Sengova Kailondo’s Journey
The work culture at Hogan Lovells is excellent - the collaborative nature of the firm means that even when working on multi-million pound transactions across 10 different offices and jurisdictions, the process is seamless. Working across borders has also been instrumental in my development as an asset finance lawyer as the more complex and interesting transactions are often cross-jurisdictional in nature – for example, we could be advising a French bank in respect of a loan to an Irish lessor purchasing an aircraft and the process of taking security over such aircraft which happens to be registered in Singapore and operated by a Dutch airline.
Professionally, I’ve strengthened my understanding of how the legal framework underpins international commercial transactions and my ability to negotiate on a client's behalf and provide commercially focussed advice that supports a client's business. Personally, I’ve become more knowledgeable, confident, and self-assured.
You can find motivation all around the firm to propel your development. I’ve also looked to my wife for inspiration, who is also a commercial lawyer – she’s had a great impact on my career so far and has always been an amazing supporter.
One of the most useful things I’ve learned in my time here is to never let your standards drop in respect of any work you do – no matter how busy you are. It has helped me keep my standard of work consistent.
The firm is also incredibly welcoming. Colleagues both in London and in our international offices are all genuinely willing to assist and support you. The firm has a very "human" feel . There’s variety and diversity in the people that work here, both in terms of personality and background – as long as you have talent and you are willing to work hard, you’ll fit right in.
My advice to anyone about to begin their training contract is to try to learn as much as possible. It can be daunting to do anything for the first time but remember that you’re a trainee and you’re learning – don’t be afraid to flag if you don’t understand something. Finally, try to find a mentor in your practice area that you can ask the questions you don't feel comfortable asking your supervisor. Junior associates are a great resource, as they were recently trainees.