I’m working with the Competition team for my final seat before I qualify into the department next month. Post-pandemic, now that everyone is back working in the office, it’s easy to quickly pop round to my supervisor’s office in the morning to discuss client matters and individual work streams that we need to progress over the coming days. I update him on any emails or updates I’ve received from clients over the weekend. In the afternoon, I send an email to a client on a new matter, requesting certain turnover information and organisational structure charts so that we can commence our antitrust and foreign direct investment analysis.
I attend our weekly Competition team meeting at 11 a.m. The weekly meetings provide a great platform for each lawyer to share their experience and legal market insight with their colleagues. As a trainee, this is particularly helpful as many queries or hurdles that arise on client matters will have already been encountered and carefully considered by other team members on previous deals. S&C’s collaborative and distinctly collegiate atmosphere is keenly felt as a trainee at the firm; sharing ideas with colleagues to solve tricky legal questions is encouraged, even from an early stage of your training contract.
We receive internal documents, investment committee materials and board presentations from a client via a file sharing platform. In the afternoon, I review the documents we have received and assist in updating a draft of the EU merger filing we are preparing for the client’s proposed transaction. Once updated, I email local counsel to keep them informed of the updates we have made to the EU filing to ensure that consistency is achieved across all filings in multiple jurisdictions. Before leaving the office at the end of the day, I have coffee and biscuits with the other trainees in our office canteen.
At lunchtime, I attend one of our weekly ‘general practice’ training sessions. The sessions provide helpful reminders of key corporate law principles and are useful for successfully overcoming typical trainee tasks, such as managing conditions precedent and preparing signing and closing checklists. From a competition perspective, the sessions are helpful as they provide refreshers on a range of frequently encountered tasks, such as the drafting of powers of attorney and marking-up an SPA. After work, I attend our ‘Thursday Night Drinks’ event at a nearby bar. The office has an active social calendar and drinks are well attended by trainees, associates and partners.
In the morning, I take notes and provide an update on a specific work stream I am managing during a client call. After the call, I have a debrief with the associate and partner I am working with. I am asked to carry out a research task on a particular question of law which was raised by the client during the call. After reviewing case law and recent academic commentary, I send my summary and a folder of precedents to the associate and partner. For my own records, I prepare a short summary of my current work streams and a “to-do list” for the different client matters I am working on, so that I am ready for any emails I receive at the start of next week.