Why did you decide to start your legal career at Ropes & Gray?
I really liked the idea of working in a smaller office, but with a big U.S. presence. It was clear that the quality of the work would be of the highest standard, and I would be a part of an actively growing business, helping to shape the direction in which it went. It is a really exciting opportunity, and not something you commonly come across in the London market.
How has Ropes & Gray helped you build a career as a lawyer?
I’m currently in my third seat in the real estate department, having sat in private equity, followed by antitrust. There is a strong emphasis on learning from those around you, and the office is full of very talented lawyers who actively seek to mentor trainees working on their matters. In addition, the firm places a keen focus on providing a variety of training throughout the year, for all levels of the business. There is huge scope, therefore, to advance your career and learn throughout your time at Ropes & Gray.
I really liked the idea of working in a smaller office, but with a big U.S. presence. It was clear that the quality of the work would be of the highest standard and I would be a part of an actively growing business, helping to shape the direction in which it went.”
Tell us about a memorable matter you’ve worked on.
In my second seat, I assisted on the pre-notification filings in a variety of jurisdictions for a life sciences client. This process involved numerous requests for information from the different competition authorities, often coming in at the same time and requiring fast turnarounds of complex and extensive data relating to the client’s product lines.
I was involved in liaising directly with the client and ensuring that we were addressing all of the points raised by the various competition authorities. Each time we received data, I conducted an analysis of it and followed up where I thought further questions would be raised. This required having a good knowledge of the client’s product lines, as well as an understanding of what the competition authorities were seeking to establish. Given there were a number of different requests for information from each authority, it was also necessary to ensure that the data being submitted was consistent, and any inconsistency was properly explained. Having a strong grasp of the detail was therefore vital.
I worked with this client for most of my second seat, which gave me a fantastic opportunity to become familiar with all of the issues at play, and to develop a good working relationship with the client. Working on this matter developed my confidence in being able to raise important points and resolve them myself, and as a result I was given a high level of responsibility to liaise with the client directly. It also taught me the importance of being on top of the detail and flagging points of concern in a timely manner to other members of the team. The process was often stressful and fast-paced, so I felt a strong sense of achievement each time we successfully filed a response.
Tell us about a pro bono matter you’ve worked on.
I worked on a Lawyers Without Borders matter, helping to put together a presentation for trial advocacy training for judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officials and lawyers in Namibia to help improve the conviction rate in domestic abuse cases.
Working on this matter allowed me to use my legal skills to have a practical, positive impact upon the lives of women who find themselves in difficult situations and may not have access to legal support. Improving conviction rates for domestic abuse is vital in giving victims belief that involving the justice system can improve their situation.
I would describe the Ropes & Gray culture as focused, driven, modern and inclusive.”
How would you describe the firm’s culture?
I would describe the Ropes & Gray culture as focused, driven, modern and inclusive. I have never felt that I couldn’t ask questions of my seniors, and there is a real emphasis on team-building to ensure that everyone works well together, and that there are social aspects to work, as well as working hard. There’s also a strong sense of pride in the London office about the growth we have achieved in the London market in the space of only 10 years.
What tips would you give a potential applicant?
Ensure that you are well versed in the main practice areas in London. We aren’t full-service in our offering here, and we focus on the global strengths of Ropes & Gray. Having an awareness of what those are will really aid your application. Additionally, try to keep having conversations with friends and family about commercial issues. These will often come up at interview, and having confidence that you can discuss these at length and have relevant and thoughtful things to say will help you to perform well. Once you arrive at Ropes & Gray, members of the team are expected to understand issues from the client’s perspective so that we can best advise them on their different options. Therefore, having a commercial perspective and understanding is key to our daily work.