Associate, Energy & Resources
I studied modern languages (Spanish and Portuguese) at university. After graduating in 2014, I spent six months working in Mexico and considering my next steps. By the time I returned, I had decided that my ideal job would be intellectually stimulating, involve further study and give me the opportunity to live and work abroad. Law seemed the perfect fit and HFW seemed the perfect firm. After spending a week at the firm on a vacation scheme, I was offered a training contract and I started as a Trainee in September 2017 after completing the GDL and LPC.
Like many applicants, I was attracted to the firm in part because of its strong tradition of contentious work. To my surprise, my first seat was in Transactional and Regulatory Insurance. At the end of the first six months, I was certain that transactional work was for me!
My second seat was in the Commodities team in Paris. I had a fantastic time and made some very firm friends in the Paris office, as well as working on some interesting cases. My colleagues truly took the time to support my development as a lawyer, as well as being very patient as I improved my French.
On my return to London, I spent three months in Contentious Insurance/Reinsurance, before being seconded to an insurance broker. It was fantastic to experience in-house life. I was kept very busy negotiating agreements with lawyers in other jurisdictions, explaining legal issues to brokers and gaining an understanding of the insurance broking business. Several members of my Trainee intake have also had the opportunity to undertake client secondments, and all of us have found it to be a really enriching experience.
During my time at the firm, I have attended the fortnightly meetings of the Energy Team, a firm-wide knowledge group with members from all of HFW's sector groups. Attendees present on the energy sectors of a region of their choice, which is a good opportunity to develop presentations skills. I also had the chance to attend the Chatham House Climate Change conference in 2018, and I have since been involved in various firm-wide initiatives relating to renewable energy and climate change. For example, along with other Trainees and Associates, each month I help draft an internal bulletin on important industry and legal issues relating to renewable energy and climate change affecting our clients.
It was great to put some of this industry knowledge into practice in my final seat, which I spent in the Corporate Energy & Resources team. After enjoying my first seat so much, I was delighted to be able to gain further experience in transactional work. The matters I have worked on in my final seat have been incredibly diverse. For example, I have been involved in the financing of a renewables project in Cameroon, drafting project agreements for a major port development, reviewing logistics contracts, carrying out due diligence and researching oil, gas, infrastructure and renewables sectors in different countries ahead of client pitches and business development trips. I will be staying with this team on qualification.
Reflecting back on the last two years, I can't quite believe how much I have learned. Although the work I have done has been very varied, a point of consistency has been that the people I have worked with have been very encouraging and passionate about the work they do. I'm looking forward to seeing what the future has in store!