One of the most rewarding experiences as a lawyer is helping clients achieve their business goals. At Hogan Lovells, trainees get the opportunity to work closely with different clients and develop a good understanding of various industries. At the same time, trainees get to build valuable client relationships at an early stage of their careers.
Before becoming a lawyer, I spent over a year working in air traffic control operations. By chance, a strong aviation theme emerged halfway during my training contract. In my first seat, I worked on two major aviation disputes – one was among the highest value cartel damages claim brought in Europe, and the other related to a claim brought by an aerodrome service provider against an airline for failure to pay aerodrome charges imposed by statute. In my second seat, I worked on numerous asset finance transactions relating to aircraft and ships. Having a grasp of the industry jargon gave me an edge when communicating with experts and drafting technical advice.
A highlight of my trainee life was a six-month secondment to our Hong Kong office where I did commercial litigation work. I was involved in a number of large and complex disputes, including defending a claim (in the region of HK$1 billion) based on allegations of fraud related to commodities trading. The disputes were interesting as they were often high-profile and involved novel legal issues. In hindsight, the exposure was great and certainly added colour to my profile as an international disputes lawyer.
Discovering the history of different cities and cultures has always been a big draw for me. The secondment was therefore a fantastic opportunity for me to live in a new city and immerse in its working environment. As many of our clients are based globally, the ability to work seamlessly with our international colleagues is essential. It enables us to provide our clients with a global coverage and execute work streams across multiple jurisdictions.
To me, collaboration and ambition are equal parts that are entrenched in our identities at Hogan Lovells. More importantly, the firm provides ample opportunity for career and personal development. I am glad to have started my career at Hogan Lovells.