INQUISITIVE MINDS MEETING GLOBAL CHALLENGES EVERY DAY
01 Are you who we’re looking for? 02 Welcome
04 What do we do? 06 How do we work? 08 Our global locations 10 What is it like?
12 What should you expect? 17 What are we looking for? 18 What is the journey through the firm? 26 Vacation scheme 28 When do you apply? 29 Top 5 tips 30 What is the application process?
ARE YOU WHO WE’RE LOOKING FOR?
Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) is an international law firm dedicated to client care, legal excellence, industry focus and investment in its people. The firm is highly respected for its sector expertise, in particular, energy, maritime, natural resources, real estate and transport. Experts in managing complex cross-border transactions, projects and disputes, our skilled legal teams deliver valued advice for corporations, entrepreneurs, funds, financial institutions, and governments.
The success of Watson Farley & Williams rests with the total commitment, quality and expertise of our people. Unashamedly ambitious, the next generation of talent will help drive our continued growth. As a firm, we focus on high profile, complex international matters. This provides opportunities to be engaged in extraordinary variety, innovative thinking, and to be involved in our clients’ businesses on a global scale. We are committed to helping you develop the personal and professional skills needed to fulfil your potential. Our trainees are entrusted with real responsibilities from the moment they join, which means making an impact early on in their careers. As many of our people joined the firm as trainees, who better to tell you about what it’s like to train and work with us?
Chris Lowe Managing Partner
Lothar Wegener Managing Partner
WHAT DO WE DO?
SECTORS Energy & Infrastructure Maritime Natural Resources Real Estate Transport
SERVICES Banking & Finance Capital Markets Construction Corporate Dispute Resolution Employment Mergers & Acquisitions Private Equity Competition, Regulatory & Public Law Tax
HOW DO WE WORK?
COLLABORATION Our teams work across borders to serve our global client base, collaborating within and across our offices, harnessing the combined strength of the firm’s expertise.
GERMANY + FRANCE UK + ITALY SPAIN + UK
UK + GREECE SINGAPORE + USA
= = =
ENERGY DEAL MARITIME DEAL NATURAL RESOURCES DEAL REAL ESTATE DEAL TRANSPORT DEAL
OUR GLOBAL LOCATIONS
Across our international offices, we foster a supportive and down-to-earth environment designed to attract and retain the best and brightest staff. WFW people best demonstrate our commitment to quality. The camaraderie between our offices, consistent level of complex and challenging work and our varied and comprehensive training programmes all serve to motivate and develop our staff in terms of legal, client-facing and practical workplace abilities.
ATHENS BANGKOK DUBAI FRANKFURT HAMBURG HONG KONG
LONDON MADRID MILAN MUNICH NEW YORK PARIS ROME SINGAPORE
WHAT IS IT LIKE?
Our business relationships are long lasting and founded on our commitment to really understand our clients. Relationships inside the firm are also close. Despite our international breadth, there is a familial and supportive atmosphere, founded on a mutual respect for colleagues, hard work, intelligence and ambition. Our culture values individuality and promotes personal growth. You’ll be encouraged to find a path that complements your strengths and interests while also delivering outstanding client service. Our approach to CSR takes three strands: community engagement, charitable giving, and environmental action. Supporting the communities in which we work includes pro bono legal work, employee volunteering at local schools and care homes, as well as clothing, food, toy and blood donation drives. While employees across the globe raise donations for various causes, the main thrust of our charitable giving goes into supporting our charity of the year which is voted for by employees. We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and adopting sustainable practices, and support activities which reduce the impact of climate change. These practices include recycling and efficient energy use throughout our offices globally.
IMAGES 1. Whitechapel Mission 2. Hamburg Triathlon 3. Centrepoint Sleep Out 4. World Water Day baking 5. Macmillan London City Takeover
WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT?
Our two year training contract differs from many other firms. With us you will gain valuable insight from six four month seats – one of these will be in either Paris, Hamburg, Athens, Singapore, Bangkok or Dubai.
We aim to give you hands on experience, with client contact from the very start. It’s the only way to learn.
The firm has a reputation for challenging work. We will give you plenty of responsibility early on but we also offer plenty of support and feedback.
Wherever you are in the world and whatever the practice area, you’ll quickly feel part of the whole organisation – both in the office and socially.
We are not interested in producing clones. Each trainee’s journey through the firm looks a little different.
WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?
We recruit 18 trainees each year. Although there is no typical WFW trainee there are certain qualifications, skills and traits that we look for. You will need a 2:1 or above (predicted if you have yet to graduate), or equivalent, and a commendation or higher in the GDL if you have completed it. We also look for at least ABB from A-Level results, 34 points from IB or the equivalent if you have taken other qualifications.
TEAM PLAYERS WITH INITIATIVE, DRIVE AND CURIOSITY.
WHAT IS THE JOURNEY THROUGH THE FIRM?
Christian Anthony Bangkok Trainee Secondment My Corporate seat in Bangkok was an amazing experience. I was engaged in a wide range of work across a number of commercial sectors including Transport, Energy and Real Estate. This was reflective of the sector-specific work unique to WFW and which I undertook when I was
Highlights included assisting in the launch of the UberEats platform in Bangkok, working on cross-border M&A transactions and preparing a number of briefing notes for clients. Overall, the responsibility granted to me and the commercial understanding I gained during my seat was invaluable. I was able to develop a better understanding of the overall structure and material issues relating to commercial transactions by working closely with Partners and other senior fee earners. Nothing can be taken away from Bangkok being one of the most exciting cities in the world. The expat community is vibrant and I was able to form a network of good friends very quickly. It didn’t hurt that Bangkok has an amazing culinary scene and exploring new places was effortless. The travel opportunities were also fantastic: Japan, Hong Kong and islands in the south of Thailand to name a few of the destinations covered during my time in Asia. The only downside: having to return home after four months!
based in London. It allowed me to hit the ground running when I arrived in Asia.
WHAT IS THE JOURNEY THROUGH THE FIRM?
Natasha Shoult Associate
As a trainee during my Litigation seat I attended a two-week trial at the Royal Courts of Justice, acting for a Russian client. The claim concerned the non-payment of a series of loans and issues relating to loss of security. The Defendants were held liable for breach of contract, liability in tort and inducement by misrepresentation and our client obtained a judgment for US$35m. This was exciting work! It was a fantastic insight into the build-up to trial, with the team from WFW and Counsel pulling together to achieve a great result for the client. From these early experiences in the department, combined with time spent in our Bangkok office, I knew I wanted to qualify into Litigation at WFW. On joining the Litigation team my work on this case continued, including obtaining injunctive relief and further disclosure, investigating the Defendants’ assets, obtaining a committal order against one of the Defendants and issuing enforcement proceedings in a number of different jurisdictions.
WFW presents excellent opportunities for those who are interested in international work. More recently I have been working on a case for a Korean EPC contractor, in connection
with a sizeable insurance claim relating to the construction of a combined-cycle power plant in
Ghana. This has involved a visit to the plant to take proofs from witnesses, which was challenging, but truly brought the case to life!
WHAT IS THE JOURNEY THROUGH THE FIRM?
Kate Silverstein Senior Associate
At WFW, I’ve been involved in a wide variety of work. I recently assisted MSC Cruises with the delivery of a new luxury cruise ship, MSC Meraviglia . This is when the client takes possession of a vessel from a shipyard under a shipbuilding contract and becomes its legal owner. This was the culmination of a long-term transaction that had commenced a few years earlier when we assisted the client in the
negotiation of the shipbuilding contract and negotiated the export credit-backed loan facility agreement with a syndicate of lenders. At the delivery, it was important to follow pre-agreed closing steps closely to ensure that everything went according to plan as there were many parties with competing interests. This included the yard, which wanted to receive the purchase price, and lenders, which needed to ensure that any security over the vessel is registered. There was also pressure for the ship to be delivered on time, so that the official delivery celebrations could begin and the ship could set sail. Luckily, the delivery went smoothly and we then had a nice closing lunch on board followed by a tour of the entire ship, which was seriously impressive and included a bowling alley, multiple pools and an aqua park. The then President of France even attended the delivery ceremony to support the shipyard, as MSC Cruises announced that it was building four more vessels over the next 10 years.
WHAT IS THE JOURNEY THROUGH THE FIRM?
Lindsey Keeble Partner
After I completed my first two seats in the shipping finance department in London and Athens, I was convinced I wanted a career in shipping at WFW. The variety and cross-border nature of the work appealed to me, as well as working on high profile transactions in a team that is recognised worldwide as a leader in the field. Being a shipping lawyer at WFW, there are always fantastic opportunities to work abroad and I spent four demanding but enjoyable years in our Paris office running the English law practice. Due to the global economic crisis at the time, I was involved in complex restructurings of shipping finance loans for our clients; one such transaction involved advising the lenders on the implementation of a restructuring plan for loan facilities made available to an Italian tanker company, which required us to work quickly with our Italian colleagues to understand the impact of the relevant Italian legislation and how it affected the lenders’ rights.
I’m now back in London as the Sector Head of Maritime, which is an exciting and challenging role. Globally, the team continues to work on complex restructurings and always needs to keep abreast of the constant changes in the market such as private equity investors and new entrants providing debt finance. There is plenty of variety and deals to keep you busy.
Our vacation scheme is the best way to familiarise yourself with WFW. The two-week placements are at our London office, either at Easter or during the summer. They give us a chance to get to know you, and you a chance to experience the firm in more depth. To appreciate first-hand the kind of work trainees undertake day to day, you will work with associates and partners in one of our core practice groups for the whole period. To complement this focus on one area, you will also participate in a variety of training and social events designed to give you a good feel for the firm. These include informal lunchtime presentations to give you a broad understanding of all our different practice groups.
The dates for our 2018 vacation scheme placements are: 12 – 23 March 11 – 22 June 9 – 20 July To apply please complete an application form on www.apply4law.com/WFW by 26 January 2018.
WHEN DO YOU APPLY?
For law students, the earliest point you can apply is in your penultimate year. For non-law students, the earliest point you can apply is in your final year. Non-law students spend a further year studying for a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) before starting the Legal Practice Course (LPC). Graduates may apply at any time. In April 2017 the SRA announced that it would be introducing the Solicitors’ Qualifying Examination as a mandatory route to qualification for all future solicitors from 2020. There will, however, be some transitionary arrangements which mean that, provided you have at least started your law degree or your GDL by August 2020, you will still be able to proceed with the current route to qualification.
TOP 5 TIPS
1 Go beyond repeating back facts and figures about the firm.
2 Consider and explain your motivations for applying to WFW.
3 Be inquisitive. We don’t expect you to be experts just yet, but we admire those who are curious about finding out more about our work. 4 Tell us about the things you’ve done to further your interest in the profession.
5 Be yourself – on paper, at the assessment centre and during the interview.
Watson Farley & Williams LLP 15 Appold Street London EC2A 2HB Tel: +44 20 7814 8000 Email: UKTrainees@wfw.com Twitter: @wfw_UKTrainees wfw.com/UKTrainees
All references to ‘Watson Farley &Williams’ and ‘the firm’ in this brochure mean Watson Farley &Williams LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. Any reference to a ‘partner’ means a member of Watson Farley &Williams LLP, or a member or partner in an affiliated undertaking, or an employee or consultant with equivalent standing and qualification. This brochure is produced by Watson Farley &Williams. The situation described may not apply to your circumstances. If you require advice or have questions or comments on its subject, please speak with your usual contact at Watson Farley &Williams.
© Watson Farley & Williams 2017
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