The diary of... a trainee in capital markets at Hogan Lovells

Chris Hampton is a first seat trainee at Hogan Lovells. After a busy couple of days, he let The Gateway peek into his diary...
Law school and training contracts

*09:15 *

Arrive at my desk and check for any urgent emails. Discover that one of our international clients has decided to dismiss the majority of their board, so needs to send a notice to the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, where their shares are listed, as soon as possible. They have been dealing with our Warsaw office, but now need us to draft the notice. I decide that a coffee might be required...

*10:00 *

Sit in on a call between my supervisor and the Warsaw office. The associate there is coming under pressure from the client and needs our help quickly. I am asked to look for any precedents or previously used company announcement notices that we can use.


Having been unable to turn up anything relevant, I feel slightly better when my supervisor has found a different type of notice and amended it for our purposes. We email it to Warsaw.

*11:30 *

While waiting for the client to complete the details of the notice, I get on with compiling the e-bible (an electronic record of all the legal documents used for a particular transaction) for a recent bond issuance for a longstanding client. The first time I was asked to do bibling I had no idea how to even start but now it's straightforward.

*12:00 *

The associate I've been working with on a separate matter pops in to ask if I can do a search of an online data room (an electronic collection of all the documents relevant to a transaction) for some documents that have been requested by another firm. I log in and search, but can't see them so I draft a response to the other firm explaining this and suggesting who they might contact that would have the documents.

*12:30 *

Go for lunch with a friend from law school. At Hogan Lovells all future trainees do the legal practice course (LPC) together, which is a really good way to get to know some of your future colleagues before you even start your training contract.

*13:30 *

The phone rings, and it's the associate from Warsaw asking about signatory details. My supervisor is at lunch and the senior associate I had been working with is not at her desk. I let the Warsaw associate know I will call him back and go to ask other colleagues who might know the answer. One of the other senior associates emails me some points and these are forwarded to Warsaw. I know I can always ask other lawyers in my team for assistance if my supervisor is not around.

*14:30 *

The client has sent us the information needed to draft the notice and we now try to beat the clock and get it sent before the Luxembourg Stock Exchange deadline of 3pm. For efficiency, I draft one of the required forms while my supervisor does the other, and we send them off at 2.50pm.

*15:00 *

Another client has raised some concerns about how some upcoming bank credit rating downgrades might trigger breaches of some of the terms of those banks' bonds. My supervisor and I go to a partner's office and we discuss the client's options.

*16:00 *

Some of our suggestions are reliant on analysis of the transaction documents, so I review the ones we have on file to locate the clauses we need.

*17:00 *

Having found and highlighted the relevant clauses I discuss with my supervisor what the next steps are for the client and ask a few questions I had after the conversation with the partner earlier.

*18:25 *

Receive an email from the Luxembourg Stock Exchange saying that our notice has been published, so I draft an email to the client (copying in the Warsaw office) to let them know.

*19:00 *

Having checked my calendar for the next day, I head home.

Next day

*09:20 *

Arrive at my desk. I have some Capital Markets group training from 10am-11am so need to make sure there is nothing that needs doing before then. Nothing urgent has come in so I can get on with some other tasks on my to-do list.

*09:30 *

We have an ongoing project with a major client where we do a first review of agreements they're negotiating. I'm looking out for potentially unhelpful wording for our client, and it's a good way for me to understand how these documents are put together.

*10:00 *

Head to training in one of the meeting rooms upstairs. Today's session is about derivatives, which is helpful as I haven't had any exposure to these previously. There is a lot of investment in training at Hogan Lovells, which means that the training contract really does prepare you for life as a qualified lawyer. All trainees do 120 hours of formal training during the two years, and the training and professional development continues long after you've qualified.

*11:00 *

Sit in on a call which follows up the document review I did earlier. The other side's lawyer is being quite forceful in the negotiations, but we're confident in our stance and get him to take our views back to his client to discuss them further.

*11:45 *

Compose an email to our client outlining the discussion we just had on the call and what our advice to them would be.

*12:00 *

The client responds with their views and we confirm that we'll arrange a follow-up call with the other side later in the week.

*13:00 *

Attend a graduate recruitment lunch for first year university students who are here for an open day. The firm runs a number of open days throughout the academic year, which are a great way to get a good insight into the firm and what life as a trainee is really like.

*14:00 *

Return to my desk and draft a couple of emails to our contacts at some Irish law firms. We're acting for a client who needs some advice on Irish law, but before we can instruct an Irish firm to help us, it's necessary to ensure they have no conflicts of interest. After being tweaked slightly by my supervisor, the emails are sent out.

*15:00 *

The associate in the office next door has asked me to make some amendments to a series of documents reflecting some agreed changes and also to review and compare some other similar agreements. I make the amendments and then set about drafting some extra clauses I think our client might want included.

*17:30 *

Get ready to leave the office earlier than usual as our team is training for a charity hike in the Scottish Highlands in June by walking along the Thames to Richmond. Change out of my suit and meet up with the rest of the team to head off!