Ka-Mun Fu – Vacation Placement Student 2013, Trainee 2015 - 2017, Associate in M&A Team 2017 to Date
My vacation scheme at Vinson & Elkins was an excellent opportunity to experience life as a trainee with the firm. I was introduced to everyone and, after a tour around the office, I very quickly set about assisting one of the lawyers in the litigation department on one of their cases. I was given a wide range of tasks to do, ranging from legal research and sitting in on conference calls and client meetings to amending and proofreading a sale and purchase agreement and a master licence agreement for the corporate team. It was great to be able to contribute towards genuine client cases and transactions (rather than made-up tasks), and everyone in the office made me feel like an actual member of the team.
As a trainee, I went on secondment to the Houston office which was an exciting six months to be able to work in the head office, experience the true Texan culture of the firm and even go to the Rodeo! I worked on a wide range of different matters and rotated through several departments including Energy Transactions and Projects, Finance and Litigation. The training at Vinson & Elkins takes a very “hands-on” approach and, as trainees, we are encouraged to take ownership of tasks by being responsible for certain aspects of a transaction whilst also having the supervision and guidance from associates and partners as necessary.
Emilie Stewart – Trainee 2010 - 2012, Associate in Finance Team 2012 to Date
A training contract at Vinson & Elkins will certainly be diverse, challenging, and exciting. I started my two-year training contract sitting with a disputes partner and, on day one, I was thrown into a case we had recently been instructed on and was encouraged to assist with developing the arguments for the pleadings, conducting research and drafting the pleadings. One of the main reasons I came to Vinson & Elkins was the ability to work on large international transactions while being in a smaller and friendlier office in London. There is certainly a Texan feel to the London office and you might occasionally see some cowboy boots or hear a Texan “y’all”. During my
training contract, as well as working with those in the London office, I also had the opportunity to work with associates on matters originating from the Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beijing, Dubai and Houston offices, many of whom were originally London trainees. International opportunities are definitely available for trainees at Vinson & Elkins, and I have been lucky enough to travel to Houston, Dublin, Luxembourg, Frankfurt, San Francisco and Paris on transactions, in some cases with less than a few hours’ notice. I also did one of my seats as a trainee sitting in the Hong Kong office. It is very rare to work on a deal with just one jurisdiction involved; almost all our work is international which makes things more exciting and gives trainees a view of larger scale, more challenging transactions. I am now a senior associate in the finance team and appreciate the breadth of my training in all departments; things learnt in each department still come in use on a daily basis. Having a smaller intake gives trainees an ability to mold their training to their individual interests and trainees are encouraged to seek out opportunities which interest them. This helps ensure that trainees who are willing can take on more responsibility. Training at Vinson & Elkins is all about getting involved and learning from experience in various departments.
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