Training Contract Questions and Answers
A. Describe your biggest achievement and/or most demanding position of responsibility you have held to date; what did you learn from this? (150 words)
At [Law Firm Name] ([LAW FIRM INITIALS]), I assisted the senior partner on a cross-border case comprising of a shareholder dispute in a joint venture vehicle. As the client could only speak [language], I was the first point of contact. The client requested that I attend the Board of Directors (BoD) Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of a natural resources joint venture in Amsterdam. I was asked to act as an interpreter between the client and [language], Dutch and English solicitors. I learnt to think on my feet and see things from a business perspective and always align myself with client’s commercial objectives whilst managing to remain robust and calm under pressure. Similarly, I learnt to be versatile and manage a large group of professionals.
B. In your opinion, what makes an international legal practice successful? Identify how your personal qualities would contribute to such success. (300 words)
As an international legal practice is often concerned with complex and cross-border deals, teamwork is essential at all levels. At [Law Firm Name], I assisted a partner on a cross-border shareholder dispute in a joint venture vehicle. Given that the client could only speak [language] and most documents were in [language], I was delegated responsibility in the management of the case. I constantly worked in close-knit teams where I was an attentive listener and good communicator. I collaborated with overseas lawyers to bring the individual elements together and reach a successful conclusion. I was always forthcoming with ideas and displayed fortitude and irrepressible optimism.
International and commercial focus is of primary importance to an international legal practice. In order to deliver a solution to a client’s problem, it is essential to have a very deep understanding of the client’s problem. At present, I am assisting [law firm]’s London team on [high-net-worth individual]’s defense to [high-net-worth individual]’s claim estimated at £[value] in a dispute arising from sale of the claimant’s shares in [natural resources company], one of [country’s] largest oil companies. I am working closely with [law firm]’s associates from [city] and London offices in conducting disclosure. In deciding which documents are relevant to the disclosure request pursuant to the court’s order, I am required to see from a business perspective and align myself with the client’s commercial objectives.
International transactions are normally complex in nature and require fresh thinking and a high degree of innovation to solve problems. During my third year at university, I have pioneered an amateur [Sport] club for the first time in fifty years. I extended my resourcefulness to the problem and remained very robust and calm under pressure. I displayed a sharp analytical mind and physical and mental stamina.
C. Identify a current commercial issue which has attracted your attention recently. Why do you consider it to be significant? Who are the key stakeholders in this situation and what are the implications for those concerned? (400 words)
I found the $10 billion groundbreaking strategic global alliance between [company] and BP to be of utmost interest. [company] and BP have agreed to explore and develop three license blocks the [language] Arctic continental shelf. This historic agreement is significant because it creates the first major equity-linked partnership between a national and international oil company. Following completion of this agreement, [company] will hold 5 per cent of BP’s ordinary voting shares in exchange for approximately 9.5 per cent of [company]’s shares. The share swap component of the alliance creates strategic alignment to pursue joint projects and demonstrates mutual confidence in the growth potential of both companies. The key stakeholders in this deal are the TNK-BP (run by [language] Alfa, Access and Renova consortium), [company], BP and the Government of the [language] Federation (Kremlin). Underpinning this alliance is a new type of relationship based on a significant cross-shareholding, and bringing together technology, exploration and safe and responsible field development skills. This landmark deal creates a deep partnership which represents a new stage in these relationships. The world’s need for energy continues to increase. BP is working with national oil companies using its leading exploration skills and expertise to meet this demand. This is a trend which will increase as access to resource becomes scarcer. The partnership marks a watershed in the development of [country]'s oil sector, with the Kremlin softening its doctrine of resource nationalism and opening the door to global energy majors.
The deal is opposed by a consortium of [language] billionaire shareholders who are partners in the BP’s joint TNK-BP venture in [country]. The consortium has argued that BP's proposed $10 billion share swap deal with [company] would violate the TNK-BP shareholders' agreement and erode the joint venture's competitive advantage. AAR has won a London court injunction to keep the deal on hold pending an arbitration review, which TNK-BP said could be completed within weeks.
Document scanning and redacting, database coding, database searching, document review, database maintenance/updating, proofreading of documents including contracts, agreements and transcripts, and preparation of bundles.
Bundle preparation including bulk printing, arranging photocopying, copy-checking, indexing, file preparation and collation. Hardcopy document management including file indexing, creation of spines and covers. Other responsibilities included attending client meetings, drafting minutes to meetings, preparing attendance notes and interpreting. Attended a Board of Directors EGM in Amsterdam.
Selected by [university] Law School to participate in an innovative distance-learning course developed to provide a recognised qualification for licensing officers in government. I was required to give presentations to a large audience of professionals, create handouts on how to research the law, and attend meetings with senior project managers.
I am fluent in [language] (including business and legal language), competent in using WestLaw, Practical Law Company, Ringtail, Clearview and Documatrix. I enjoy amateur [Sport] and have had over fifty amateur [Sport] bouts and won a gold medal for England in the Four Nations championship. I received the ‘[award name]’ award for being the [sportsman] of the year in [year]. Last year, for the first time in fifty years, I have successfully established an amateur [Sport] club at the [University]. I am a member of the ‘[language]s in UK’ network in London. I also enjoy travelling, reading and playing [sport].
Assisted the partner on a litigious matter between a New Zealand Bank and its Employee right through to the hearing stage. I was required to compile and update bundles, draft correspondence, take minutes in meetings with the barrister, accompany the partner to case management discussions at the Employment Tribunal and research the new case law. This work experience has developed my good judgement in situations where I needed to apply law to sensitive situations and improved my ability to deal with pressure and react quickly and sensibly to challenging situations.
At university, I was a law representative for the student-staff liaison committee and was a first contact for students who wanted to raise any concerns regarding the law department. I was a very pro-active member of the [university] [language] Speaking Society ([SOCIETY INITIALS]) and was on the panel of the executives. On a daily basis, I worked as part of a team to organise socials and events. I was a zealous member of the ‘[society]’ society. In the past, I have been involved in projects aimed to save electricity by switching off unused computers in the library during vacation breaks. On a sportier note, I greatly enjoy amateur [Sport]. With over fifty amateur bouts I have [done the sport] at national level and represented England in the Four Nations Tournament. For the first time in fifty years, I have pioneered the ‘[University] Amateur [Sport] Club’.
Assisted the partner on a litigious matter between a New Zealand Bank and its Employee right through to the hearing stage. I was required to compile and update bundles, draft correspondence, take minutes in meetings with the barrister, accompany the partner to case management discussions at the Employment Tribunal, research the new case law. This work experience has developed my good judgement in situations where I needed to apply law to sensitive situations and improved my ability to deal with pressure and react quickly and sensibly to challenging situations.
I greatly enjoy amateur [Sport] and train very regularly. I share my skills and passion for the sport by providing lessons to friends and people who have an interest in [Sport]. Last year, I trained several students at the [University], who went on to do very well in the ‘varsity’ championships. Having been involved in [Sport] for over a decade, I was regularly required to travel to various places to compete. This has developed my interest in travelling and exploring new places. During my spare time, I enjoy playing football, and have been selected to represent [Law Firm Name] in the summer football tournament. I enjoy networking and regularly attend the ‘[Language] professionals in the UK’ event. Similarly, I enjoy playing [sport] and in the second year of university I have been selected to represent [university] university in the national [sport] championships.