Finding the right firm at which to begin my legal career was initially a daunting task. They all sounded very similar on paper, and I felt as though I was hearing the same messages over and over again. It was only when I started to experience firms from the inside, by attending vacation schemes and open days, and hearing first hand from lawyers who worked there, that I was able to pin down exactly what I was (and was not) looking for. I chose Hogan Lovells because it seemed to combine top quality work and a market-leading practice (especially in litigation, which is where I wanted to qualify) with a very welcoming and inclusive culture – and I have not been disappointed.
Broadly speaking, my practice is exactly what it says on the tin – any dispute or regulatory investigation with a financial services aspect. More often than not the client is a financial institution, such as a bank or a fund, but I have also acted for other corporates. My experience to date includes among other things contractual disputes, claims for fraud and recovery of assets, and regulatory investigations. The most enjoyable moment of my career so far was when my first case went to trial. While the majority of cases settle before that point, trial is the culmination of everything that we do as litigators to prepare the best case for our client, and it can be very rewarding to see the hard work pay off in court.
My work often involves, to a greater or lesser extent, issues of foreign law or procedure. This can be because the client is based abroad, or because English law does not govern the dispute, or because there are claims or investigations proceeding overseas. At the moment I am working very closely with colleagues in a number of our overseas offices on a multi-jurisdictional investigation, which reinforces to me on a daily basis that I am part of a truly international firm.
One thing that I value about Hogan Lovells in general, and my team in particular, is the support that I receive from colleagues at all levels, and especially from partners. While I am constantly challenged and encouraged to push myself to the next level, there is always a network of people from whom I can seek advice – not only because they are market leaders in their fields, but also because they are genuinely interested in my continuing development as a lawyer. I try not to take that for granted, and I endeavour to offer the same support to others, especially now that I am a trainee supervisor.
If I could give one piece of advice to someone who is applying for a vacation scheme or a training contract, it would be to look for a firm that is committed to investing in your development – not only because it is integral to delivering the best service to clients, but because it will bring out the best in you.