Let’s discover London
Catherine Wong is a third-seat trainee, currently on secondment in London. She read law at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
- 12hrs flight time from Hong Kong
- Average temperature 5C-19C
- Population 8,788,000
- Oldest underground railway network in the world
- Second-most-populous urban area in the EU
Applying for my training contract
I applied for my training contract directly to the firm. The first stage was a written test which comprised of translations and a few stand-alone scenario questions, followed by a group interview. The next stage was an individual interview with a Senior Associate, and finally an interview with the Partners.
I applied to Norton Rose Fulbright because I wanted to rotate across disputes, corporate and banking, and knew that it was likely one of my seats would be overseas which really appealed to me as I love travelling and experiencing other cultures.
I went to open days in Hong Kong and London and talked to a lot of people in the firm. I got a feel for the culture here – the firm really does have an open-door policy and trainees learn a lot by sharing an office with a Senior Associate or Partner.
The firm has an open-door policy and trainees learn a lot by sharing an office with a Senior Associate or Partner. People are friendly and supportive - I love the culture.
Life in London
The London office is located in a great spot right on the River Thames with fantastic views of the city and Tower Bridge. The historic Borough Market, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the National Theatre and Tate Modern art gallery are all within walking distance. In my free time I enjoy trips to the theatre in the famous West End, soaking up the historical sights, and discovering other vibrant areas.
The firm views international secondments as an essential part of trainees’ development. I was excited to be seconded to London for my third seat, where I currently sit in the debt capital markets team. I am given a lot of responsibilities on transactions including drafting transaction documents, prospectuses and announcements and assisting in closing. There is a strong emphasis on team work as the majority of the work you do has an international element. I am getting to know colleagues in other offices and experiencing different cultures.
My biggest case
I assisted in advising on a complex litigation case in Hong Kong which is still on-going and attracts a lot of media attention. It was great to be involved in such a high profile litigation case, involving many parties and large numbers.
I would encourage everyone, with the opportunity, to work in one of our international offices. Getting involved in cross-border transactions is an invaluable experience.
You are well placed in London to travel to Europe and I do a lot of that at the weekends with other trainees. There are plenty of budget airlines so flying is fairly cheap, and you can reach some beautiful cities like Rome, Paris and Madrid all in a couple of hours. My favourite places to visit so far have been Iceland and Greenland.