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Practice Profile: Introducing our Debt Finance Practice in London

February 2022: Richard Lloyd, partner in the Debt Finance Practice in London, and trainees Abigail Kolawole, Anu Alamutu and Charlotte Deans, tell us about working in this busy global practice.

Tell us about this area of the law.

Richard Lloyd: White & Case is trusted by many of the world's largest banks to handle their biggest and most complex multijurisdictional transactions. We offer both international reach and a depth of local resources.

Abigail Kolawole: The team in London and around the world advise on the full spectrum of financing matters, and structure innovative, often groundbreaking deals.

Anu Alamutu: The Debt Finance Practice is focused on the following key pillars: First of all, bank lending; then private credit & direct lending; and finally borrower finance.

Charlotte Deans: Trainees in this team have the opportunity to work across each of the three areas, plus the emerging markets practice. They can also serve clients directly through secondments.

What kinds of tasks can a trainee expect to do?

AK: Drafting, amending and reviewing the documents, including security agreements, corporate authorisations, legal opinions and fee letters. Also, drafting condition precedent (CP) documentation (such as legal opinions), and keeping track of CPs through a condition precedent checklist.

AA: Transaction management work, such as ensuring the parties involved keep to the timelines of the deal and informing parties about the next steps of the transaction. You’ll also be liaising with local counsel where relevant, to provide documents such as legal opinions, and to ensure non-English-law documents are compliant with local laws.

CD: Completing MR01 forms in order to effectively register particulars of a charge. Completing company search reports, which involves reviewing and extracting the relevant information from a company’s incorporation documents. Trainees also coordinate the signing process by preparing execution versions, compiling signatures and collating documents, and finally prepare closing bibles at the completion of a transaction.

“A great trainee makes the associates’ and partners’ jobs easier”

And the partner's tips…

RL: You need curiosity, a desire to learn and get stuck in, rigor and attention to detail. Also, start building up your professional network from the very beginning: lawyers at the Firm; lawyers at other firms; clients; and anyone who you encounter along the way. Being well connected is as important as being a good technical lawyer.

And finally…

RL: Be positive and helpful. A great trainee makes the associates' and partners' jobs easier. Remember that you are part of the team and should be assisting the team whenever possible.