Closing the Deal…

So I’ve been training at PM for three months and it turns out the first seat isn’t just for getting to grips with the photocopier and befriending the PA’s.  In fact I’ve been involved from start to finish in the biggest transaction the firm’s banking team has ever done!

With a tight timeframe, seven jurisdictions from Hong Kong to west coast America, ten lending banks in the syndicate and hundreds of millions of pounds at stake, involvement in this deal could be more easily be described as a baptism of fire than a gentle introduction to the world of banking; it was certainly an eye-opening experience to the realities of commercial law.  With such a huge amount of money changing hands there has been plenty for us lawyers to do, but luckily an ‘all hands on deck’ approach is always taken and everyone has mucked in and helped each other out.

As a trainee I obviously didn’t draft the main loan agreement but I got the chance to negotiate board minutes and shareholder resolutions with the other side’s lawyers, and I also helped to get all the documents agreed in time for a very strict completion date.  Meeting a deadline can be trickier than it sounds though, with eleventh hour issues cropping up, from the hard negotiation of provisions that could save tens of thousands of pounds, to directors being snowed-in and unable to leave their homes to sign the documents.  Late nights can sometimes be involved in the rush to close the deal on time but these are not exactly a regular occurrence and when they involve takeaway Wagamama’s for dinner and a taxi home courtesy of the firm I start to feel like I could stay late more often.  And of course there’s always the post-completion pub lunch (we prefer this to a fancy restaurant) to look forward to once it’s all done.

You’ll be glad to know that amidst all the hard work the social life at the Manchester office hasn’t suffered.  At this time of year there’s no shortage of invites to client drinks events at the Christmas markets and in the space of four days last week I attended a trainees’ wine tasting evening (organised by our social rep), the MTSG (Manchester Trainee Solicitors Group) Ball and our own office Christmas party – I needed pretty much the whole weekend to recover!

Leave a comment if you want to know anything at all about becoming a trainee solicitor, the Manchester office in particular, or a seat in the Banking department.