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Norton Rose Fulbright

Employee profile

Theon Richards

Trainee Solicitor

I first met the firm at a speed networking event, and straight away I was drawn to its industry focussed practice, international reach and the high-quality work the firm undertakes. I then applied and was offered a place on their winter vacation scheme in December 2017. During my vacation scheme I networked with trainees who described the collegiate and supportive culture of the firm, and I also experienced this having had the opportunity to undertake real work during my vacation scheme. I felt that Norton Rose Fulbright would be the best institution for me to train and begin my legal career and was delighted to be given a training contract.

So far I’ve done a seat in general banking and finance and a client secondment. Currently I am in my 3rd seat rotation in the corporate team. In my view, the key role of a trainee is to be a source of help and assistance to senior members of the team. A good trainee is a reliable trainee. So it’s important to ensure you meet deadlines, update your seniors with the progress of your work and produce high quality work. In corporate, we work on transactions where we may represent a company who is purchasing another company or vice versa. Typical corporate tasks for a trainee include; taking notes on client calls, proof reading or working on due diligence reports, drafting or proof-reading the key transactional documents, preparing documents to be signed by all parties, collating documents and signatures and; producing a transaction bible of all related transaction documents. Throughout my experience I have found myself being given more complex tasks as my experience grows, as well as wanting to take on more responsibility as my confidence has increased.

At the beginning of every seat you receive mandatory training which helps us as trainees understand what is to be expected during the next 6 months. For example, in corporate we received training on private acquisitions. Training sessions are good as you’re able to ask the ‘silly’ questions you may not feel comfortable asking an associate or a partner. You can also request follow up training if needed which evidences the support that is always on hand, and the trainee development team has open discourse with us. Whilst business needs come first, the trainee development team work extra hard to ensure trainees are able to undertake work that aligns with their interests. At the beginning of my training contract I highlighted I have an interest in the energy the firm does and as a result I’ve been able to sit in teams where that work is available to me.

There have been many highlights during my training contact. One in particular was assisting on a finance transaction involving several banks. I was given the responsibility of liaising with these banks, the client, who was the loan arranger, and the other side who was the borrower. Whilst it was scary at first, my supervisor was supportive which allowed me to calmly process the steps needed to be taken. We were able to successfully close the transaction without too many hiccups! The culture at Norton Rose Fulbright is very collaborative and you can really feel that your hard work is appreciated. Additionally, the firm encourages trainees to get involved in wider firm activities, such as supporting graduate recruitment or joining one of several organisations in the firm. Currently I am part of Origins, our BAME network, and Breathe, our mental health network. It’s great to see the firm supporting these initiatives.

At the beginning of my training contract I found the adjustment a bit difficult, however we’re provided a partner mentor and a trainee buddy who you can reach out to for support and are always on hand for advice. By the end of my first seat I felt like I had acclimatised to the working world. For me, one of the best things about the firm is the new office layout, which has been adapted into three and five person offices. The idea is not only to save space but to encourage more collaborative working. The view from the office is also very picturesque as well!

If you wish to pursue a career in law where you want to work on international transactions with a diverse group of people and have a global outlook, I would certainly recommend applying to Norton Rose Fulbright.