The LawCareers.Net Handbook 2021

Name: Angus Rankin Firm: Hogan Lovells Location: London University: Pembroke College, University of Cambridge Undergraduate degree: English literature

ability tomanufacture abroad, whichmay lead to disputes over an increase in costs or delay to the project.” Tosucceed in thisarea, “veryhigh technical ability” isessential. “Likeall litigators,wehave tobe experts ingeneral common lawsuchascontract, tort, agencyandprivilege, but also in international arbitrationandstatutoryadjudication,which isvery different tocourt litigation.Wealsoworkacross the globewith local counsel in thecountrywhere the project is locatedor the judgmentor arbitral award will beenforced,”Angusexplains. “Inaddition, there isconstruction lawitself. Englishconstruction lawhasdevelopedoverhundredsof years,with changesbeingmadeonanear-dailybasis, dealing withhowrisksareallocatedbetween theowner andthecontractor.” Commercial awareness is a vital skill for anyone hoping to succeed in this area, Angus advises: “Spending time in the client’s business has been a huge boost to my commercial awareness. This happened first as a trainee on client secondment in the UK, then as a mid-level associate on secondment to a client in Japan, and again later when I left private practice for nearly four years in industry. I recommend grabbing any opportunity to experience in-house legal work. You will never look at your own work in the same way once you have seen how law firm advice is received by in-house counsel and the business teams they serve. Anticipating what the client’s practical business objectives are is one of the ways lawyers transform their work from something merely ordinary into something far more useful to the client. If you are still studying, you can already make a start by reading business news – go into the detail of the stories and keep up with the story as events unfold, don’t just scan the headlines before your training contract interview! That deep reading will start to build up your instincts for what factors bring success or failure in corporate transactions, commercial disputes, and other situations you’ll encounter in your career.””

Insomecases, the risks facingclientscanbeeven graver thanpotentiallyserious financial losses. “Oneof themost interestingcasesofmycareer wasnot acommercial dispute, but acriminal case arising fromaproject inAfrica,” saysAngus. “Itwas aseriousanddifficult case thatwouldhavemeant personal liability for oneof our client’sexecutives ifwe lost, and itwasheard ina local criminal court. I amstill veryproudof the teameffort acrossour international offices thatwent intosecuringagood outcome for theclient in that case.” However, an ideal outcome isnot alwayspossible, andoneof the least enjoyable–but necessary –aspectsof his role is “having to tell clients that theyhavea lowprospect of success–wework extremelyhard to try to findanyandall angles to helpour clientssucceed, sowhenyouhave to tell themthat theiroptionsare limited, or that they might have topay their adversaryasignificant sum ofmoney, it’spart of the job, but not anespecially enjoyablepart. The important thing though isnever tooverstate theclient’scase to thembecause it is muchbetter for clients togo intosomethingwith their eyesopen, or sometimesdecidenot to take thedispute further.” Fossil fuels make way for renewables Looking at the current state of the construction and engineering sector, he observes that “whatever challenges our engineering clients are going through soon have a knock-on effect for us. For example, with the increasing change from fossil fuels to renewables, the type of power stations that clients are involvedwith has changed. Whereas previously clientsmight have been engineering oil rigs and processing plants, now they aremuchmore involvedwithwind turbines and solar power.” Another key concern for the team’s clients is staying on the right side of increasingly complex regulation. “Our clients are operating in amuchmore regulated global environment than they used to be, for example, having to navigate export sanctions and embargoes”, he observes. “If it becomes difficult to import steel or machinery across certain borders, thiswill have an effect on clients’


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