Rather than simply telling you about life here, we want to introduce you to recent trainees and mentors so you can read about what Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner is like through the their eyes.
Qualifying in March 2019
"I never imagined I would be running projects independently in the first seat of my training contract, but that is exactly what has happened. My first six months has been incredibly interesting, giving me a broad range of experience and huge amounts of interaction with clients. The trickiest part of it all? So far I have found that to be working with foreign counsel, from The Bahamas to Hong Kong. Partly because it involves different jurisdictions and you have to be really on top of things to produce all the different documents your client needs. Added to that is the complexity of managing work smoothly across the multiple time zones – someone, somewhere is always going to have to stay up late or get up early in order to beat the clock."
Qualifying in March 2018
Degree: Hispanic Studies with English
"We were recently working on a high-profile corporate real estate transaction involving a Hong Kong client looking to acquire a landmark building in the City. I quickly found myself corresponding with the client, negotiating documents with the sellers’ lawyers and leading update calls with the wider legal advisory team on the buyer and seller side. The night before exchange, I was working with the team to get documents agreed and signed to ensure that we could get on a call with the client and the sellers’ lawyers at 10am the next morning to confirm that exchange has occurred. After the call, the Senior Associate I was working with was very quick to recognise my work, thanking me for my time and efforts for getting the deal over the line. That, together with the client’s excitement and praise of the team’s dedication and efforts, made all of the work completely worth it."
Qualifying in March 2018
Degree: Modern History
“It was my first seat and I was swimming in the deep end. Although only four months into my time in our Corporate Finance practice, I found myself part of a team negotiating an £150m deal for an International food manufacturing group. I was there, in the room with Partners and Associates, with clients from both sides and lawyers from other firms. The negotiations were fraught, and went on for an unremitting 30 hours.
The level of exposure I had was astonishing – myself and my counterpart, a lawyer from another firm who was two years’ qualified, were both making amends, turning documents, drafting minutes and arranging signing formalities; I was seeing the decisions that were driving those tasks play out live in the negotiation room. The whole experience was incredibly rewarding and I was extremely grateful for it.”
Qualified in September 2017
"By my second seat, I was making key decisions on challenging cases. One client
had been in a litigation dispute for years. We decided to lodge winding-up proceedings against the other side. Deadlines were tight and procedures had to be followed. Crucially, I had to obtain a certificate of compliance. That meant preparing vital documents and advertising the petition. The final deadline before the hearing was fast
approaching, however we got the certificate and achieved our goal. It was especially challenging as I’d been working on other non-contentious cases
and business development matters at the same time – but I had the support of the Partners and Associates throughout. Along with my six-month secondment to
London, the experience really stood out. It helped me to develop the all-round skills you need as a lawyer."
Qualifying in September 2018
"Possibly the most challenging and exciting period I have experienced to date was this January, about four months into my training contract. As the only trainee in the Hong Kong Asset Finance team at the time, I was working on many transactions. That in itself was nothing unusual, as trainees are always involved in the groundwork of transactions. But this was an exceptional two-weeks where, over the course of 10 days, I personally closed eight transactions. I think this level of involvement for a trainee is in stark contrast to what people would expect. It shows that the firm has placed its confidence in me and is willing to give responsibility to its trainees from the beginning of their legal career."
Qualified in March 2016
" It was the night before Christmas Eve, a point at which many people had already set off for the holidays. Whilst on secondment in our Hong Kong office, I had been lucky enough to be left in charge of completing a deal worth over US$100m, for a client who was looking to purchase a fleet of aircraft. The deadline was less than 24 hours away when an issue emerged. If the deal wasn’t closed as planned, our client would start incurring interest on an aircraft he did not yet own.
The pressure was immense. I worked overnight, across time zones, liaising with various parties in Singapore, Beijing, London, Ireland and Spain to come up with a solution. We managed to get the deal across the line on schedule and the client was full of thanks."
"Treat everyone (no matter their position) in a way in which you would like to be treated yourself."
"Be focused, driven and set realistic goals. Believe in yourself and never give up!"
“This is a people business so engage with colleagues and clients, always be alert to opportunities both for yourself and the firm, and although we work hard we want to do so in a respectful and enjoyable environment”
"If you are given a self-contained piece of work try and follow up what happened so that you can understand the context."
"There is no such thing as a stupid question - it is far better to ask than to go down the wrong path."
"Keep an open mind and be bright and enthusiastic."
"Make sure you are properly briefed, and don't be afraid to ask if you don't know something."
"Enthusiasm goes a long way, remaining positive and being curious - asking yourself is this the best I can do?"
“Take pride in your work product. From your first day in the office, your output will be making a difference to our clients’ business.”
"Whatever happens try and be positive in outlook and attitude. Do not recite law - give advice, that is what clients pay for."
“The more you push yourself outside your comfort zone, the wider that comfort zone will become.”
“No-one knows everything: be good at what you do know and have the courage to learn and ask questions about the rest”.
We participate in a wider number of events at universities from law fairs to workshops. Follow the below link to see about law fairs and events at your university.