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Clifford Chance

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Katherine Dickson

One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is the opportunity to travel.

What's your job about?

I am an Associate in the Banking and Finance Group. The Banking and Finance Group advise on various finance transactions including leveraged acquisitions, project and infrastructure transactions, corporate lending and restructurings, acting for sponsors, financial institutions and corporates across a wide range of transactions and sectors in Australia and internationally.

A typical day involves liaising with clients, obtaining client feedback on finance documents, reviewing and negotiating finance documents, day to day transaction management and attending internal and/or external meetings and conference calls with both domestic and international parties and lawyers (including from other international Clifford Chance offices).

A large part of my role involves managing the closing of a transaction. This involves circulating signing instructions and collating executed documents for an electronic closing or setting up a physical closing meeting. Closing meetings provide an opportunity to meet clients, borrower counsel and Clifford Chance colleagues from other offices in person. For example, when I was on secondment to our London office, I was sent to Paris to attend a closing meeting for a transaction I had been working on. This allowed me to meet borrower counsel, my colleagues from Paris and representatives of several banks in person.

I also attend training both in Sydney and internationally, for example during the graduate program I was sent to Singapore twice to attend training prior to my Corporate and Finance seats.

What's your background?

I grew up in Sydney and studied Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Law LLB at the University of Sydney. While I was studying I worked part time as a Junior Clerk at 16 Wardell Chambers and completed an internship at the Australian Human Rights Commission. I started at Clifford Chance as a summer clerk in December 2014. After completing the summer clerkship program, I worked as a paralegal during my last semester at university. I then took time off to travel before beginning full time work and spent time in the United States, Sweden, Italy and London. I started as a Graduate Lawyer in 2016 completing rotations in the Litigation, Corporate and Banking and Finance groups and I have also completed a secondment in the finance group in our London office.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is the opportunity to travel. As a Graduate lawyer I travelled to Singapore twice to attend both corporate and finance training sessions with other trainees from Singapore, London and Perth. This was a great opportunity to learn from experienced lawyers, see another Clifford Chance office and get to know lawyers at the same level from other offices in the Clifford Chance network. In 2016 I attended the Australia wide retreat in Perth and this year I will attend the Asia Pacific Capital Markets and Finance retreat to be held in Singapore. I also spent six months on secondment to our London office.

What are the limitations of your job?

At times my job requires long hours, usually when a transaction is closing or during a particularly busy period. This can be tiring, however in my experience you learn the most from the transactions which require long hours.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • Take advantage of Uni breaks and travel as much as possible.
  • Try to relax and enjoy the summer clerkship application process, it is a great opportunity to learn about different law firms.
  • Choose a career that interests you.