I joined Macfarlanes as a trainee in September 2015 following an assessment day at the firm. Macfarlanes stood out to me as a firm that ensured their personnel are continuously developed in order to thrive and adapt to any given situation in their legal career. Due to the firm’s size, trainees are given a hands-on experience in headlining legal work to deliver the best possible legal experience.
Starting from the firm’s assessment day, it was evident that the key to the success of Macfarlanes’ lawyers was the support and freedom on offer. We were tested on our ability to deal with the intellectual strains of the legal world on a day to day basis, gaining an insight into the fast-paced and challenging work ethos of those in the firm. This experience provided a stable foundation from which to hone my legal skills throughout my training contract.
The Trainee Experience
As a second seat trainee, I have completed six months in the Banking & Finance department and currently sit in Corporate M&A. The biggest surprise during my first few weeks in Banking was the amount of responsibility and client contact I was exposed to. This undoubtedly feels daunting at first, but the continuous support of the group helped me gain confidence in asserting my own ideas and opinions on any given transaction. By the end of this seat, I was able to take ownership of the ancillary documents in transactions, notably advising on the multi-million pound refinancing of the Maybourne Hotel Group.
My experience in Corporate M&A has followed a very similar pattern. My days can vary from drafting board minutes giving effect to company acquisitions, assisting in the process whereby a company attains listing on a regulated market, to drafting the documents necessary to incorporate a new company. In both seats, I feel that I have been given the perfect amount of responsibility, coupled with continuous support from the wider practice area, ultimately making for an exceptional working environment.
Whilst the stories you hear about the long hours of City lawyers are certainly true, Macfarlanes encourages a healthy work-life balance. From catching the latest feature films to participating in competitive sports tournaments, there is certainly something for everyone. Luckily for me, as captain of the firm’s 5-a-side football team, there is never too many days between one match to the next.
The firm also offers a wide array of pro-bono activities and events in support of our ‘Charity of the Year’. In my first year as trainee this has seen me bear witness to bake-offs, karaoke (in the loosest sense of the word) and fun runs. The extension of the firm’s familial feel runs true into its extra-curricular activities and adds a greater depth to what it means to be a Macfarlanes trainee.