A day in the life of Harriet Rugg-Easey, Allen & Overy Trainee.

8.30 am
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.

9.30 am
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.

10.30 am
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. 

12.30 am
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.

1.45 pm
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.

2.30 pm
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.

3.45 pm
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.

5.00 pm 
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.

6.30 pm
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. 

6.45 pm
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!