Why are you interested in working for an international city law firm and becoming a commercial solicitor?
Willing to take control of events and see activities through by overcoming obstacles and setbacks. Is forthcoming with ideas and suggestions, spots opportunities and finds ways to improve or enhance ways of working.
A. Describe an occasion when you spotted an opportunity to make an improvement and took action without being asked to do so? What steps did you take? What was the outcome? (200 words)*
At [law firm], I was given the task of proofreading and editing an Initial Offering Memorandum for a luxury goods company based on the comments of parties involved in the matter. Having received handwritten mark-ups, I have noticed overlaps and inconsistency in commentary between the parties. In order to reduce the number of inconsistencies, I devised a global list of standard terms to ensure uniformity and coherence throughout the document. I then circulated the list to all parties for agreement. The list of agreed terms helped to improve the overall consistency of the Memorandum and allowed the parties to focus their attention on more substantive segments of the document. This allowed us to complete the drafting of the Memorandum ahead of our deadline.
Shows a commitment to high standards for both own and others work no matter how small the task. Demonstrates drive, stamina and the capacity to work hard. Makes the extra effort although it may not always be in own self interest.
B. Describe an occasion when you have demonstrated commitment to a task or project that resulted in you exceeding expectations either for yourself or others. What steps did you take? What was the outcome? (200 words)*
Whilst at [Law Firm Name], I was given the responsibility of ensuring that the witness statements conformed to a unified formatting guide before being filed with court on the next day. Late into the night, I discovered that old versions of the witness statements were translated and therefore did not reflect the latest original drafts. I immediately contacted the supervising attorney and explained the problem to him. The attorney asked me to translate these sections in a very short amount of time which, from a practical point-of-view, was not doable. Having assessed the situation, I contacted translation agencies but none would take on this job at such a short notice. I then contacted the entire team in the [city] office and asked for their assistance with the translations. Immediately, I received an encouraging level of response. I organised and flagged up the sections that were materially different and, along with the deadline, distributed them across to the [city] team. In the early hours of the morning, I managed to get the London team to do a final sanity check of the document. In the end, the witness statements were translated accurately and filed with court on time.
Awareness of own impact on commercial success of the firm. Understands the context in which the firm operates. Provides a quality client service that balances the needs of the client and the firm.
C. Choose a sector group of the firm and summarise the biggest challenges and opportunities they will face in the future. (200 words)*
Tighter regulation, an overhang of debt in the west and the immense growth in the power of banks in emerging economies will transform the landscape of banking and international finance.
Governments in the west have made it clear that they want tighter global banking regulation to ensure that such a crisis does not repeat. Finance ministers of the group of 20 developed and emerging economies have called for stronger capital and liquidity standards, a ‘fair and substantial’ commitment by banks to pay back the cost of government intervention, and tighter regulation to ensure greater supervision and transparency. This new and additional regulation will result in a return to more traditional business models which could mean that banks will be less able to achieve growth.
Banks in emerging markets are now well capitalised and well funded and big enough to compete directly against their western counterparts in the global marketplace. They have greater potential for growth because of the relatively immature development of their domestic financial markets and their rapidly growing economies.
A key challenge lies in the dichotomy that financial markets are increasingly global while regulators are predominantly national. Greater international co-operation will therefore be needed to improve the stability of the global financial system.
D. Why are you interested in working for an international city law firm and becoming a commercial solicitor with CMS Cameron McKenna? (200 words)*
I am interested in working for an international city law firm because I will receive an opportunity to operate in a wide array of industry sectors and work with some of the world’s leading organisations on complex cross-border matters. I am especially interested in working in a global environment because I will receive exposure to the most interesting markets, the most prominent clients and the most exciting deals. This will help me to build relationships and forge contacts with people all over the world. As the emerging markets such as [country] present new business opportunities, I will be able to apply my language skills which will allow me to deliver a specialised client service and make my work experience unique and exciting.
I am interested in becoming a commercial solicitor with CMS Cameron McKenna because much of the firm’s client work involves cross-border transactions which have increased substantially in recent years. Working at CMS Cameron McKenna I will be a part of a truly international team. I will operate in small teams of partners and associates in a highly integrated way. This will ensure that I receive highly focused personal training by gaining a hands-on experience on important matters.
Coded documents during disclosure stage for responsiveness and privilege, helped to draft and proofread witness statements, cross-referenced expert valuation and historical reports against the court’s database, proofread and amended the skeleton argument and the pleadings, helped to prepare witnesses for the trial, carried out internal research, attended the trial, prepared trial bundles, carried out translation work, assisted with requests from the counsel during the hearing, attended on the defendant and witnesses, conducted company searches with the Companies House, prepared a corporate profile, proofread and amended an Initial Offering Memorandum for a luxury goods company, filed documents with court, liaised with solicitors from multiple jurisdictions and helped to oversee the archiving process. This work experience has taught me to work in a very quick-paced environment with tight deadlines. I have gained immense global exposure by working with solicitors from across different jurisdictions which has improved my commercial awareness and team-work skills.
Assisted in a shareholder dispute in a joint venture and acted as a first point of contact since the client was unable to speak English. Assisted the partner in all client meetings and took minutes, prepared attendance notes, attended a board of directors EGM in Amsterdam, liaised with solicitors from across multiple jurisdictions, compiled bundles, briefed a partner on the case when the supervising partner was away, analysed documents in a foreign language and provided partner with feedback, helped to prepare invoices, assisted with the drafting of witness statements and carried out translation work. This experience has improved my ability to think on my feet in a quick-paced environment and improved my leadership and organisational skills as I was vested with vast responsibility over the case.
Prepared bundles, conducted research using legal databases, attended a CMC hearing, took minutes in meetings, liaised with the counsel, helped to prepare a memorandum and proofread documents. This work experience taught me time-management skills and improved my commercial awareness.