Training Contract Interview Preparation Notes (Working Copy)

Training Contract Interview Preparation Notes (Working Copy)

• one of the largest full service international law firms

• work for some of the world's most prestigious organisations in both the public and private sectors. Acts for 111 Listed companies
• Strong Global Reach: over 40 offices based in the world’s major economic centres
• All of our offices share the same philosophy and project management approach, ensuring clients receive service that is consistent and distinctly Eversheds (one firm approach).
• Innovative thinking- willingness to challenge industry norms (Innovation Forum), helps to meet clients’ evolving needs
• Approach: Client-centred, Straightforward, Teamwork, Continuous Improvement & being Measurably Better
• developed organically over the past decade working for corporate organisations of all shapes and sizes in countries where they want to do business.
• Sectoral Approach: lawyers who understand your business, who can look beyond individual deals to the business and industry drivers and provide guidance that is as commercially smart as it is legally correct.


• pioneering approaches to the law such as genuine project management and measurement of results that leads to cost predictability and control. In particular, the firm is noted for effectively delivering complex, multi-national legal services through one point of contact.
Key Practice Areas:
• Company Commercial
• Real Estate
• Human Resources and Pensions
• Litigation and Dispute Management
Financial Performance

• in [year]-12 Eversheds’ revenue increased by 3 per cent to £366m
• And the firm's move away from public sector to private sector work has helped push up turnover.
• pre-recession high of £390.5m in [year]–08.

Why Commercial Law?

Good Mix b/w Commercial and Legal Work
Exposure to variety of Sectors and Clients
Gain knowledge of not just the law, but work with businesses in different sectors in identifying challenges & opportunities they face & requirements. Variety & unique problems
International teams
Globalisation of Commerce
cross-border work
Exposure to International jurisdictions & markets
Unique problems / creative thinking / new ideas & approaches
When decided to become a lawyer?
University- modules and mooting competitions: enjoyed manipulating and applying law to different situations in order to achieve a goal. It was interesting to see how I got the solutions- putting puzzles together until there is a perfect fit.
Every situation was never the same and required me to take a new approach and think creatively about problems- intellectually stimulating.

What do you feel you gained during your employment?

Commercial Awareness and client-facing skills.

 Worked on high-profile matters in energy, banking and telecoms sectors. Developed understanding of how businesses work & client requirements.
 Problem solving, teamwork and analytical skills
 Worked in international teams to discuss and develop ideas into solutions for clients.
 Organisational Skills & attention to detail
 Quick-paced environment, many projects, prioritised competing deadlines and demonstr focus.
What other careers/options did you consider?
 Following my successful career in amateur [sport], considered becoming a professional [sportsman]
 Decided that I needed an intellectual challenge and variety- something with commercial flavour.
 Solicitor- exposure to law and commerce, exciting clients, novel challenges, creative thinking and teamwork, solutions, rewarding.
 Commercially Aware & client-facing skills: work with clients across a range of industries & understand the challenges and opportunities they face in their industries & how businesses work.
 Teamwork, problem solving, analytical skills: work in diverse groups to analyse, discuss and develop ideas into solutions.
 Organised & Good attention to detail: ability to prioritise competing deadlines and manage my workload effectively with a focus on quality.
 Committed, motivated & focused- use my initiative to add value to my work.


 Over commitment- sometimes become very engrossed in work that dont realise how quickly time flies – great interest on the matters i work on. Sometimes eats into work v life balance.
What do clients expect from their solicitors?
 Clear and straightforward advice
 Understand their businesses, industries & requirements
 Ability to find innovative solutions to complex problems.
main challenges facing the legal profession
 Globalisation- entering & understanding local markets and jurisdictions.

Which area of law should be reformed?

 Tax rules
 designed for a “bricks and mortar” economy not digital one with vast value tied up in intellectual property.
 Companies: act within letter of law, the rules need changing.
 Costing tax payer money (austerity) SMEs
 Political and public outrage about aggressive tax avoidance
 minimal amounts of tax paid by big businesses.
 Google, Amazon and Starbucks have been accused by politicians of being “immoral” for not paying their “fair share”. See Dolce & Gabbana fashion brand in Italy (half billion/ plus arrest of designers)!!!!!
 Root and branch reform is required.
 Avoidance- to move profits from the country of activity to a low-tax jurisdiction.
 inter-company loans so interest payments are used to offset tax
 or citing intellectual property in tax havens and charging subsidiaries for its use.
 On agenda of G8
 OECD proposed action plan to
 1) stop multi-nationals moving profits from one country to another to reduce their tax bill.
 2) tax will be largely paid where the original economic activity takes place.

News/Topic: Shale Gas

Shale gas exploration in UK
Controversial & topical - interesting
 re-shaping the global energy landscape and has a massive potential.
 Early stage in UK but can be very significant.
 Satisfy growing demand for energy
(North Sea / late March, it was reported that stored reserves were down to just two days’ supply).
 Increase consumer purchasing power by reducing energy prices
 Lower gas prices improves the competitiveness of energy intensive industries (reduces transaction costs) stimulate growth by making industries competitive (Osborne- favourable tax regime for shale)
 Opening up competition in the energy industry by breaking up large monopolies (Gazprom).
 Harms the environment – water contamination
 No clear legal framework
 Hinders the transition to renewable energy
reduces fossil energy prices thus making renewable energy expensive
 Benchmark/ Success Story
 BUT larger scale / economies of scale
 lowest energy costs in the world
 revival in American manufacturing including chemicals, aluminium, steel, machinery and electrical product
 The cost-benefit study is not clear- too early to tell
 US only benchmark/ success story but larger
 Shale gas < important role in future to meet shortages in renewable energy.
 Small % of reserves is extractable- is it commercially viable? Develop more efficient techniques- High ROE?

UK Economy

 Fall in Sterling- good for exports and UK industries
 Austerity- reduced people’s spending power through cuts
 Monetary Policy, Mark Carney- Forward Guidance:
 Consumers and companies will feel more relaxed about borrowing if the central bank reassures them it does not intend to put rates up soon.
 On the whole, guidance seems to buy stability when initially deployed, at the cost of greater volatility later.
 The promise that rates will stay low for long may be impossible to keep if the recovery arrives sooner than initially expected. The BoE would then have to renege on its commitment, tightening policy to stop inflation from getting out of hand.
 7 per cent unemployment threshold the Bank will use to inform its decision on when to tighten monetary policy.

Tesco & Global Struggle: China

 Aggressive growth plans for China
 Does not understand the Chinese market and local conditions- lossmaking, cannot go alone
 JV with CRE
 Tesco hold 20%
 Tesco maintains exposure to China, but in a more capital-light way
 Synergies & focus on ROCE
 Tesco retrenching / scaling back

Tesco & Global Struggle: US

 Philip Clarke, chief executive of Tesco pulled out of Japan and is in the process of extricating the company from the US
 Tesco Retrenching / scaling back
 It is trying hard to get out of the US through the sale of Fresh & Easy.
 Tesco’s desire for a clean break from the US

Tesco & UK: Re-structuring

 Tesco is to open a London flagship store for its F&F fashion range in the autumn.
 The F&F flagship in Kensington would represent the first time that Tesco has brought its full clothing range to a central London audience.
 group’s wider overhaul of its biggest stores, as it tries to turn round its UK business after a profit warning 18 months ago.
 Tesco has indicated that it is moving away from some categories – including consumer electronics, DIY, car accessories, small domestic appliances and certain toys – in order to devote more space to food, clothing and health and beauty. (FOCUS CORE BUSINESS)


 Vicker’s Reform
 The coalition's implementation of the Vickers reforms – to erect a ringfence around retail and investment banking operations
 Banks dont gamble with depositors money

FI / Banking BASEL III

 Basel 3- increased liquidity coverage ratio to make sure that bank’s build up enough cash to survive a 30-day credit crunch. However, following lobbying from banks the Basel 3 rules were relaxed as banks can count more types of assets as "liquid"
 Europe’s financial institutions to comply with more rigorous accountancy standards known as Basel III, which include holding more funds in reserves and cutting riskier assets from firms’ balance sheets. Already, many firms including HSBC and Deutsche Bank have been shedding assets in recent years in a bid to increase their capital reserves to protect against future financial shocks.


 cap banker bonuses at the region’s largest institutions
 excesses that contributed to the financial crisis.
 restrict bonus payments to one year’s base salary
 The rules will put an end to the culture of excessive bonuses, which encouraged risk-taking for short-term gains,”
 “This is a question of fairness. If taxpayers are being asked to pick up the bill after the financial crisis, banks must also make a contribution.”
 many firms would look to skirt the new restrictions by offering higher base salaries for their top earners,
 such rules would make the region less competitive and prompt an exodus of talent.

Work Experience

 good understanding of litigation because I worked on one case from the inception to trial
 Bolstered my sectoral expertise (telecommunications, oil and gas, commodities and fashion industries ) and enabled me to understand individual client requirements
 International exposure- cross border matters and liaised with overseas offices- learnt how different jurisdictions interact and established professional & personal relationships.
 Client-Facing Skills- liaised with witnesses, high-profile clients, first-port-of-contact
 Pan European Telecom
 Help to Buy Scheme
 Energy Reforms in Mexico
 Mark Carney’s Forward Guidance on Monetary Policy
 EU Banking Union
 Shale Gas and Fracking
 Tesco in China
 US-American airline merger worth $13 billion US Justic Dept. Blocked it.

Tax Avoidance

In [year], we set out a strategic plan that is building on our achievements. We're not setting off in a radical new direction. Our vision, values and brand are still at the centre of what we do. We simply plan to do it all better. We've set down in black and white exactly what we're doing and stated specific targets, actions and responsibilities to get us to our goal.

At the heart of our market strategy is our commitment to provide world-class client service to differentiate us from our competitors. This means focusing our efforts in specific sectors, taking advantage of our size and strength through Networked Law, using the tools and techniques that deliver an outstanding client service, and creating centres of excellence within our offices.

We have developed a sector-based approach to our work so we see clients as they see themselves. By organising ourselves in this way, we can better understand our clients' needs, their businesses and how we can add value to our advice. Sector groups allow us to arrange ourselves around our clients rather than internal departments.

Building our strength and profile in London is vital for our entire firm. Our move to new premises in the heart of the City, at One Wood Street, is symbolic of our commitment to double the size of the London office in order to boost the flow of work around our international network. Our new London and international headquarters, opened in Spring [year], and features technologies and environments that will meet the needs of our people and clients in the future.

With 38 offices across EMEA and more offices outside the UK than in it, we're global in our outlook. During [year] we opened new offices in Shanghai and Qatar, as well as an innovative alliance with three firms in the Baltic region. We listen to our clients' needs by ensuring we have people where they want them and providing a consistent approach across our offices. We have created business groups to share expertise for our clients.
Continuing to grow our business profitably allows us to continue to invest in the firm, our people and our clients. We do this by being more efficient in the way we work, by being smarter in managing costs and keeping up-to-date with our systems and methodologies. Implementing our Project Management way of working and using Business Process Reengineering all facilitate this.

In the summer of [year] our Leeds colleagues moved into their new state of the art building, an example of how we're investing in our firm. This will give our people the chance to work smarter through advanced IT and offer clients state of the art facilities. This will give our people the chance to work smarter through advanced IT and offer clients state of the art facilities.

Finally, creating an exciting workplace where our people do great work for great clients and are well rewarded for it whilst working for leaders who enthuse, engage and motivate them, is fundamental to our vision and a key part of our strategy.

Integration with its international network is central to Eversheds' new three-year strategy set out last year by chief executive Bryan Hughes.
• How does Eversheds manage to tailor to international clients by operating through a single point of contact and same philosophy across the globe.
• Eversheds currently provides legal solutions to clients around the world even where it does not have physical locations. Being client-focused, how does it manage to understand client requirements in these international regions? Does it plan to open more overseas offices?