The best advocates of our graduate careers are the trainees themselves. Here’s what Vinay had to say about life at AG.
- Name: Vinay Rawal
- Job title: Trainee
- Location: London
- Current Department: Mainstream Corporate
How I Got Here
I studied law at university but had second thoughts and went into retail for a while after graduating. I was offered a place on a procurement grad scheme and the irony is that it reignited my interest in the legal sector! During this time, I took part in a vacation scheme with Addleshaw Goddard and really enjoyed it, so I accepted the offer of a training contract.
Doing the Vacation Scheme
I spent my vacation scheme in the Corporate Fraud department and the Corporate department. While I was here, we were in the midst of the Berezovsky case. It was an extremely exciting case to be involved in and I ended up following it as it progressed.
Trainees are Trusted
As a trainee, I’ve been given quite a bit of responsibility, including a client secondment in my second seat. I was trusted to manage a legal stream whilst on secondment and given ownership of that area. It meant drafting various agreements and ensuring the business was up-to-speed on the weekly updates from the Advertising and Standards Authority. I’ve also helped to negotiate key contracts, drafted key documents and Due Diligence reports and carried out verification of the main takeover documents. I’ve also been trusted to run completions, and this often involves huge amounts of documentation, as well as guiding the client through signing them.
You Never Stop Learning
Regardless of your level of seniority, you’re constantly learning something and being stretched. AG is a firm that takes pride in developing all of its employees. You’re given as much responsibility as you ask for, and it’s something I really appreciate. The calibre of clients is also impressive. It's exciting to see the work that you’ve done reported in the press and it’s rewarding to see a deal come together. This is even more exciting when you’ve had a high level of client contact, as you’re in touch with the people who are running the process from a commercial point of view.
An Eye-Opening Deal
I was recently part of a team advising the A&J Mucklow Group plc on their acquisition by London Metric Property. This was the first public takeover that I worked on, and it was extremely eye-opening as the timeline was extremely tight. Having studied schemes of arrangement in theory, it was interesting to see it in action. Our client was a family owned company that had become one of the largest property companies in the Midlands. It was interesting to see what the Chairman had to do to get his family members on side and get the requisite voting percentage to pass the Scheme of Arrangement. I got involved in many different streams of work, as we had to prepare the announcement documentation as specified by the Takeover Code, which meant ensuring was correct and could be substantiated. We also had to prepare the actual Scheme of Arrangement document as well as all the court documents. Timelines are dictated by regulation, so it was essential we stuck to them while being efficient. I learned a lot about the public takeover process and the documents that are required – it’s very different from a traditional private takeover.
Living the Culture
I’m always sceptical about firms that throw ‘culture’ around as a buzzword. But having worked at Addleshaw Goddard 18 months now, I know they practice what they preach. Everyone is very approachable, including all of the partners. You also work closely with partners, which means they’re invested in your development as a lawyer. The atmosphere is collaborative, and everyone is happy to be here – it’s not stressful or stuffy. Simple as it sounds, people are nice to each other at AG and it makes a big difference. AG is a firm that’s interested in its people, and this comes across in lots of ways. People are trusted and there’s a huge amount of support for trainees, but you’re also treated as part of the team. This makes you feel more included, especially during the first couple of months of a new seat which can be a steep learning curve.
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