Antony studied an LLB at UCL before joining Weil as an associate
Why did you choose Weil?
Weil struck me as a firm that would be successful in a variety of economic conditions given its strong reputation for private equity and leading international restructuring practice. I was also drawn to the inclusive culture that I experienced on the first year fast track scheme, and subsequently the vacation scheme.
What does your role involve?
As a junior associate in the finance team, I am typically responsible for a range of matters, including: drafting and negotiating key finance documents such as facility, security and guarantee agreements, co-ordinating key deliverables at each stage of a financing transaction, managing any ancillary workstreams and the execution of documents ahead of a signing or closing. One of the things that I appreciate about Weil is that during my training contract, I was increasingly trusted to be a point of contact to the client. As such, the step-up to being an associate was made less daunting, albeit now I have to be even more proactive in anticipating what will be required and when, and communicate these effectively to the rest of the deal team.
What have you enjoyed about your training contract?
A highlight of my training contract was working on a private equity client take-private of a private company in the UK professional services sector. The target company’s shares were listed on AIM, and the takeover was to be completed by way of scheme of arrangement. This added a few extra layers of complexity in comparison to the other private acquisitions that I had worked on previously, and at each stage of the transaction, we had to ensure that our client was in constant compliance with the Takeover Code. I was able to experience the whole life-cycle of a deal, from non-disclosure agreements and due diligence through to signing and finally closing. The best part of the job for me is being able to confirm completion of a transaction, after what may have been many months of hard work along with the rest of the deal team. It is also a good time to reflect on what went well, the obstacles that were faced and how we managed to overcome these - learning which will undoubtedly need to be drawn upon in future deals, where it is likely that a not too dissimilar challenge may arise. At Weil, providing a highly refined client service is of great importance, so it is imperative to self-reflect on how we can do this better each time, and thus continue to secure the mandates we are targeting as a firm.
What training have you received?
Weil ensures that there is the right amount of formal training sessions for trainees across the various practice groups, which makes it a bit easier to get up to speed as you transition into a new seat. For associates in the finance team, there are regular team meetings to note the deals we are working on as a group, and any recent market trends that have been observed. Supplementary to this are the invaluable training sessions led by either partners or senior associates, which deal with specific aspects of finance law or documentation that the group would benefit from discussing together. These are highly interactive and a great opportunity to pick the brains of more senior members of the group.
What makes your organisation a great place to work?
I have always felt supported in my career aspirations by my more senior colleagues, supervisors and mentors. I was fortunate enough to be seconded to Weil’s New York (NY) office for my fourth and final seat, where I returned to the finance team. It was great to be able to make intra-firm connections by spending six months at what is the largest office in the firm by headcount. Having established those relationships, any cross-border deals that I am involved in with the NY team will be with colleagues that I have as good a working relationship with as my London colleagues. The fact that Weil offers (often more than one) secondment opportunities is a real draw, as it is a chance to broaden your understanding of the law and the dynamic between the US and European markets, with the benefit and perspective of having worked in another jurisdiction. I also learned that Weil’s collegiate atmosphere is not just unique to its London office; it, along with its core values and outstanding people, is shared globally.
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