Sarah: "Well, we’re really fortunate in the firm in that we have a most amazing client list of multi-nationals… financial institutions, so all the work that we do has got a corporate it. 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."
"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."
"I’ve actually had a really diverse range of work – which I think I’ve been really lucky. 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. Firstly, 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."
"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. 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."
"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 generally 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."
"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."
"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."