A day in the life of Harriet Rugg-Easey, Allen & Overy Trainee.
My day invariably starts with a coffee, which I pick up from our sixth floor café and drink at my desk while I check my emails. If I’ve got items on my to-do list left over from the previous day then I look them over and prioritise them so I can hit the ground running.
I go to our regular team catch-up meeting. At the moment I sit in the Structured Asset Finance group in the banking department. We discuss the projects that are currently live – mostly shipping and aircraft financing, but also a couple of niche assets like smart meters and satellites.
I act as a mentor for Smart-Start, which is a work experience programme for A-level students who are interested in City careers. This morning we’re running a commercial awareness session with some of these students in the office so that they can get an insight into the working environment.
I’m working on the sale of a portfolio of aircraft from one aircraft leasing Company to another. Our client is the purchaser and is securing a loan from a Middle Eastern bank. It’s interesting work because it involves Islamic financing structures. I’m liaising with counsel on both sides of the deal, and because we’re near closing, this means a lot of back-and-forth, so it’s important to stay on top of the correspondence.
I go to the café on the tenth floor to meet up with some other trainees for lunch. Depending on how much time I have, I head to a lunchtime gym class (Total Body Circuits) so that I’m energised for the afternoon.
One of the great things about the SAF team is the opportunity to get involved in a wide variety of work. My supervisor is an expert in shipping finance, so I’m doing due diligence on a portfolio of shipping loans to turn them into a security – a tradable asset.
I jump on a conference call with a client, a large bank, about a financing deal for the purchase of two new aircraft by a European airline. Although I’m a trainee I’m given the responsibility of running aspects of the deal and playing a key role in the delivery. Here I’m working on the conditions precedent process, making sure the documents are in place to get the deal signed off.
I catch up with my supervisor to talk about the projects I’m working on; although he’s a partner, and usually very busy, he always tries to make himself available. Sitting with him is a great opportunity to witness the business development side of the firm, which I wouldn’t normally have much exposure to.
There’s no face-time culture at A&O and we’re encouraged to call it a day as soon as we can. If things are busy I might find myself leaving later, but today I get out in good time.
Working near Spitalfields Market is amazing, and I usually go out for dinner with other trainees or meet friends from outside work. On Mondays I have Turkish lessons provided for me by the firm to prepare for my final seat, which is in the Istanbul office. I can’t wait!