperate with each other and you work as a team."

 
 

Jolyon Smith

Jolyon studied Law at Reading University. He joined the firm in September 2011. He is currently in the third seat of his training contract, and is on a six-month secondment to Auckland.

Video transcript

"So, the expectations when I turned up at the firm: I was absolutely terrified and pretty daunted, I guess, on day one. But it was good because I’d met a lot of the people who were going to be my training contract intake here on the LPC and so that certainly helped. And I think that’s one of the main things that I’ve taken away from the beginning here is just that the levels of support that are provided to you as a trainee have been really good; not only from, like, the various training that we have but, also, the fact that you’re here with your friends from the LPC. And everyone throughout the building is always…knows it’s your first time in an office, and that that can be quite daunting, and, so, they really do help you out and get settled in. And I’m having quite a good time so far."

 
 

Richard Marron

Richard studied Law at Trinity College, Dublin. He joined the firm in September 2009. He qualified in September 2011 and is now working in one of our Corporate and Commercial groups.

Video transcript

"I have to say I’ve been pleasantly surprised. While it is demanding and you do work hard, it is very interesting and the people are very open, supportive and friendly. It really isn’t the big, scary, intimidating, old-school law firm that you might have expected if you were to just read the press and to listen to the stereotypes, so it’s been very welcome and refreshing in that regard."

 
 

Sarah Lee and Robert Byk

Sarah and Robert are our trainee solicitor recruitment partners. Sarah studied Law at Birmingham University and joined the firm as an associate in 1993. She became a partner in our Dispute Resolution group in 1999. Robert studied Law at Bristol University and joined the firm as a trainee in 1998. He became a partner in one of our Financing groups in 2007.

Video transcript


Sarah:
"I think what stands out for me about the firm’s culture is that it’s very cohesive, very collaborative. Everybody’s striving to achieve the same thing and that makes it a really comfortable place in which to work."

Robert:
"Building on from that, we don’t have things like hourly targets for people, so what we are trying to do is genuinely to do the best job we can for the client. If you have a question, if you want to discuss something, if there’s an interesting area, people will be available to discuss that. So I think the culture is very, very open. You can walk into anybody’s office, ask any questions you like and people will be willing and interested in discussing with you."

 
 

Anant Prakash

Anant studied History at Warwick University. He joined the firm in September 2009. He qualified in September 2011 and is now working in one of our Corporate and Commercial groups.

Video transcript

"I’ve found it to be a very friendly firm, people really do look out for you. They look out to try to ensure that you are well looked after and there’s a lot of support for you in everything you do. Whether it’s in the work side or if it’s the social side, or if it’s pastoral care… there are people to ensure that you are happy and well trained as well. And those things I think have made it a very good experience for me."

 
 

Siobhán Allen

Siobhán studied Law at Trinity College, Dublin. She joined the firm in September 2009. She qualified in September 2011 and is now working in our Dispute Resolution group.

Video transcript

"The culture of the firm works into the ethos of the firm, in that it…obviously there’s no compromise on intellectual ability or your work performance standard. Having said that, there’s still a very... there’s a system of values that people seem to follow whereby no matter how stressed the situation, no matter how time-pressured the situation, nobody ever compromises on their interpersonal relationships with people - everybody is still completely pleasant to work with.

On at least two occasions that I can think of off the top of my head, I’ve had a partner either come into my room or phone me to check that I’m OK, to check that I’m managing my workload and to see if there’s anything they can do to help me out. So to feel that you have that support behind you makes the job an awful lot easier."

 
 

Afi Narh-Saam

Afi studied law at Cambridge University. She joined the firm in March 2009. She qualified in March 2011 and is now working in one of our Financing groups.

Video transcript

"People think that because it’s a Magic Circle law firm it’s going to be quite stuck up and it’s going to be posh, but I got in, so clearly it’s not that posh [laughs]. Obviously people work hard and you can’t be good at what you do at Slaughter and May without working hard at it. But it’s a nice balance between work and play and just, you know, feeling like you are learning on the job as well and that it’s not a massive hole that’s just going to suck you in once you start."

 
 

Giles Lock

Giles studied International Relations and Management at St Andrews University. Before joining Slaughter and May in September 2007, he worked in fund management. He qualified in September 2009 and is now working in one of our Corporate and Commercial groups.

Video transcript

"You can work long hours but it comes in fits and spurts. When you are working hard and working late you do know there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it will swing around the other way. There is no concept of face time necessarily, so you do not have to stay at your desk to be seen to be there."

 
 
Back to top

VOLUNTEERING

Our volunteering work and charitable giving are integral to the way we interact with the wider community. You may take an active role but there is no pressure to do so.

Samyuktha Rajagopal

Samyuktha studied Sociology at the University of Madras followed by an MSc in Development Studies at the London School of Economics. She joined the firm in September 2010. She qualified in September this year and is now working in one of our Financing groups.

Video transcript

"At Slaughters, we get to do either legal volunteering or non-legal volunteering and I’ve tried to do a bit of both just to see what’s on offer. On the legal side, I volunteer at the Islington Law Centre, which is a once-a-month commitment where you go to a free legal advice clinic and work directly with a client whose case you listen to and see what sort of advice you can give. It’s really useful because you’re getting skills out of the process which you could use in your day job, as well as you’re interviewing and advising. It’s also really enjoyable because you get to meet new people across the firm and you get to work on things that you wouldn’t see on a day-to-day basis in a City firm. On the non-legal side, I’ve done ad hoc volunteering like a street collection for the Greater London Fund for the Blind, and I’ve worked on a project called "Lawyers in Schools", where you go to a school and teach GCSE students about a certain legal topic like Consumer law or Employment law for an hour."

 
 

Jolyon Smith

Jolyon studied Law at Reading University. He joined the firm in September 2011. He is currently in the third seat of his training contract, and is on a six-month secondment to Auckland.

Video transcript

"Ok. So, I’ve got involved in sports coaching here, helping out with our primary school partners, which are local primary schools around the area, and actually spent a day doing some sports coaching at the Honourable Artillery Company sports ground across the road from here at Bunhill Row. And that involved supervising ninety children for an entire day from two different primary schools and we ended up playing lots of different sports and doing various different activities."

 
 

Thomas Williams

Thomas studied Law at Sheffield University. He joined the firm in September 2010. As part of his fourth seat, Thomas was seconded to Stockholm for six months. He qualified in September this year and is now working in one of our Corporate and Commercial groups.

Video transcript

"I’m currently sitting in Dispute Resolution, and my supervisor is very keen on pro bono work. She likes to take on cases that are a bit different to the normal Slaughter and May work, so I get to help her with these cases. At the moment we’re representing a couple of Jamaican guys who’ve been convicted of murder in Jamaica, who then appealed to Privy... sorry... the Court of Appeal in Jamaica, and are now doing their final appeal to the London Privy Council, and we’re representing them in this appeal. It’s totally different to what we usually do day-to-day at Slaughter and May. I think it’s helped me gain extra skills, so I’m happy to work on it and I find it very interesting."

 
 

Richard Marron

Richard studied Law at Trinity College, Dublin. He joined the firm in September 2009. He qualified in September this year and is now working in one of our Corporate and Commercial groups.

Video transcript

"I’m involved in the ‘Lawyers and Schools’ programme, which involves a number of lawyers from the firm going into a local boys’ school and holding workshops, loosely based on legal issues that might be relevant to the students. So, recent examples have included intellectual property law in the context of internet downloads and also employment law to the extent that it might relate to the students in their work experience schemes or part-time jobs. While we try to give the students something of an understanding of the law in each area, it’s really as much about promoting discussion and debate among students. It also gives them a chance to consider topics that they would not otherwise cover as part of their curriculum and they can engage with us as lawyers and people that perhaps they wouldn’t normally get to interact with. It’s very interesting, it’s quite good fun. I think it’s quite rewarding to see the students start a session having no idea about the subject matter and then an hour later you have them discussing, debating and arguing, getting their point of view across."

 
 

Afi Narh-Saam

Afi studied law at Cambridge University. She joined the firm in March 2009. She qualified in March 2011 and is now working in one of our Financing groups.

Video transcript

"In addition to the Law Centre work I do, I’ve also signed up for ACDiversity, which is a mentoring programme for African-Caribbean students. So it ranges from ages thirteen to fourteen, to eighteen, and the aim of the scheme is obviously to provide support for students that are perhaps under-achieving in schools but are themselves very bright students, high achievers, and all they need is a positive support network to help them achieve their goals and their dreams. Obviously I’m not claiming to be a role model, far from it, [laughs] but it’s quite… I feel like it’s important to be able to support someone realise their dreams and goals."

 
 

Anant Prakash

Anant studied History at Warwick University. He joined the firm in September 2009. He qualified in September 2011 and is now working in one of our Corporate and Commercial groups.

Video transcript

"There are a massive amount of pro bono activities that people get involved with and they can be legal and non-legal. From the non-legal side people, for example, go and spend time reading to primary school kids and helping them improve their reading. But on the other side you’ve got legal opportunities where people go to law centres and speak to people about real issues; about real problems that they’re facing, and try and help them out and provide them with legal advice. People from all backgrounds in the firm get involved."

 
 

Rebecca Lee

Rebecca studied Law at Manchester University. She joined Slaughter and May in March 2008. She qualified in March 2010 and is now working in one of our Financing groups.

Video transcript

"I currently volunteer on the literacy scheme which the firm runs. We go one lunchtime each week to read with one of the children at the local primary school. It's very rewarding because the little boy I read with, who is six, is not a very strong reader. It's great when from one week to the next you can see him remembering words that you've taught him the week before - it's a really lovely thing to do."

 
 
Back to top

APPLICATION PROCESS

We believe that the qualities we are looking for in our trainees are best assessed through an interview.

Eysha Sethi

Eysha studied Philosophy at UCL. She joined the firm in September 2011. She is currently in the third seat of her training contract, working in our Real Estate group.

Video transcript

"My interview was very frank and very full and I felt that the interviewers really got to know me, as a person. I think one of the key things that the interviewer is looking for is your ability to, on the one hand, be able to argue your point, and, you do that when you can support your point, when you can justify it and, in that case, you have to fight your corner. But the interviewer is also looking for, on the other hand, whether or not you have the sensibility to be able to concede when you can’t support your argument anymore. And that’s a key skill of a lawyer because you have to fight your corner for your client when you know you can and you know you should. But you mustn’t do that if you’re out of your depth. That’s when you…you have to have the sensitivity to know when to stop."

 
 

Richard Marron

Richard studied Law at Trinity College, Dublin. He joined the firm in September 2009. He qualified in September 2011 and is now working in one of our Corporate and Commercial groups.

Video transcript

"I think the application process here is very refreshing and straightforward when compared with other firms. It’s really just a cover letter and cv. There’s less of a focus on specific questions and application forms and it’s really left to you to present your best case as to why you should be interviewed or why you would be a good candidate to work here."

 
 

Jolyon Smith

Jolyon studied Law at Reading University. He joined the firm in September 2011. He is currently in the third seat of his training contract, and is on a six-month secondment to Auckland.

Video transcript

"Well, the two biggest tips I would give would…be yourself but, definitely, you’ve got to back yourself when you go into the room because the partners here will challenge you and it’s good to show your opinion, be able to give reasons for your opinion."

 
 

Thomas Williams

Thomas studied Law at Sheffield University. He joined the firm in September 2010. As part of his fourth seat, Thomas was seconded to Stockholm for six months. He qualified in September this year and is now working in one of our Corporate and Commercial groups.

Video transcript

"My interview here… I was excited to have got the interview, but I must admit to being a little bit nervous - you’re sitting there with two partners without anywhere to hide. I arrived here and I was greeted by some friendly staff and I kind of relaxed a little bit, had a coffee - which was maybe not the best idea. So I went in nervous but I soon relaxed because you could tell the partners wanted me to be at ease - they wanted me to show the best, the best that I had to give, so I was relaxed. It was in a formal setting with two partners obviously but it was a nice atmosphere and I felt like I was being tested, but not in an aggressive manner, they were just sort of picking at me, trying to find out how my brain worked and whether I’d be suitable to work here. The questions they asked me were quite random actually and they sort of went off on tangents as and when they decided to, just to see I think, how I could formulate answers and how I could defend answers and how I could form reasoned opinions. I think that’s what they’re looking for; someone who can just think on their feet a little bit, form an answer and then be able to defend it without crumbling under… I wouldn’t say huge pressure but some intense questioning."

 
 

Samyuktha Rajagopal

Samyuktha studied Sociology at the University of Madras followed by an MSc in Development Studies at the London School of Economics. She joined the firm in September 2010. She qualified in September this year and is now working in one of our Financing groups.

Video transcript

"My interview process worked a bit differently because I was overseas at the time I interviewed, so my first interview was in the US by video link and it was around the time of the primaries for the US elections where Obama was elected.  We spent a lot of time talking about politics and community work that was on my cv - it was about an hour long. It was a bit strange being on video but I guess it went well because I came back into the London office for a chat, for my second interview, which was really just more of a chat where I got to ask lots of questions. It was just enjoyable, I think, as opposed to a lot of other interviews. You’re always a bit nervous before an interview, but the process is set out in a way where you can actually ask a lot of questions and it’s a little more friendly, which is really nice when you’re nervous."

 
 

Sarah Lee and Robert Byk

Sarah and Robert are our trainee solicitor recruitment partners. Sarah studied Law at Birmingham University and joined the firm as an associate in 1993. She became a partner in our Dispute Resolution group in 1999. Robert studied Law at Bristol University and joined the firm as a trainee in 1998. He became a partner in one of our Financing groups in 2007.

Video transcript


Sarah:
"What we’re looking for when we’re asking our questions is for the people who can give clear, structured, focused answers. Communication is a key skill in what we’re looking for. So, what we’re looking for are people who can be very focused and very precise in the way in which they present themselves and how they articulate why they want to come to Slaughter and May and why they want to be a lawyer."

Robert:
"And I think in an interview you shouldn’t be scared of, you know, some pause before you answer questions. You can take some time to formulate the points that you want to make and think about how you are going to put them. Equally, there’s no need to give all the information you have in your mind just in one answer. We do sometimes find interviews where the applicant is so desperate to give us information that actually they’re not really focusing on what we’re asking them. And that’s the key: focus on what’s being asked - give clear, interesting answers to that."

Sarah:
"And be yourself, I think that’s important. We’re looking for people who… we want to know who you are and we are genuinely interested in you as an individual. I think it’s very much about being yourself and being honest about who you are."

Robert:
"And I think the important thing as well is, you know, an interview is as much us finding out about you but it’s also you finding out about us. You know, would you think that you would fit here in terms of working in this firm? You want to find out what the firm is like, how we operate. You have a fairly short period of time to do that, but it’s a very important part of the process for you to find out about us."

 
 

Anant Prakash

Anant studied History at Warwick University. He joined the firm in September 2009. He qualified in September 2011 and is now working in one of our Corporate and Commercial groups.

Video transcript

"I would say firstly, just be yourself because there is no Slaughter and May type. And if you’re someone who will fit in well at the firm - if you are intelligent and ambitious and willing to work hard - but also want to be in an environment where you’ll be trained very well and be treated with respect and in a very collegiate, friendly atmosphere, then apply."

 
 

Siobhán Allen

Siobhán studied Law at Trinity College, Dublin. She joined the firm in September 2009. She qualified in September 2011 and is now working in our Dispute Resolution group.

Video transcript

"I really don’t think any of the general interview spiel would get you anywhere. The words that you usually think an interviewer wants to hear and the phrases that they want to hear from you, a partner here is going to see through that in two seconds.

The interview was actually a far more pleasant experience than I expected - because you expect an interview to be absolutely terrifying and to really put you on the spot. But again, the interview really felt like they were just trying to get to know me and, where questions made me feel a bit uncomfortable, I got the sense that they were asking those questions more to find out how I would react to those questions and how I would react to pressure; rather than very strict commercial knowledge questions that they want you to actually know the answer to."

 
 
Back to top

WORK

The calibre of our clients and the transactions they bring us lead to complex and often challenging work for our trainees.

Jolyon Smith

Jolyon studied Law at Reading University. He joined the firm in September 2011. He is currently in the third seat of his training contract, and is on a six-month secondment to Auckland.

Video transcript

"One of the most interesting transactions that I’ve worked on was in the dispute resolution department where there was a potential fraud and, one of the first things that got me into law, was the idea of just going to a courtroom and seeing barristers argue and solicitors helping advise them. And it was really good to see the entire legal process, from start to finish, and being instructed by our solicitors and seeing the barristers arguing the case in front of the judge. And, as a trainee, getting that experience down at the High Court was fantastic and something that I’d always wanted to be involved in."

 
 

Vassilena Karadakova

Vassilena studied Law at Cambridge University. She completed our summer work experience scheme in 2007 and joined the firm in September 2010. As part of her first seat, Vassilena was seconded to our Brussels office for three months and, as part of her fourth seat, she was seconded to New York for six months. She qualified in September this year and is now working in our Competition group.

Video transcript

"During my time in Competition, I was involved in a number of large transactions by multi-national clients which had to go through the European Merger Regulation procedure. My role involved drafting the initial competition analyses for the various different member states where the products were being sold. It was great to be given so much responsibility so early on in my training contract. During my time in Brussels, I was involved in a number of large abuse of dominance and cartel activity investigations, where I was doing pieces of research which were subsequently incorporated into notes of advice sent to the client and into submissions made to the European Commission. One of these investigations particularly was unfolding in the press as I was working on it, so it was very exciting to be involved."

 
 

Kurt Ma

Kurt studied English and Law at Cambridge University. He joined the firm in September 2009. Kurt completed a six-month secondment to New York in the 4th seat of his training contract. He qualified in September 2011 and is now working in one of our Corporate and Commercial groups.

Video transcript

"In terms of work, I’ve been working on a tender offer for a US-listed company. That pretty much involves running with the disclosure exercise and the diligence process, producing the ancillary documents for filing. I’ve also drafted press releases and adverts for publication and I have printed proof of an advert for the Wall Street Journal, which I’m keeping as a souvenir."

 
 

Eysha Sethi

Eysha studied Philosophy at UCL. She joined the firm in September 2011. She is currently in the third seat of her training contract, working in our Real Estate group.

Video transcript

"One of the most exciting aspects of the work we do here is that you will read about it in the newspapers: it is incredibly high profile, and that is very exciting."

 
 

Samyuktha Rajagopal

Samyuktha studied Sociology at the University of Madras followed by an MSc in Development Studies at the London School of Economics. She joined the firm in September 2010. She qualified in September this year and is now working in one of our Financing groups.

Video transcript

"I worked on a high yield bond issue for a construction company. It sounds quite dull, but it was actually really interesting because a lot of the work on it was research on the housing market between 2006 and 2010, which was quite an interesting time both for the financial markets generally and for the housing market in particular. I got to work on sections of the prospectus document for that project. I also got to work on the initial bits of the takeover, which was really interesting because you have to compile information from publicly available sources on a takeover target, which is - it’s a bit of a game of really piecing information together and putting information together from just what’s out there, which I find really interesting."

 
 

Sarah Lee and Robert Byk

Sarah and Robert are our trainee solicitor recruitment partners. Sarah studied Law at Birmingham University and joined the firm as an associate in 1993. She became a partner in our Dispute Resolution group in 1999. Robert studied Law at Bristol University and joined the firm as a trainee in 1998. He became a partner in one of our Financing groups in 2007.

Video transcript


Sarah:
"Well, we’re really fortunate in the firm in that we have a most amazing client list of multi-nationals… financial institutions, so we’ve got a corporate angle to all the work we do. But within that, there isn’t really any run-of-the-mill type of work that we do. A lot of what we do is hugely innovative, new, developing areas of law and transactions, so it’s just really interesting work."

Robert:
"I think a lot of it is also front page news. That in itself is not a reason to do it, but it makes it interesting and exciting. And Sarah’s right, people come to us for complex, difficult transactions where a lot of the thinking is completely new. And so, occasionally, we’re starting with a blank sheet of paper and kind of writing the rules on whatever protection scheme, or whatever it might be; and that makes it very interesting, very varied."

 
 

Thomas Williams

Thomas studied Law at Sheffield University. He joined the firm in September 2010. As part of his fourth seat, Thomas was seconded to Stockholm for six months. He qualified in September this year and is now working in one of our Corporate and Commercial groups.

Video transcript

"The most interesting deal I worked on was probably in my first seat - I was in a corporate seat. One of the partners sort of dreamed up a new way of doing mergers, using these regulations that I don’t think had ever been used before. So, as a trainee, there was a lot of research going on, a lot of questions to be answered. We felt quite involved from the start and we felt like we were doing something a bit different that hadn’t been done before. It was quite a long process - it took about four months and so I was involved all the way through and it took up all of my time in that seat. I think there’s something to be gained from that because you feel part of the team and you feel like you can add something because you understand what’s going on."

 
 

Richard Marron

Richard studied Law at Trinity College, Dublin. He joined the firm in September 2009. He qualified in September 2011 and is now working in one of our Corporate and Commercial groups.

Video transcript

"One particularly interesting transaction I was involved in was working for an Asset Management client who was buying another business in the Asset Management sector. I was involved from start to finish; from due diligence in the early stages to drafting lots of the main sections of the transaction document, right up to attending board meetings at the very end to finally approve the transaction and sign off on everything. It was very interesting as a trainee because I saw the transaction go from really just a possibility that a client was vaguely considering right through to completion when the deal had been done and our client had a brand new business that had to start and set off about integrating into its own business and moving forward with that. So it was very beneficial to see something go from start to finish in that way."

 
 

Afi Narh-Saam

Afi studied law at Cambridge University. She joined the firm in March 2009. She qualified in March 2011 and is now working in one of our Financing groups.

Video transcript

"I think the highlight of my training was seeing one of the deals I worked on in the FT – this was a GlaxoSmithKline deal. Seeing it in the FT was such a buzz, and you actually feel like what you do matters because it’s right there in print. I remember my friend, one of the trainees I was working on it with, emailed me to say 'Yeah, we are in the FT, our names might not be in there but we are still in the FT!' [laughs]. I thought that was just great, and I can see why people get such a buzz from working on big deals because it’s there, and everyone else can see it and you feel like what you are doing would actually, you know, matter to a corporation. So yeah… it’s good."

 
 

Siobhán Allen

Siobhán studied Law at Trinity College, Dublin. She joined the firm in September 2009. She qualified in September 2011 and is now working in our Dispute Resolution group.

Video transcript

"I’ve actually had a really diverse range of work, which I think I’ve been really lucky with. I was in Competition for my first six months. Well, you do two three-month seats with two different supervisors, so I was involved in two completely different things. First, I worked on a merger that was being notified in Europe - so actually looking at how that’s affecting the markets across every country in Europe - that was a really big deal and really interesting to work on. Then my second three months was on something completely different, where we were responding to a government consultation. I was given the task of writing the firm’s response, our submission on behalf of the client, in response to that government consultation. So they were two completely different pieces of work, but within the same department. I’ve had a really wide range of work, which has been really interesting for me."

 
 
Back to top

INTERNATIONAL

The international nature of our practice means that our trainees and associates have the opportunity to work abroad.

Vassilena Karadakova

Vassilena studied Law at Cambridge University. She completed our summer work experience scheme in 2007 and joined the firm in September 2010. As part of her first seat, Vassilena was seconded to our Brussels office for three months and, as part of her fourth seat, she was seconded to New York for six months. She qualified in September this year and is now working in our Competition group.

Video transcript

"It was great to have the opportunity to work in a different environment and in a different jurisdiction so early on in my career. The work that I did in Brussels was all very high profile and very challenging and it was great to be in Brussels and among all of the European institutions which play such a vital role in the competition process."

 
 

Sarah Lee and Robert Byk

Sarah and Robert are our trainee solicitor recruitment partners. Sarah studied Law at Birmingham University and joined the firm as an associate in 1993. She became a partner in our Dispute Resolution group in 1999. Robert studied Law at Bristol University and joined the firm as a trainee in 1998. He became a partner in one of our Financing groups in 2007.

Video transcript


Robert:
"Well, our international strategy is focused on getting the best advice for clients that we can, and we think that instead of opening up our own individual offices overseas, the best thing is to partner and get to know local firms who have the best lawyers in the transactions that we need, and use those lawyers. So, for instance, in a single jurisdiction, although we will probably have one main best friend, there will be a number of different firms that we use depending upon the transaction. Again, it’s all client-focused. If our clients have a relationship with a firm in a local jurisdiction, then we will use that firm. We don’t have to say, ‘You must use our firm or our office’, so we’ll use the firm they have a relationship with or use the lawyers that are best suited and best able to do that transaction."

Sarah:
"And the advantage of it… of the best friends approach for our trainees is that it gives them the opportunity to go and spend time on secondment in the leading law firms in those particular jurisdictions. So they’re getting similar quality, high-profile work to train on as they would have if they stayed in the London office throughout their training contract."

Robert:
"And I think the other point is, you’re also… genuinely working in a leading firm in that jurisdiction but a local firm as well. So instead of being in Slaughter and May in Paris or in Italy or wherever it might be, you are working with a local Italian law firm, experiencing a completely different culture and way of doing things. And for me, when I was in Rome and when I was in Milan, it meant that I could experience a smaller firm, different ways of doing things and I think it rounded my experience a lot better."

 
 

Anant Prakash

Anant studied History at Warwick University. He joined the firm in September 2009. He qualified in September 2011 and is now working in one of our Corporate and Commercial groups.

Video transcript

"The 'best friends' set-up in my mind is one thing that really distinguishes Slaughter and May from everybody else in the City, or most other firms in the City. We work with the very best lawyers from other countries around the world and this has many advantages. We ensure that we get the best legal advice, no matter which jurisdiction we’re talking about. Secondly, I think this has great opportunities for those people going on secondment because you go and work in a different law firm, in a different country where you can get a very different type of experience as well."

 
 

Siobhán Allen

Siobhán studied Law at Trinity College, Dublin. She joined the firm in September 2009. She qualified in September 2011 and is now working in our Dispute Resolution group.

Video transcript

"Nearly all of the deals that I’ve worked on have had some international element. In Competition there’s obviously a very European element to everything and our Competition department has a department in Brussels, that we consider… the two make one department and we work with them all the time. The first deal that I was on was a notification to the European Commission, so you’re investigating the effects on the market through every country across Europe, and working with client teams in all of those countries across Europe. More recently, the IPO that I was working on in Corporate was based in Estonia, so we had two teams of Estonian lawyers that we worked with every day and when a legal issue would arise, you’d work with the Estonian lawyers to see what’s the Estonian aspect to this, what’s the English aspect to this, and you come together. My supervisor was going to Estonia once a week for drafting meetings to work with the lawyers collaboratively. So, yeah, it’s a very collaborative process with international lawyers."

 
 

Robert Johal

Robert studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University. He joined Slaughter and May in March 2008. He qualified in March 2010 and is now working in one of our Corporate and Commercial groups.

Video transcript

"For deals with an international aspect, we have relationships with firms all over the world in every major jurisdiction: we can pick up the phone, give them a call and because there's that relationship there, and people have done deals in the past, it's very easy - there isn't a barrier of having to work out whether they going to be receptive to our problem. We get access to the best quality advice in each jurisdiction and we are working with the top law firms wherever that might be."

 
 
Back to top

PEOPLE

The diversity of our lawyers helps to create an open-minded and varied environment where individuals can flourish and realise their ambitions.

Anant Prakash

Anant studied History at Warwick University. He joined the firm in September 2009. He qualified in September 2011 and is now working in one of our Corporate and Commercial groups.

Video transcript

"I think there’s one element that really binds the people at Slaughter and May, and that is an intellectual curiosity. People are very inquisitive about what they do. They do genuinely care about the work, and I think that shows in the way people approach the work."

 
 

Eysha Sethi

Eysha studied Philosophy at UCL. She joined the firm in September 2011. She is currently in the third seat of her training contract, working in our Real Estate group.

Video transcript

"We really celebrate diversity here: there are several diversity groups that cater to different kinds of diversity. And, what I mean by that is that we have, for instance, a diversity group dedicated to racial and ethnic diversity; we have a Muslim network; we have a Christian network; we have a Jewish network; and, these various networks and committees are run by trainees and associates non-fee earners and it’s a chance for them to get together to organise events that are very exciting and that are open to everybody. And everyone in the firm really enjoys that and really enjoys taking part."

 
 

Samyuktha Rajagopal

Samyuktha studied Sociology at the University of Madras followed by an MSc in Development Studies at the London School of Economics. She joined the firm in September 2010. She qualified in September this year and is now working in one of our Financing groups.

Video transcript

"Working here is incredible because you get to meet people from lots of different places. I’m from India, I have colleagues who are from Nigeria and Canada or Singapore, who’ve grown up in different places and who’ve had very different experiences culturally or educationally. And even from within the UK, you have people who’ve grown up in different places, who’ve lived abroad, done very different things before they’ve become lawyers. So, in that sense, it’s incredibly diverse and I think that makes for a great working environment, because people have different experiences and that comes through in how you work, the sort of experiences you have and what you’re interested in doing."

 
 

Sarah Lee and Robert Byk

Sarah and Robert are our trainee solicitor recruitment partners. Sarah studied Law at Birmingham University and joined the firm as an associate in 1993. She became a partner in our Dispute Resolution group in 1999. Robert studied Law at Bristol University and joined the firm as a trainee in 1998. He became a partner in one of our Financing groups in 2007.

Video transcript


Robert:
"Well, first and foremost we’re looking for people who will be able very well to think outside the box, be innovative and think about difficult situations. So we’re looking for intellectual ability but aligned with that we’re looking for, you know, individuality - characteristics which make people interesting, able to work easily with other people, work in teams, and just have that ability to think round a subject, and to think carefully and innovatively about a subject."

Sarah:
"I think that’s absolutely right because what we want are people who can understand the client’s problems, see what solutions they can come up with and deliver the solution to the client. So being clever is obviously the starting point but actually having lots of common sense, lots of practical ability, lots of focus, and actually getting the job done is what we’re looking for; and that can come in many different packages. There isn’t just one particular type of trainee that we’re looking for - we’re looking for people who have the whole range of skills, and they come in very different packages."

 
 

Siobhán Allen

Siobhán studied Law at Trinity College, Dublin. She joined the firm in September 2009. She qualified in September 2011 and is now working in our Dispute Resolution group.

Video transcript

"I thought being such a successful firm, such a well-known firm, I expected it to be a lot more intimidating and the mood to be quite serious and sombre and… just quite scary… and it hasn’t been at all. People are so pleasant and so much more relaxed than I ever expected they would be and the general atmosphere in the firm is so friendly - it’s been a pleasant surprise."

 
 

Rebecca Lee

Rebecca studied Law at Manchester University. She joined Slaughter and May in March 2008. She qualified in March 2010 and is now working in one of our Financing groups.

Video transcript

"I think the biggest misconception that people at undergraduate level or people applying for training contracts might have is that it's very Oxbridge biased and obviously that's not true because I went to Manchester. There's such a big mix of trainees from different universities and many people who come from other careers and lots of other backgrounds - so it's a very mixed trainee group."

 
 
Back to top

THE SOCIAL SIDE

Even before starting your training contract you will have plenty of opportunities to meet other trainees, both future and present.

Richard Marron

Richard studied Law at Trinity College, Dublin. He joined the firm in September 2009. He qualified in September 2011 and is now working in one of our Corporate and Commercial groups.

Video transcript

"There are a lot of organised social events: there’s a Trainee Solicitors Committee that regularly organises social outings. Lots of the groups have drinks, receptions and summer parties and we’ve got our annual ball in the Grosvenor House hotel every November, so there are lots of organised social activities. And then, generally speaking, for example, the trainees will hang around together and will have lunch or maybe go for a few drinks on a Friday, so overall it’s a very social place to work in."

 
 

Thomas Williams

Thomas studied Law at Sheffield University. He joined the firm in September 2010. As part of his fourth seat, Thomas was seconded to Stockholm for six months. He qualified in September this year and is now working in one of our Corporate and Commercial groups.

Video transcript

"Well, I’m a member of the Trainee Solicitors’ Committee and it’s our job to organise events for the trainees. So we get a nice budget from the partners each year to spend as we wish and we organise events solely for trainees, which is a good way for people to get to know other trainees they might not work with. So this year, we’re currently doing our summer party - we’re doing  a ‘speakeasy’ theme and we’ve rented a bar and we’ve got a jazz band. Our previous event was a bowling event, so we try to do things that include everyone. People can just come along and chill out and relax, wear their casual clothes, get out of their suits and do something different."

 
 

Anant Prakash

Anant studied History at Warwick University. He joined the firm in September 2009. He qualified in September 2011 and is now working in one of our Corporate and Commercial groups.

Video transcript

"I am a member of the Slaughter and May cricket team, which means that almost every week we play other law firms round the City. We’re also planning to go on a cricket tour next week to play a few local teams, which I’m really looking forward to. Besides that I’m very fond of singing, and I was very fond of singing while at university. So I joined the Slaughter and May choir just before Christmas and we sang in a lovely service in Lothbury Church, and it was really nice because there were people from different parts of the firm… partners, associates and trainees, or support staff as well."

 
 

Afi Narh-Saam

Afi studied law at Cambridge University. She joined the firm in March 2009. She qualified in March 2011 and is now working in one of our Financing groups.

Video transcript

"I’m a member of the Trainee Solicitors Committee. So how the committee works is, in every intake when you come in, two people are elected by their peers in that intake to be on the committee and you serve on the committee for the rest of your training contract. So you’ll be on it for two years and… the Trainee Solicitors Committee, TSE, would be responsible for planning big social activities. So we have a March event for the March intake. We also have a summer party, which is our biggest event, and then we also have a September event for the September intake. In between all of that you also have group summer parties, so whatever group you are sitting in would have a summer party and then you also have group drinks, and those are very ad hoc."

 
 

Rebecca Lee

Rebecca studied Law at Manchester University. She joined Slaughter and May in March 2008. She qualified in March 2010 and is now working in one of our Financing groups.

Video transcript

"The firm has the Grosvenor House party each November for the whole firm - it's a really unusual thing. Hardly any other firms do this. All the partners, associates, trainees, support staff, everybody, plus a guest is invited and it's lovely. It's a really great event."

 
 
Back to top
 

This content requires Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash Player

 

Training contract applications

 

Law student applications for our 2016 intake open on 02 June 2014.

 

Ocado's agreement with Morrisons

 

Thomas French talks about his involvement in Ocado's agreement with Morrisons.

 

The Social Side

 

Even before starting your training contract you will have plenty of opportunities to meet other trainees, both future and present.