/01 Are we the firm for you? /02 Welcome /04 What do we do?
/06 Our locations /08 Collaboration /10 How we work /12 Who we are /14 How we give back
/16 What should you expect? /18 What are we looking for? /20 What is the journey through the firm? /28 Vacation scheme
/30 When do you apply? /31 Top 5 application tips
ARE WE THE FIRM FOR YOU ? 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, real estate and transport. We are experts in managing complex cross-border transactions, projects and disputes; our skilled legal teams deliver valued advice to leading financial institutions, corporations and funds.
The success of our firm rests with the 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 for you 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
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WHAT DO WE DO?
SECTORS Transport Energy Real Estate
SERVICES Capital Markets Construction Corporate and M&A Dispute Resolution Employment Finance Private Equity Public Law Regulatory and Competition Tax
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Across our integrated international offices, the consistent level of varied, complex and challenging work coupled with first class, ongoing training in a supportive environment helps us attract and retain the brightest and the best.
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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
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= = =
ENERGY DEAL MARITIME DEAL NATURAL RESOURCES DEAL REAL ESTATE DEAL TRANSPORT DEAL
HOW WE WORK
We are known for our friendly, collaborative and inclusive culture, which is underpinned by hard work, and a deep understanding of the sectors in which our clients operate. You will be encouraged to find a path that complements your strengths and interests while also delivering outstanding client service wherever in the world you work. Our global Code of Conduct sets out the way we work, with clients, each other and in our communities. We follow a consistent set of standards everywhere we operate, taking responsibility for putting our Code in to practice and demonstrating the firm’s core values in all our undertakings.
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Respect for our clients, colleagues and those we have contact with by valuing diversity of backgrounds, viewpoints and experiences.
Sharing our knowledge and time to collaboratively build strong relationships together.
Integrity in all interactions that is built upon trust, adherence to professional standards, acting ethically and accountably. Communication that is open, honest and two-way while maintaining discretion and confidentiality.
WHO WE ARE
With a global workforce and client base, we believe it is important to have an inclusive environment that welcomes different knowledge, experience, perspectives and working styles. Diversity and Inclusion means making sure that differences are celebrated and that people from any background have access to opportunities to develop and progress from day one. Embedding diversity and inclusion in our work culture not only enhances individual innovation and problem solving, it also makes good business sense. We are committed to creating an inclusive workplace so that we can attract and retain the most talented people from all backgrounds and cultures – regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by law. This includes actively promoting opportunities at the firm with diverse/identity groups, eliminating unconscious bias throughout our recruitment process to ensure that high performing candidates are selected on merit alone and having a global agile working policy and flexible working arrangements across our global footprint to allow all employees to balance work and home priorities. We also promote good mental health through events and training designed to raise awareness in the workplace, including our Mental Health Allies initiative. In addition, our LGBT Affinity group will shortly be celebrating its first anniversary.
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Taking a proactive approach to diversity and inclusion helps us attract and retain the best people regardless of gender, race, age, religion, disability or sexual orientation.” LISA LAMBOURN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
It’s vital to have LGBT role models throughout the firm, so that diversity and inclusion is visible and genuine, and everyone feels able to bring their true self to work.” SIMON FOLLEY PARTNER
Diversity and inclusion goes beyond the ability to tick boxes on a tender document. It can establish and demonstrate a firm’s values to those within it, as well as clients, referrers and potential recruits, and plays an important part in the development of those working
within a firm.” HETAN GANATRA PARTNER
International Women’s Day, Singapore
As someone who has experienced PTSD, mental health awareness is particularly important to me. We need to be more open about mental issues, for everyone’s wellbeing.” LEAH ALPREN-WATERMAN PRACTICE SUPPORT LAWYER
HOW WE GIVE BACK
Our approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an important element of our business strategy and closely reflects our core values. With offices across the world, we encourage our people to apply the firm’s CSR principles in activities which are meaningful to them and appropriate within their respective jurisdictions, recognising that CSR means different things in different countries. We support our local communities in the following ways: • Our people are our greatest strength and we seek to reflect our commitment to investing in them by engaging in local community projects. Examples of this include employees volunteering at local schools and care homes, as well as clothing, food, toy and blood donation drives. • Through our respect for diversity, we aim to adopt programmes which encourage diversity at entry level into the legal profession and law firm business services roles. We provide work experience for disadvantaged young people and specifically promote opportunities at the firm with diverse/identity groups as part of the recruitment process. • We seek to share knowledge and our time generously across our teams so we encourage mentoring and pro bono activities to help others. In recent years our lawyers have worked with organisations dealing with human rights issues, freedom of the press, immigration and refugees and disability benefit claims appeals. • We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint through the adoption of sustainable practices and initiatives.
London Legal Walk, London
Clothes drive, New York
Sailors’ Society Asian Challenge, Hong Kong
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 an overseas office.
OVERSEAS SEATS Current locations where London trainees do their
are Athens, Bangkok, Dubai, Munich, Paris and Singapore.
We aim to give you hands on experience, with
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 & FEEDBACK.
Wherever you are in the world and whatever the practice area, you’ll quickly feel
– both in the office and socially. PART OF THE TEAM
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.
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EACH TRAINEE’S JOURNEY THROUGH THE FIRM IS DIFFERENT.
We are not interested in producing clones.
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WHAT IS THE JOURNEY THROUGH THE FIRM ?
Stefanos Molyndris Bangkok Trainee Secondment My Dispute Resolution seat in Bangkok was an amazing experience. I was able to get involved in a wide range of contentious work – primarily international arbitration disputes – and was given a large amount of responsibility early on. Within a couple of weeks I had been afforded the opportunity to assist in the preparation of witness statements, pleadings, advice memos and client briefing notes. I gained a real insight into the way disputes are conducted in a different cultural context and was challenged to adapt to different working and communication styles, working alongside both expat and Thai lawyers. A valuable aspect of the experience for me was the chance to learn a new language. This started before I left London, through a number of Thai lessons arranged by the firm. My lessons continued upon my arrival in Thailand through some less likely but
equally effective teachers – the office “tea-ladies”. I also made Thai friends outside of work, mainly by joining a football team, which gave me the opportunity to practice the language further. Bangkok is a stimulating and exciting city to live and work in – it has an excellent culinary scene, cool neighbourhoods to explore, and a brilliant nightlife. With Bangkok’s strategic location in the centre of South East Asia, the travel opportunities are also fantastic – aside from weekend trips within Thailand itself, I enjoyed visits to Hong Kong, Singapore and even ran a 10k at the ancient site of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I was very sad to leave, but I won’t be gone for too long – I’ve since accepted an offer for a permanent role in Bangkok and will be returning upon qualification!
WHAT IS THE JOURNEY THROUGH THE FIRM ?
Kelsey Tollady Associate
has been in the maritime space and has involved a broad mix of cases from charterparty disputes to arrest and enforcement proceedings. The department is keen to ensure that, from an early stage, associates can guide their own professional development based on their individual interests. As a junior in the team, you are expected to hit the ground running and learn quickly in order to take on a lot of day-to-day responsibility. One of the most rewarding parts of the job of a litigator is attending court and seeing all your hard work come together. In the Disputes team there are plenty of opportunities to attend court hearings, arbitration proceedings and trials, even as a trainee. I recently worked on a matter which went to the Court of Appeal, where our banking clients were successful in resisting an application by a ship owner, whose vessel had been arrested, for a cross-undertaking in damages - a landmark decision for the shipping industry which confirmed long-established English legal principles of in rem admiralty claims. Being involved in such high-profile cases is one of the many reasons a role in Disputes at WFW is so rewarding.
After my first Dispute Resolution seat as a trainee, I knew I wanted to join the department on qualification. The work is varied and complex, with every case and every day in the team bringing new challenges. Although the department has an excellent reputation in the firm’s key sectors of transport and energy, for which there is no shortage of high-quality work, I was also exposed to an array of cases outside of these sectors and worked for clients including High Net Worth Individuals, banks and governmental organisations. WFW is the ideal firm for anyone wanting to be involved in international work. The vast majority of cases have international elements and we frequently work on matters together with the other offices and foreign counsel. As a result, we get involved in some really fascinating disputes on behalf of a huge range of clients. Having decided early on that Dispute Resolution was the best team for me, I was fortunate enough to then undertake a Disputes seat in Singapore before returning to the London Disputes team for my final seat rotation. Since qualification, the majority of my work
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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, who needed to ensure that any security over the vessel was 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 lots of deals to keep you busy.
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Our vacation scheme is the best way to familiarise yourself with WFW. The two-week placements are at our London office, either in spring or during the summer. They give you a chance to experience the firm in more depth and give us a chance to get to know you. 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.
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The dates for our 2020 vacation scheme placements are: 23 March – 3 April
8 – 19 June 6 – 17 July
To apply please complete an application form at www.apply4law.com/WFW by 13 January 2020.
WHEN DO YOU APPLY ?
For undergraduate law students, the earliest point you can apply is in your penultimate year at university. 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 a date not before 2021. There will, however, be some transitionary arrangements which mean that, provided you have at least started your law degree or your GDL by August in the year the SQE is first introduced, you will still be able to proceed with the current route to qualification.
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TOP 5 APPLICATION 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 to find out more.
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.
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Watson Farley & Williams LLP 15 Appold Street London EC2A 2HB Tel: +44 20 7814 8000 Email: UKTrainees@wfw.com Twitter: @wfw_UKTrainees uktrainee.wfw.com
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 2019
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