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Will Copping

Trainee Solicitor

My path to HFW started as a naval cadet at school. Learning about the law used by ships to navigate spiralled into an interest in the international trade laws supporting the physical nuts and bolts of our globalised world.

At university, inspired by an open day at HFW, I applied for a training contract whilst planning a dissertation on maritime piracy. At interview, I was pleased to see that the Partners were not only really commercially involved in their fields (one had been a shipping architect) but also promoted a culture where a junior lawyer could bring their full personality to work alongside their legal mind. This feeling was validated by meeting my awesome class of fellow future trainees on the LPC, all with a rich variety of experiences and reasons for joining HFW. I still smile at the thought of counting such a group as colleagues and friends.

My first seat started in Commodities Disputes. I was also able to spend time with the Trade Finance team as part of HFW’s growing transactional capacity. This team also dealt with digital trade, including several cryptocurrency matters! I was thrilled to be seconded for almost half of this seat to an energy client, working in their London-based trading subsidiary. This gave me a really valuable early perspective on how things work on the client-side and how lawyers communicate with other professionals.

My second seat was in HFW’s Geneva office, continuing commodities work and also delving into sanctions, a very fast-moving area of law with immediate consequences. Being in an international office is great as a Trainee, as it ramps up the level of responsibility in drafting and research tasks. It also multiplies your network of fellow lawyers.

My current third seat is in the firm’s Fraud & Insolvency Group. I have enjoyed cutting my teeth on some complex and longstanding litigation cases, and of course it is always a great feeling to be able to help someone else in the firm with the occasional insolvency query. HFW’s disputes practice is world-class, and I think that few careers in the city match up to the feeling of trading sophisticated legal arguments and settlement tactics with another party.

I will shortly find out where I am going for my final seat. Wherever I go, I know I’ll be able to complete my training contract the same way I started it; surrounded by all the know-how and support I could ever need and doing exciting and stimulating work everyday. I don’t have a model ship or plane on my desk yet but I know it's only a matter of time!

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