Associate and Former Trainee, London
I have recently started a new seat in the Leveraged Finance and Restructuring Group. I arrive in the office at 9.15 a.m. to have breakfast and catch up on my email. My supervisor comes round to update me on the progress of an acquisition financing which we started working on a few weeks ago. Our final round bid needs to be submitted by Thursday, and I spend most of the day on conference calls with our clients discussing the latest drafts of the financing documents. It is very interesting to see how the strategy and commercial points are incorporated into our revised drafts. I help to take notes during the calls so that we can reflect our clients’ position in the amended documents. Our team is considerably smaller than the Magic Circle team on the other side, and I have the opportunity to participate fully throughout the day. My supervisor comes round to my office that evening after the calls have finished to make sure I have understood everything and to explain the more technical points, which is a great learning experience.
Today I am working with one of our European counsel on signing an amendment agreement for a trading platform. I spend the morning on the phone with each of the parties that needs to sign, explaining the procedure and answering any questions they have on the drafting. After lunch, I’m asked to help summarise the debt structure of a public listed company. Since many companies issue debt in multiple jurisdictions, we often have the chance to work with the US lawyers in our London office to understand the global capital structure. At 6 p.m., I head downstairs to attend our Group’s monthly practice meeting via videoconference from the New York office. It is a good way to keep updated on what the firm is working on, as well as being a useful opportunity for know-how and training.
During my previous seat, I worked on the corporate side of a pharmaceuticals M&A deal which signed a few weeks ago. We are now advising the successful bidder on closing the acquisition, and I will be involved in the financing aspects. I find it very useful to understand what is going on in the different workstreams, and it’s rewarding to see the deal through to completion. I join one of the associates on a call with our New York office to discuss how we will coordinate the financing. After a quick lunch, I collaborate with our legal assistants to build up a picture of the existing security arrangements which the target company has in place. The analysis is fairly complicated and the time goes by quickly. I check in with the associate, who says we have made good progress so far and the rest can wait until tomorrow. There’s no “face time” culture here, so happily I head out for dinner in Covent Garden with a friend who works at a nearby firm.
The final round bid needs to be submitted today for our acquisition financing deal, and we start relatively early to get everything done. There are still a number of commercial points to be agreed, and draft documents are going back and forth between the parties all day. We want our bid to be competitive as possible for our clients, so we work together with the bank to agree mutually beneficial terms for the financing. I work with an associate in coordinating the release letters and other signing matters, and the day flies by. As the final few hours before the deadline arrive, I step out for a quick coffee with another trainee. We manage to get everything signed up in time and our clients are very happy. It has been a very exciting day and I am glad to have been in the thick of things.
On Friday mornings, we often have an informal practice group meeting to catch up on the various finance deals going on in the London office. It’s also a useful time to ask questions or to request a training session on a particular topic. When I get back to my desk, I see that my supervisor has invited us out to lunch to celebrate the signing yesterday. There are plenty of good restaurants near the office, and we have an excellent meal to end the week.