The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy’s London base 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.
The star performers
Asset finance and leasing; Banking litigation: investment and retail; Commercial contracts; Commercial litigation; Corporate restructuring and insolvency; Emerging markets; International arbitration; Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP); IT and telecoms; M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+; Mining and minerals; Oil and gas; Power (including electricity and renewables)
Advised Terra Firms on the sale of Dublin-based aircraft lessor AWAS to Dubai Aerospace Enterprise; acted for Goldman Sachs as part of a syndicate of lenders, on the £425m term facility, £50m term acquisition facility, and £60m super senior revolving credit facility in connection with Bridgepoint’s £750m acquisition of Zenith Group Holdings; advised K-Exim and other commercial banks on the financing of the four-unit Barakah nuclear power project in Abu Dhabi; advised African Development Bank on the restructuring of the financing for the Moma Titanium Mineral Sands project in Mozambique; represented Avanti Communications Group plc in $1bn senior funding facility from funds managed by HPS Investment Partners
Astellas; Credit Suisse; Goldman Sachs; Husky Energy; JBIC; Rabobank; Standard Chartered Bank; Terra Firms; Visa; Wilmington Trust
You can expect to do ‘global, complex, top-tier work’ at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy thanks to the US firm’s ‘heavyweight finance and litigation practices’. Trainees are afforded an ‘increased level of responsibility’ and keep themselves occupied with ‘high-quality work’. A ‘small intake’ and ‘smaller teams’ where ‘you are often the only trainee in the department’ means that ‘the pace of work is set by the associates rather than other trainees’. Consequently, there are ‘better opportunities to take ownership of tasks’. We hear that ‘associates get you involved in substantive aspects of matters whenever they can, to give you a well-rounded view of a practice area’. This was certainly the case for one trainee who relished ‘getting to the point where I had sufficient knowledge and practical experience to be able to contribute meaningfully on certain corporate matters’. On the flip side, the working hours can be ‘impossible to predict’: ‘working in line with US hours’ has led to ‘a lot of late nights’ and has also caused some trainees to have to ‘drop weekend plans’. We hope, however, that a salary which topped the Lex 100 Winner tables goes some way in softening the blow. The firm has also swept up a further three Lex 100 Winner medals for client contact, vacation scheme and confidence of being kept on. To top it all off, there is an ‘impressive variety of well-promoted pro bono matters, each one backed by a partner’ for recruits to get their teeth stuck into. If a firm with ‘fantastic responsibility, finance capabilities and pay’ with great people and a good social atmosphere appeals to you, take a closer look at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy.
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)
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.
12.00pm: 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
Senior partner: Julian Stait
Senior partner: Suhrud Mehta
Other offices: London, New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul, Frankfurt, Munich, Sao Paulo
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.
What you'll do: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
Total partners: 28
Total trainees: 9
Trainee places available for 2021: 5
First year: £50,000
Second year: £55,000
Newly qualified: Competitive
Apply to:Vanessa Harvey
What's involved:Online application, interview and written exercise.
When to apply:
Training contracts commencing in 2021: Between 30 November and 31 July 2019.
Summer vacation scheme: Between 1 October 2018 and 31 January 2019.