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“A new experience is a new opportunity for growth”

November 2022: Hong Kong trainees Beatrice Chum and Adrian Siu are currently on secondment in our London office. We checked in with them to find out about their overseas experience so far.

Tell us your first impressions of White & Case's London office

Beatrice Chum: It's so nice and spacious! I've especially appreciated the proximity of our Broad Street Kitchen staff restaurant for a quick coffee or lunch. I really enjoy my 30-minute walks to the office every day—the views from London Bridge and the beautiful architecture by Bank station are highlights in particular.

Adrian Siu: The culture is very collaborative and welcoming, and there are so many practice areas which allowed me to meet with people at all levels across departments. As a city, London is a great place to work and visit as it is so vibrant and culturally diverse.

How easy was it to settle in to the London office?

AS: The transition from Hong Kong to London was seamless, as I found the cultures in both offices surprisingly similar. The partners, associates and other team members are approachable, helpful and easy to get along with, which made it very easy for me to settle in and work well within the team.

BC: I found the transition to be quite smooth. The London HR team gave us a quick induction and office tour on our first day, which was super useful considering the size of this office! The IT teams in Hong Kong and London have been very helpful as well.

What team have you joined in London?

BC: I'm with the Private Equity team. The work has been interesting and the associates and partners I've met have been very friendly and great to work with. There are also six other trainees in the team and it has been nice having a group of supportive peers with whom to discuss work and share tips and tricks.

AS: I am sitting with the Debt Finance team and have been involved in a wide variety of deals and exposed to different tasks. In particular, I have been given responsibilities such as attending to signing and closing of transactions, preparing security filings as well as drafting ancillary documents such as board resolutions.

What's it like to experience the Firm's global culture from another office?

AS: It's interesting to see how our different offices interact and work together closely on cross-border transactions because of the many jurisdictions involved, which is particularly useful for me as a trainee.

BC: I've enjoyed learning about the numerous deals the team here has worked on with the Hong Kong office. Recently I was able to connect an associate here with one from the Shanghai office (with whom the Corporate team in Hong Kong had worked) on a matter regarding another jurisdiction. I thought that was a great example of how interconnected our offices are and how that plays a significant role in the strength of White & Case as a global firm.

What has been a highlight of your time on secondment so far?

BC: The celebration of the 50th anniversary of the London office at Leadenhall Market was spectacular! It was a great opportunity to meet people from the office while enjoying the festivities.

AS: The performances and food were fantastic, and it was a great opportunity to meet with the whole office on a personal level away from the office environment.

What tips do you have for future trainees who want to make the most of their secondment at White & Case?

BC: Don't be afraid to put yourself out there! It might be a bit overwhelming to be in a new place, but from my experience, everyone has been incredibly friendly and willing to offer guidance. A new experience is a new opportunity for growth.

AS: Be proactive and reach out to the team when you are unsure about a certain task or the background of a deal. You are not expected to know everything, so asking questions and good communication with your supervisor and colleagues helps you to engage and learn effectively.

Finally, how do you think your secondment will benefit your career?

AS: What I have benefitted from most is the experience of working on transactions that are cross-border and international in a different region. Working at an overseas office also requires you to be agile, adaptable and open-minded about new cultures. In addition, working in a new city allowed me to meet new people across various practice areas and of different nationalities, which is a great way to expand and broaden my network.

BC: We get exposure to a greater variety of clients and deals on this side of the world and can compare these experiences with those back home. And we get the opportunity to work closely with people from a different office and build up our network within the Firm.