On the job: a day in the life of a banking trainee
We sat down with Louisa Innes-Wilkin, a Trainee Solicitor at RPC, to discuss what a day in her life is like at a Banking seat within the company.
I arrive at my desk bright and early armed with a large coffee and breakfast. The floor is eerily quiet first thing - so this is the best time to get up to speed with emails and update my to-do list.
The key transaction which I'm working on at the moment involves a client who is looking to refinance one of its assets. Our team is leading the banking side on behalf of the borrower, which largely involves liaising with the lawyers of both the new and old lender (the security under the existing loan will need to be released once it is repaid by the new loan). The deal also involves lawyers in two other jurisdictions due to the group structure of the borrower. This is one of the first deals I have been involved with in my seat and I have been lucky to see it develop from the outset.
I initially got involved with the deal by instructing one of our TerraLex (international law firm network) partners which included scoping the work and fees to be incurred by them. My main role to date has been to keep on top of 'CPs' (conditions precedent). CPs are essentially conditions which the lender requires before it will grant the loan. These range from specific agreements being signed, such as the security debenture; to information requirements, such as providing the borrower's incorporation documents.
The completion date for the refinancing deal is looming so I am anticipating lots of email traffic today. Before it kicks off I make a start on another matter which is sitting on my desk. I draft three sets of board minutes to approve the signing of various deeds of releases and guarantees for three different companies which sit within the client's group. I use a combination of precedents – Plc helps with legal requirements, the RPC precedent for house style, and I use some minutes which the team has previously drafted for the client as a base. I rifle through all of the relevant documents and check Companies House to fill in the details.
I'm sending the draft minutes to my supervisor when a senior associate comes over to ask for assistance with a winding up search. He explains that he is ready to release a legal opinion; however, before doing so we need to check that the company does not have any adverse entries registered against it. I have been warned by an NQ about this task… I know it's going to involve lots of attempts at getting through to the Companies Court by phone as they can provide the most up to date searches against the central registry of winding up petitions.
The rest of the morning involves juggling lots of CPs: chaser emails, checking documents received from the client, pinging them to the lender's lawyers and commenting on the old lender's amendments to the deed of release. I intermittently ring the Companies Court in vain until I finally get through at 2pm!
That leaves just enough time for a quick late lunch with another trainee. We grab a sandwich, sit on a bench by St Katharine's Docks and soak up the sun.
I make my way back to my desk. I've pushed out a lot of CP-related requests for documents and comments during the course of the morning so I can relax and move onto the next matter on my to-do list. I start a piece of research for the construction litigation team- they need to know how charge registration at Companies House works and what the filing obligations are for limited partnerships.
A notification pops up from Outlook: 'email reminder to netball team'. I finish off the piece of research and email the team to check everyone can still make our next lunchtime match.
I finish the day with some further follow ups on CPs before heading out to a client's charity ball which my supervisor has invited me to. I flick through the charity auction book playing 'what would you bid for if you could afford it'. The weekend trip to Paris is dangerously tempting (and comparatively cheap with the other items!) but thankfully I've left my purse in the cloakroom. I spend the rest of the evening enjoying the bubbles and food before heading home for the weekend.
For more information on RPC and what they do, please visit their website.
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