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International work and an entrepreneurial mind-set

London trainee Joey Lim says that three reasons motivated her to apply to White & Case.

“One, it’s a truly international firm in terms of its global reach; secondly the work; and, of course, the people.”  Diversity was also key to Joey’s decision. “As someone who’s moved to London from Singapore and studied at the London School of Economics—which has one of the most internationally diverse student populations—I enjoy being in an environment with people from around the world.”

International work every step of the way

Now in the second year of her training contract, how does Joey experience the Firm’s international identity in her work?  “I’m in my second year of my training contract and I haven’t worked on a purely domestic deal yet, so I can say that the work that the Firm does is really international. I remember on my first deal, the associate came to me and told me that it was going to be a straightforward one when it had “only” eight or nine jurisdictions!” 

She adds that, “At the moment, I’m working on a PE deal which involves 24 jurisdictions, and every day my job involves liaising with clients and colleagues, and local counsels from around the world, which is challenging and exciting at the same time!”  

How does this diversity impact the Firm?  “I think diversity enriches the Firm by bringing together a wide range of opinions, experiences and skills. Take languages for example: We often get requests to help out on deals outside of our practice areas if we have a particular language skill—another trainee who is fluent in Russian has helped on one of my deals in Construction and I have helped the Paris Capital Markets team in reviewing Mandarin documents for a bond issue.”

A collegial culture and chance to meet colleagues from around the world

So how would Joey characterise White & Case’s culture?  I’ve been in Bank Finance, Construction and PE so far, and people have always been friendly and helpful—there’s a collegiate feel around the office and teams often go out for drinks, socials or even overseas trips together! I have recently attended the Firm’s Annual Football and Volleyball World Cup in Madrid where I met colleagues from offices as far away as Tokyo and Mexico.”

As far as stand-out moments go, one event comes to mind. “The highlight of my career thus far is probably when I signed my first deal back in January this year —I had worked on it for five months, and it was so rewarding to finally sign it!” 

Encouraging entrepreneurial lawyers 

White & Case lawyers are noted for being entrepreneurial—what does that mean in Joey’s experience?  She says that, “There’s an emphasis on business development even when you start as a first-seater — I’ve been to social networking events with clients and other business development events. Trainees are highly encouraged to get involved from the get-go, and I think this translates into associates who are very entrepreneurial.”

This mind-set is supported by a variety of formal training and professional development, as Joey explains. “There’s a week of departmental induction at the start of each seat, and each department will arrange formal training sessions throughout the seat. For example, I’m in Corporate at the moment, and there is a training session every week; and when I was in Construction, I had Disputes training twice a week for the first three months of my seat. There is also other training that’s available, such as on the latest IT and AI tools, so we are kept up to speed with different technological aids.”

Finally, what’s Joey’s advice for anyone considering applying to White & Case in London? “Do your research on the Firm —find out about notable deals and people.” Her final tip: “The best way to find out is to meet us at law fairs and recruitment dinners, and by applying for our open days and vacation schemes!”

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