The LawCareers.Net Handbook 2021

Restructuring and insolvency

its trainees. It is also a relatively small office, so colleagues are really involved in the process. It was this support from the firm that formed the basis for staying on there once the traineeship had come to an end: “Akin Gump makes your experience as a trainee as close to junior associate as possible, which makes you really well equipped when you qualify.” She has now worked at the firm for four and a half years in total, during which time she has honed her skills as a solicitor and taken on more responsibility. “Akin Gump’s philosophy is immersive learning, so I always feel comfortable getting really stuck in as much as I can and learning about the clients and the businesses that Akin Gump works with every day.” Rachel experienced a broad range of practice areas during her traineeship, but restructuring and insolvency – where she now practises – proved to be the main draw. In this work area, there is no such thing as a typical day. Dealing with clients and companies makes the work dynamic and ever-changing, which requires flexibility of character as well as good technical legal skills as so many different processes can be used to restructure companies. As she says: “No two restructurings are the same, which is the beauty of the job – it always varies and that’s what keeps it so interesting and challenging; the exact same thing is never going to cross your desk twice.” Embracing the new As we are seeing in many practice areas, factors such as covid-19, technological advancement, social media and Brexit are having a major impact. Indeed, it is an exciting time to be part of the sector. Social media is shaping the way that businesses are perceived and the way in which news travels. As she says: “This is something that lawyers are increasingly having to grapple with, not only is there the technical part of the transaction, but also how the transaction

Restructuring and insolvency lawyers are called in when a company, individual or other organisation is in financial difficulties and is facing possible liquidation, administration or bankruptcy. In such situations, restructuring and insolvency lawyers work to advise the organisation’s management and other stakeholders on what to do next, which could be filing for administration or a distressed merger. A restructuring and insolvency lawyer’s work is also to advise organisations that have not yet become insolvent on how to avoid such a situation and formulate contingency plans. In addition, restructuring and insolvency lawyers will also advise an organisation’s creditors where their borrower is facing financial problems. Although Rachel Beddoe knew that she wanted to pursue a career in the legal sector, she was not entirely sure in which area she wanted to specialise. While studying law at the University of Cambridge, she found that she really enjoyed the practical-minded, commercial side of the profession, which Cambridge was excellent at catering to. It was a vacation scheme that she undertook at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in London, and the hands-on experience that she gained there, that consolidated her wish to become a solicitor rather than a barrister. Indeed, she wanted to be involved in deals from start to finish rather than becoming involved at the point at which contentious issues arose. Even though she chose to be a solicitor, there is still a lot of advocacy in what she does, but this aspect is more client-facing, which suits her perfectly as she feels more part of the process all round. Immersive learning After graduating, Rachel began her training contract at Akin Gump. It was a great place to train as it has a very small intake and a vested interest in the development of all of

For more firms that work in this practice area, please use the “Training contract regional indexes” starting on p197.



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