The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Trainees were impressed by the 'consistently highly-ranked teams' at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, with the US firm's 'market-leading reputation for finance work' being a particular attraction. Much praise is reserved for the fact that the firm has 'a real commitment to development'. We hear that 'everyone in the firm is invested in training' and 'people will take a lot of time to explain the background to a piece of work'. Respondents also cast their minds forward to the 'associate development programme held at Harvard Business School'. Training contract highlights have included 'feeling like a really important part of a team that has achieved a challenging closing' and 'running a small aspect of a sale of a commercial aircraft from start to finish'. There is often 'only one trainee on a deal', and this offers 'the chance to collaborate and work directly with partners'. That 'hours can be long' is the major downside; 'working until 4am on Sunday' and 'staying at the office until 3am on a Friday night' does happen. The 'financial benefits' and 'generous salary' do help to make up for this, and warrant one of the firm's five Lex 100 Winner medals. Being part of a 'small intake' is seen as a good thing, but perhaps a drawback is that 'it is rare for there to be after-work drinks'. Yet colleagues are 'friendly and extremely generous with their time', and regular 'praise for work done and good feedback' means that trainees 'feel valued for our efforts'. There is an 'encouraging work environment' at Milbank, and the firm is populated by 'motivated people'. To learn from 'high-calibre lawyers' at a US firm with a focus on 'high-value bespoke work', apply to Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy.
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy’s London office is the second largest in the firm’s network of eleven offices. It is home to over 100 lawyers who provide English and NY law advice on UK, pan-European, Asian, African and other global matters, both transactional and contentious.
Advised AWAS and its owners Terra Firma and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board on the $4bn sale of 90 aircraft to Macquarie Group; advised numerous lenders including Barclays, Credit Suisse and HSBC on bank/bond financing to facilitate Carlyle Group’s $3.2bn acquisition of Atotech; representing a team, along with support from the firm’s Sao Paolo office, on behalf of an ad-hoc committee of creditors with exposure to beleaguered Brazilian corporate Oi Group on its $19bn insolvency; advised Accipiter Holdings on its inaugural $1.2bn third -party financing of 43 aircraft; represented the EIB, the African Development Bank and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund as lenders on the restructuring of the Moma titanium project in Mozambique and the provision of a new debt facility.
Astellas; BNP Paribas; EBRD; Goldman Sachs; Kantar; Mitsui; Nabors Industries; National Bank of Oman; The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China; WPP.
Acquisition finance; Asset finance and leasing; Commercial contracts; Corporate restructuring; Emerging markets; High Yield; Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP); IT and telecoms; M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+; Mining and minerals; Oil and Gas; Power
A day in the life of...
Hollie Fenwick second year trainee, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
University: University of Warwick
Degree: English Literature, 2.1
Hollie joined Milbank in 2016 after completing a summer vacation scheme in 2015
8.30am: I start my day by reading the financial news on my phone during the tube journey to the office in the morning in preparation for a team meeting later; as trainees, we’re encouraged to maintain our commercial awareness and keep up to date with the market trends in our practice areas.
9.00am: I arrive at the office and check my emails, ready for the day ahead. Once settled, the first thing I do is call some lawyers that we’re working with in Singapore and Malaysia; we are expecting to receive some documents, so I try to catch them before the end of their working day - working across different time zones requires careful time management. All my deals in Leveraged Finance have an international element, and often involve teams in Asia, America and Europe. I flag some key emails I can identify as important and update my to-do list for the day.
10.00am: I head to the already busy kitchen to grab a coffee - the morning rush is a great opportunity to quickly catch up with a few fellow trainees.
10.15am: I attend a conference call in my supervising associate’s office. We act for the lenders and the aim is to run through the status of the deal with the borrowers counsel as there are various conditions required to be fulfilled before closing the deal.
During the call, I help update the parties with the status of several documents and take detailed notes of updates we receive in return.
11.45am: Following the call, I update my checklist which allows us to keep track of the status of the deal. I circulate this to my supervisor and the rest of my team, so that everyone is aware of our progress and the status of the deal is clear. This is really important as sometimes there are a lot of documents to keep track of. Taking responsibility for areas of a deal can be slightly unnerving at first. However, with the readily available support of your supervisor and team, you soon find yourself enjoying the challenge.
12.00: I attend a weekly group lunch with my team, where we discuss the week’s market developments and review our individual capacities for the week ahead. I express interest in assisting an associate on a new deal which has come in – the loan refinancing of company behind a satellite launch. We set up a meeting tomorrow morning to discuss my potential role in the transaction.
1.30pm: After lunch, I finalise a draft share charge; a security document required in another deal. Drafting is one my favourite tasks - it’s satisfying to receive good feedback and see a document which you had a major role in developing being sent out to the parties.
4.00pm: I attend an afternoon training session on contract law held by a senior partner in the firm. This is good opportunity to network with other junior lawyers across the firm and enhance my understanding of general contractual principles. Some of the drafting exercises are complicated, but I come away from the session with a greater understanding of recent case law.
5:30pm: During the afternoon I register a series of charges on Companies House, as part of a security package for a deal which signed last week. It can be tricky to ensure the necessary documents are received and the registrations are completed within the required timeframe, alongside managing your everyday work. It’s nice to be able to delete the deadline reminder from my online calendar.
7:00pm: After work I head to the gym to train for a 5k race before meeting friends for dinner. Milbank has a team participating and I don’t want to let the side down!
About the firm
Address: 10 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7JD
Telephone: 020 7783 7000
Other offices: London, New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul, Frankfurt, Munich, Sao Paulo
Co-managing partners : Julian Stait and Suhrud Mehta
Who we are: Driven to deliver exceptional results for our clients, we push boundaries and challenge assumptions. That’s been core to our ethos since our founding in 1866. It fuels how we work and define ourselves, and it informs our growth and evolution as a firm.
What we do: We’re tenacious lawyers driven to solve your toughest legal challenges. That means harnessing the minds, expertise and specialties from across the firm that are needed for your unique challenges. We’re committed to delivering tailored solutions that exceed our clients highest expectations.
What we are looking for: We’re looking for candidates who not only have strong academics—you should also possess excellent interpersonal and problem solving skills. Candidates will need to be ambitious, intellectually curious and have a genuine interest in our practice areas. You should also have (or be predicted) a 2.1 or above in any degree discipline.
How you'll be trained: Our trainees work in small teams and are given responsibility from day one. Working directly with associates and partners, our trainees are an integral part of their team in each seat. The benefit of our select intake is that our trainees get exposure to high quality work and receive first class training and supervision throughout their training contracts.
Perks: Benefits include Private Medical, Private Dental, GP service, Life Insurance, Permanent Health Insurance, Corporate Gym rates.
Sponsorship:Future trainees are fully sponsored through the GDL and LPC if recruited prior to beginning their course. We offer a maintenance grant of £8,000 per year for the GDL and LPC.
Facts and figures
Training contracts available for 2020: 5
First year: £45,000
Second year: £50,000
Newly qualified: Competitive
Total partners: 24
Total trainees: 9
Apply to: Rob Girvan, Manager of Professional Development & Legal Recruiting
How: Online submission of CV and Cover Letter.
Whats involved: Online application, interview and written exercise.
Summer: 25 June – 6 July – Applications open on the 20 October 2017 and close on the 31 January 2018.