A day at Slaughter and May

Andrew Chaplin, a second-year trainee solicitor talks us through a typical day at Slaughter and May.

At the outset I should point out that because I'm part of a corporate team advising on a major takeover offer, each working day can be vastly different from the next! Here's my summary of how a "standard" day might go...

8:45

(or 9:00, at TfL's discretion): Arrive at the office, eat breakfast in the staff restaurant.

9:15

At my desk, I log in and check my emails. On this deal we've co-ordinated legal advice from all over the world and today our overseas lawyers have reported significant progress in their negotiations with various authorities. To keep track of these developments, I update our table of the overseas advice we've received. I then check the daily press updates to see if any interesting developments on the deal have been reported in the media today, have a quick browse of some websites and make myself a cup of tea before settling down to start the work I have lined up for the day.

10:00

I start drafting various meeting minutes, comfort letters and corporate authorities using some precedent documents I found yesterday. Once I've finished, I discuss a few of the trickier points with two associates and we agree final forms to send to the client.

12:20

An associate asks me to join him on a quick call with the client to discuss an investor presentation which I helped to verify yesterday. As verification exercises go, this one was good because it required me to get familiar with several parts of the client's business.

12:45

The call finishes just in time for me to meet my usual group of fellow trainees for lunch in the staff restaurant. Today's menu is excellent and I choose ham hock and leek lasagne, followed by profiteroles.

13:45

I'm asked to check through our draft shareholder circular to ensure that we have complied with the applicable Listing, Prospectus and Disclosure Rules. We're filing a preliminary draft with the UKLA later this week.

16:45

An associate asks me to research a practical point about sending documents to shareholders. It's one of those questions to which the Takeover Code doesn't give a precise answer and to which there isn't an obvious legal answer. Such questions are sometimes challenging but after speaking to one of our Professional Support Lawyers and to various other associates in my group about their experiences on previous deals, we're able to arrive at a clear answer for the client.

18:30

I finish checking the circular and discuss a couple of queries with my supervisor and an associate. After checking that nothing else needs to be done today, I head off to meet some university friends who work nearby. Today's been busy and sometimes when there's a lot to do as we approach a deadline, I may have to work for longer. Such days, however, are balanced out by the quieter days on which I leave the office far earlier than today!

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