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Rupali Sharma

Associate, Aerospace

I qualified as an Associate into the London Aerospace team in September 2016, after beginning my journey at HFW with a summer vacation scheme in 2012.  During my vacation scheme I spent a week in the Corporate team and another week with the Energy team.  Despite coming from a non-law background (Geography), the firm did not shy away from giving me real insight into to the type of work completed on a daily basis by the fee earners, for instance, reviewing contracts and commenting on the strength and weaknesses of the terms agreed, outlining the protections available for our client, considering the merits of a potential defence and discussing case strategy etc.  The Associates and Partners were more than happy to answer my hundreds of questions and took time to explain their matters and provide feedback once I completed the work.  Following my vacation scheme I was offered a training contract with the firm, and started as a Trainee in August 2014 after completing the GDL and LPC.

During my training contract I completed my seats in: Commodities, Aerospace; Energy in Singapore; and Corporate. In my first seat I was drafting applications to the court and supporting witness statements, assisting with disclosure and even at times working on High Court matters with just one Partner and myself.  This level of responsibility grew throughout my training contract.

I was attracted by HFW because of its variety of work, especially its contentious work; the opportunity to do a secondment abroad; the friendly environment, and the firm's true international focus. As an Associate in the Aerospace team I work for airlines, insurers, airports, manufacturers and governments and advise on elements of contract and tort law.  As the Aerospace industry is global in nature I have the opportunity to liaise with the different international offices we have, and where we do not have an office, to instruct and work with other law firms in those jurisdictions, allowing me to learn how cases are managed in different parts of the world. Although majority of my work is disputes based, I also assist the Aircraft Finance team on financing and refinancing of aircraft, giving me well rounded experience.