Nicholas Berry

Senior associate, Corporate, M&A and securities

Looking back, how did you find the training contract?

I was quite unusual in that I decided which area I wanted to qualify in halfway through my first seat. I found the work interesting and challenging and I got on well with the other members of the team. We did six seats back then, and I was able to do seats in Moscow and Paris, as well as go on client secondment. Overall, I would say my training contract was hard work, but I genuinely think that it was quite fun too.

You’re a senior associate now. How does the firm support you at this level?

I’ve been lucky to be mentored by three partners through my career and I’ve absorbed a lot of knowledge from them. As I’ve developed as a lawyer, I think the most important support and training I have received has come from other fee earners. This has been supplemented by training, which is important of course. But for me, the best way to learn is by doing deals, picking things up and listening to what other people are doing.

People here are intelligent and reasonable, and our atmosphere lends itself to giving constructive feedback. We always encourage junior lawyers to speak their mind. Ultimately, the most important thing is the end product and service we are providing to our clients.

What is the transition like from trainee to associate?

By the time you’re in your last seat, you generally have an awareness of what’s going on, how deals are run and how the members of the team you are qualifying into work. It is a pretty natural progression. The change might seem intimidating, but it’s actually quite liberating to have a bit more freedom and run with things on your own.

What do you think a potential trainee should know about Norton Rose Fulbright?

As a firm, we are well positioned for the future. This is important to know, because anyone considering becoming a lawyer should consider not just where they want to be on qualification, but where they want to be as their career progresses.

I would also say we have a genuinely collegiate environment to work in with lots of different personalities. The one thing our lawyers do have in common is the ability to think commercially and practically. Having that mind-set and knowing when to get into detail, and when to cut through to find a practical solution, is important for any lawyer.


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