European International and Comparative Law – Sheffield
Having studied maritime law as a module in my final year, I developed a strong interest in shipping that made HFW stand out to me at the university law fair.
After an internship at the International Maritime Organization and a paralegal role at another law firm, I decided to apply to HFW directly for a training contract. I found the recruitment process refreshingly straightforward and organised. The atmosphere at the assessment day was relaxed. On the morning after my Partner interview I was offered a training contract by telephone and my offer letter arrived the next day.
My first seat was in Ship Finance, which is a non-contentious seat. I was involved in preparing documents for the financing and refinancing of both ships and yachts, the sale and purchase of ships and yachts as well the design and construction of yachts. I really enjoyed seeing a different side of the shipping industry and I was very impressed by the high level of responsibility I was given as a first seat Trainee. I spoke directly with clients and foreign correspondents, negotiated amendments to documents with the other side and attended closing meetings, giving me insight into how transactions are managed from start to finish. Because of how immersed Trainees are in the transactions, I was able to participate in the decision making process and I was treated like a permanent member of the team.
My second seat was in the Aerospace department, which is instructed on many high profile aircraft disputes and losses by insurers, airlines and manufacturers. The department also advises on regulatory issues including the effects of Brexit and it has been exciting to work on something so topical. In addition, I have assisted with the financing of a new fleet of aircraft, putting to use my experience from my first seat. The Aerospace team spans across the London, Dubai, Paris, Brussels, Sao PaUlo, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore offices and assisting the different offices has been a great way of getting to know the firm better. The members of the team in London are very social and friendly; they host drinks every second Friday and eat lunch together on a daily basis.
My third seat will be abroad in Pireaus where I will mainly be working in shipping litigation. I look forward to settling in and working with the Greek shipping market.