Everyone who works here is ambitious, driven and smart, but you’ll also discover that this is a friendly place to work – a place where people are always willing to share their knowledge and insight with you.
In this section you can hear direct from some of our current trainees, associates and partners. They talk about why they chose Hogan Lovells, how their career has developed and what life is like working here.
Having been offered a training contract at Hogan Lovells in 2009, I decided to study an LLM in international business law at UCL before completing the accelerated LPC at BPP in London. The accelerated six month LPC provides students with a good foundation from which to begin their careers. Though sometimes time pressured, the course has been tailored by the City LPC Consortium to accurately reflect the work that you will be expected to undertake as a trainee solicitor.
Hogan Lovells enjoys a brilliant working environment and has a great mix of people. While there is a real energy and appetite for success in all the various teams, there is also an atmosphere that encourages trainees and junior lawyers to feel part of the team and supported in their development as a lawyer. There is an ‘open-door’ policy and, as a trainee, I always feel that I am given the opportunities to learn and improve as a lawyer.
I would definitely urge those from a non-law background, and those who have worked in other fields, to consider applying for a vacation scheme or training contract at Hogan Lovells. It is a firm that is open to diversity and the benefits that prior business experience can bring. My previous experience was valued during the selection process, and it has certainly helped me to adapt quickly to the new working environment.
My first seat was in the Corporate Finance department. I was involved in several multi-jurisdictional corporate transactions and was fortunate enough to experience completion of a large corporate transaction. I was tasked to draft key documents, such as board minutes, share transfer forms and powers of attorney. I enjoyed interacting with the client to complete the deal. It was a great experience to actually see a deal go through and to feel part of the team completing the deal.
My first seat has been in Capital Markets, where I sit with an associate in the trustee practice. The steep learning curve has been made easier by the quality of training and willingness of those more experienced to explain everything to you, meaning you can really get involved in transactions and I have been given much more responsibility than I expected.
It may sound like a cliché, but the open culture at Hogan Lovells really sets it apart from other City law firms. People are always willing to make time for you, no matter what their level of seniority.
I have been given the opportunity to run several small transactions myself which has involved a high level of client contact and I have been trusted to manage my own workflow. Alongside these projects I have been involved in a number of larger transactions where I have been supporting partners and associates throughout the department.
The highlight of my seat so far has been working on a very high-profile liquidation. On this project I have been given consistently varied and demanding work, from researching the validity of proxy forms and processing deceased creditor claims to attending the final creditors' meeting and accompanying a partner to client meetings. I have had a high level of client contact and the opportunity to work closely with partners has been a great learning experience.
I'm currently in my second seat which is in financial services, entirely different from construction and largely focussed on regulatory advice. This is a really interesting area at the moment and the on-going changes to the structure and approach to financial regulation has huge implications for the UK and globally. It's fantastic to be in one of the leading international regulatory practices at a time of so much change.
I am currently sitting in Asset Finance, which involves advising on loans and financing transactions to buy assets like airplanes and ships. Although it is my first seat, I have found that I have been able to take on quite a bit of responsibility and am treated like a member of the team, which I enjoy.
I still find the pace of change in the practice area one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of my job, though equally important are the people with whom I work. The decision as to which law firm to apply to and (hopefully) qualify at is not an easy one, but a major factor for me was the people I met at each office I visited.
Since joining I have also helped manage the rugby team and had the opportunity to take part in a variety of pro bono and charity initiatives. It is a credit to Hogan Lovells that such initiatives are accepted as part of your work.
Prompted by a desire to work with high profile clients at an international level, I researched various City firms and spoke to as many people as possible, both at firms and law fairs; my first experience of Hogan Lovells was at a university careers workshop. I subsequently completed a vacation scheme at the firm, which provided a useful insight into life as a practicing solicitor and the type of work I might be involved with.
I saw the possibility of an international secondment as a particularly appealing feature of a training contract at Hogan Lovells, and spending six months working in the corporate department in Paris did not disappoint. I found my time there to be a hugely exciting and enjoyable experience, which gave me great exposure to a wide range of high profile and very interesting client work, and a real appreciation of the truly international nature of the firm.
I joined Hogan Lovells in August 2006 as a trainee, and qualified into Real Estate two years later. Upon starting my training, I wondered how I would know by the end of two years what area to qualify into. I needn’t have worried. I sat in the Real Estate department in my second seat of training and after the fifth month I knew I had found the right area. Thanks to the quality of training and breadth of practice areas offered by Hogan Lovells, the vast majority of trainees experience similarly strong feelings about where they want to qualify.
Given that I joined an international law firm, I always knew that the work would entail an international element. However, I never envisaged that I would have the opportunity to live and work overseas as a qualified lawyer – about 18 months after qualifying I was asked to go on secondment to a client in Tokyo.
In the second year of my law degree I heard a lot about vacation schemes at various City law firms. It wasn’t easy to choose between them, but I eventually applied to the vacation scheme at the then Lovells. Having heard that it was designed to give a real insight into the firm, I spent three weeks in different departments, revelling in the opportunity to find out about day-to-day work and take part in the group exercises. What really impressed me and made Hogan Lovells stand out from the rest, was the high level of partner involvement with trainees and junior associates. I also got on well with the people I met and felt the firm’s culture suited me very well, something which I think is crucial in choosing a place to work.
I joined the firm as a trainee in 2005 and, having completed a seat there during my training contract, I qualified into the Commercial and Regulatory team. I advise clients in the consumer, communications, retail and life sciences sectors on a wide variety of commercial arrangements. My work varies from day-to-day contracts to complex strategic commercial arrangements including supply of goods and services arrangements, endorsement agreements, agency relationships and copy clearance. I work for a great deal of household names and I find it really interesting learning about how different clients run their businesses. I enjoy being involved in commercial decisions as well as advising on the strict legal issues and consequently I get to work on some very interesting and challenging projects.
I joined the then Lovells in 2008 as a senior associate in the Corporate Finance group. Prior to that, I had worked for another leading international law firm. Since joining I was made Of Counsel in 2009 and was subsequently elevated to the partnership in May 2010, on the day that Lovells merged with Hogan & Hartson. My specialist areas encompass equity capital markets, public and private acquisitions, restructurings, joint ventures and general corporate advisory work.
Having joined the then Lovells as a trainee in 1993, I qualified into the London Banking group in 1995 where I specialised in acquisition finance. Since qualification, I have spent the majority of my time advising on the financing by senior and mezzanine lenders of acquisition finance and other leveraged finance transactions. Following two years on secondment to a South African law firm, I returned to London in 2000 and, in May 2002, I was elected to the partnership. My experience of other law firms has given me an insight into their differences and, in particular, the positive influence people can have on the culture of a firm.
I joined the then Lovells as a senior associate in the international corporate practice in 2007. I was made Of Counsel in 2008 and elevated to the partnership on 1 May 2009. Prior to joining Hogan Lovells, I worked in another leading international firm.
One of the things that I like most about Hogan Lovells is that all of its lawyers from trainee and beyond are encouraged to be entrepreneurial; everyone is encouraged not only to become involved in client development plans but also to maintain and develop their own relationships with both new and existing clients.
I would encourage anybody considering a career in law to research fully the options available to them, and to what they believe will suit them best, so they stay motivated to continue to progress and achieve throughout their career. At the same time however I think it is important to have an open mind about particular practice areas because the chances are that your preferences will change over time and particularly during the early part of your career. It is important to keep doors open.