Matt Coleman

Associate

  • Degree: Arabic and Spanish, Cambridge
  • Joined: Feb 2016
  • Practice Area: International Arbitration (Paris)
  • Office: London
  • Favourite destination: Beirut

Matt Coleman's journey

My parents live in Chicago, and the idea of working in a firm with such a strong presence in both the US and London really appealed to me. I wanted to work at a top tier firm, at the top of my industry, which is why I chose Hogan Lovells.

My studies at law school were hugely relevant to a Corporate seat and, when I started here, I had a good understanding of the academic theory underpinning the law. I’d never had to put that theory to the test though. Now I have a far better grasp of the practical application of everything that I learned on my GDL and LPC. New things pop up every day, whether obscure sections of the Companies Act or thinking about directors’ fiduciary duties. I’m always impressed by how much my supervisor knows. I work very closely with him, and he constantly helps me develop my understanding of the law.

Since I joined, I’ve worked for communications manufacturers, west African logistics companies and Russian oligarchs. I’ve discovered that every client has specific commercial needs and you must tailor your approach accordingly.

My work ethic has also improved immensely. You have to adjust your timetable to comply with someone else’s, which takes some getting used to. On top of that, I’ve learned how little I actually know compared to my senior colleagues, and that it’s important to grasp the basics before you can progress and develop professionally. No one is above any tasks here. You have to learn before you graduate to bigger pieces of work, and everything you do forms part of that experience.

I think it’s crucial to make sure the firm you’re thinking of joining is a good fit for you and vacation schemes are the best way to do that. You’ll spend a lot of time in the office, and you want to be absolutely sure you’ll be working with a group of people you get along with. Hogan Lovells is welcoming, inclusive and actively celebrates diversity.