I'm normally up by 6:30 am and try to attend a gym class or go for a run before work. Granted, if I've had a late night the day before, this goal slips more easily than I'm proud of. I'll then get ready and take the bus to work.
9:00 – 9:30 AM
I'll usually get into work at about 9:30 am. The banking and finance team works a lot with international banks and borrowers, as well as with our Clifford Chance offices in Hong Kong and Singapore. Due to Sydney's time zone is a few hours ahead the rest of APAC, this tends to push our day back to start and finish later than other teams in our office.
After saying good morning and settling in, I'll sit down and get started on work. By keeping an eye on your emails overnight and in the morning, you'll generally have a good idea of what's waiting for you each day.
Our banking and finance team is quite general in its practice. This is great from the perspective of a graduate or junior lawyer, as it means you get really broad exposure to different types of work. In this team, I've worked on a range of project finance, asset finance, acquisition finance, general finance and regulatory advice matters. This broad range of matters gives you a more holistic understanding of the practice and the deal process. It also helps you identify where you might like to position yourself as you advance in your career.
I'll try to catch up with a colleague or friend for lunch when possible. It's always best to be able to break up your day by getting out of the office for a full hour at lunch. Even when we're busy, I try to spend a bit of time going for a walk, shopping, or reading. I find this leaves me more refreshed for the afternoon.
Back to work. As a junior, the sort of tasks you'll work on will include drafting/reviewing financing and security documents, reviewing documents or comments received from other parties, reading and responding to queries from the client or other parties and generally running the closing of a deal.
Today for instance, I'm involved in the syndication of an acquisition finance deal that closed a few months ago. This essentially means that new lenders are buying a portion of the loan made to the borrower by the original lenders. I drafted the syndication documents for each new lender and am liaising with the client and new lenders to ensure all the necessary conditions are met before closing. I'm also involved in an asset finance deal in which we're refinancing an aircraft. Today, this has involved reviewing the revisions to the financing and security documents sent across by the borrower (we're acting for the bank), and accepting/proposing alternate drafting where appropriate to ensure our client's interests.
6:00 – 9:00 PM
It's hard to give an estimate of our average finishing time. It varies based on how much work we have on, whether any deals are close to closing, what time zones the counterparties to a deal are in, etc. On a good day when things aren't too hectic, I aim to clock off at around 6pm. However, even during busy times, the technology we use (your laptop, virtual desk phone, mobile phone) allow you to take things home and log back in after having some dinner and time to relax. The team is always flexible in this regard – and I find I work more productively in trackpants than I do in a suit.