Emma Batchelor


Trainee secondment to Diageo

Since joining the firm in September 2021, I have completed seats in Corporate, Competition, Real Estate, and Pensions, Employment and Incentives, before going on secondment to Diageo. Spending the final six months of my training contract at Diageo has been a great experience, both from a personal and professional perspective.

The work

Being part of the UK and Ireland Legal / CoSec team at Diageo means I have worked on a variety of matters across general corporate, finance and ESG – everything from reviewing finance documents with relationship banks to the management and restructuring of subsidiary entities.

The breadth of work has also allowed me to work with a wide range of people from across Diageo, and who are based all around the world. Some of the highlights have included working on the de-listing of Diageo’s shares from the Dublin and Paris stock exchanges and, more recently, the year-end process, which has included organising reviews of the annual report by external counsel and working alongside the auditors to gather necessary information.

Liaising with external counsel has been a common feature throughout many of the matters I have worked on, and this has developed my understanding of the information that the client needs, something which will help improve the service I provide to clients once I return to the firm. I have also been given a higher level of responsibility, including being the point of contact for annual sanctions requirements and negotiating Non Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). Although this was daunting at first, the team at Diageo are always supportive and I hope the challenge will ease my transition to qualified associate on my return to the firm.

Outside of work

Aside from the work, I have been able to take part in a number of different events, from a cocktail masterclass to a charitable day with Cook for Good, and attend insightful panel events focused on International Women’s Day and Pride Month. A recent highlight was attending a tour of Diageo’s research and development facility, where I learned about the processes and challenges of developing products (for example, sustainable packaging and low alcohol drinks) and gained an insight into Diageo’s priorities for future developments.

Overall, completing a client secondment has been a valuable and enjoyable experience and I’d thoroughly recommend it.