We believe that we are different at Holman Fenwick Willan and that we
offer something more personal in our legal service and in our training
contracts. We concentrate – as we have for more than 125 years – on
advising businesses engaged in international commerce.
In many ways we see ourselves as commercial advisers,
rather than as pure lawyers. We are, of course, legal experts
in our chosen fields of practice, but we use that expertise as
the foundation of the advice we provide, rather than as the
This is, however, not unique among commercial law firms.
What makes us different is our core industry and legal expertise,
and that the firm is full of enterprising and innovative lawyers.
Completing a training contract with us means working alongside
some of the most respected and talented lawyers in their field and
embracing opportunities, where Trainees are valued as individuals
and encouraged to become Partners.
Our goal is to help you develop as a skilled and confident lawyer.
Your training contract therefore involves workshops, direct
client contact and skills training which support the hands-on
responsible work you will do.
Given that we recruit a small number of Trainees annually in
London, we ensure that each individual is both valued and well
trained. We give you our full attention. Your personal contribution
makes a real difference.
Richard Crump, Senior Partner
■ HFW OFFICE ■ ALLIANCE OFFICE
You will join our team of over 450 lawyers working from offices in
São Paulo, London, Paris, Rouen, Brussels, Geneva, Piraeus, Dubai,
Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth serving
clients based throughout the world.
All our offices, including our two alliance offices in Abu Dhabi
and Riyadh, are located in important centres of international
commerce. Working in such an international environment
introduces you to a wide variety of legal systems from an early
stage and shows the importance of choosing a favourable legal
jurisdiction in which to bring or defend actions.
By completing a training contract at HFW you will have access
to global work and opportunities. The majority of our Trainees
will spend a seat in one of our international offices. Recently
Trainees have completed seats in Brussels, Paris, Piraeus,
Geneva, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney.
Client secondments are a popular option and even when you
are working in London, a training contract with Holman Fenwick
Willan offers opportunities for travel.
Our international perspective is reflected in the languages used in
the firm. In the London office alone, members of the firm speak
over 40 languages.
HFW Graduate Recruitment: Growing Potential 1
WHAT WE DO
We have concentrated the development of our capabilities and the growth
of our expertise on a limited number of sectors fundamental to the way
international commerce works, ensuring we continue to offer clients
in-depth industry knowledge coupled with leading legal advice.
Ports & Terminals
2 HFW Graduate Recruitment: Growing Potential
We have a broad based practice advising insurers, banks,
manufacturers and support providers, airlines, owners, operators,
passengers and freight forwarders on a range of issues including
regulatory and competition issues, operations, claims and liability
disputes, and the financing and structuring of principal aviation
transactions. Our experienced casualty investigators also provide
emergency response services.
Construction, Engineering & Infrastructure
Our construction and engineering practice covers both contentious
and non-contentious matters with clients across the entire spectrum of
the construction industry, from international/domestic main contractors
and governmental bodies and developers to subcontractors and
suppliers. We act for a broad range of clients worldwide, including
developers, owners, project companies, oil and gas companies, power
generation companies, shipyards, manufacturers, contractors, insurers,
professionals and specialist sub-contractors.
We act across the spectrum of the international sale of goods including
soft commodities, oil and gas, coal and steel, and non-ferrous and
precious metals. Our worldwide clients include multinational energy
and chemical companies, coal and metal traders, soft commodity
trading houses, trade finance banks, governments and their agencies,
brokers, insurers and trade associations. We have many years’
experience of dispute resolution in commodity matters, and have been
involved in leading cases in the law of commodities.
We have expertise at every stage of the energy chain, from exploration
and production, storage and transportation, LNG, refining, trading
and sale of oil and gas to electricity generation, energy management,
renewables and carbon trading. We advise oil companies, service
contractors and insurers on a range of issues affecting the way
business is conducted and have an emergency response team who are
experienced in advising on all aspects of any casualties or disasters
that may occur.
Our practice has developed to encompass all manner of domestic and
international banks and other financial institutions. Our experience
ranges from infrastructure and project finance, ship and aviation
finance and leasing to Islamic finance, trade finance and private
equity. We regularly advise on disputes arising from trade and asset
finance, complex accounting issues, investment fraud and financial
instruments, and restructuring and insolvency issues.
Insurance & Reinsurance
We provide a range of dispute resolution, transactional and regulatory
services including policy defence and coverage work, reinsurance
recoveries, subrogation, finality solutions, setting-up new ventures,
product development, drafting and distribution, and run-off and closing
down discontinued ventures. Our clients include insurance companies,
captives, insurance intermediaries and other agencies, managing and
members’ agencies at Lloyd’s, and run-off service providers.
We act for buyers and providers of logistics services, as well as the
insurance sector, on a range of insured and commercial disputes
arising out of logistics operations. We also draft and negotiate
agreements for the procurement and provision of logistics services,
negotiate bespoke contracts and advise on the risks and insurance
requirements arising out of logistics services. We have in-depth
knowledge of the international conventions applicable to ocean, road,
rail and air carriage and also of the standard conditions commonly
used to govern logistics services.
We advise on mergers & acquisitions, projects, construction and
development of terminals and storage facilities, trade and structured
finance, insurance, physical trading, derivatives and sale and purchase
arrangements, regulatory and EU issues and transportation, as well
as advising on any disputes that may arise anywhere in the world.
Our clients include producers, traders, financiers and insurers in the
business of selling, trading and financing mining and minerals.
Ports & Terminals
One of the largest teams specialising in legal matters relating to
the development and operation of national and international ports
and terminals. Our clients include leading global port and terminal
operators, international shipping lines, national port authorities,
investment funds, foreign governments, harbour and coastal towage
companies, transport and logistics companies, supply chain managers,
infrastructure support development specialists, civil and maintenance
work providers, contractors, consultants, commodities trading
companies, banks and financial institutions, and insurance providers.
We have been involved in ports & terminals projects in more than 45
locations globally, including China, India, the Middle East, Africa and
South America, as well as in the UK and other European countries.
We are long-standing specialist advisers to the international shipping
sector. We understand how the market works, both from the
perspective of underwriters and Clubs, and that of their clients and
shipowning members. Our admiralty and casualty response practice
advises on any situation that may arise, from collisions, explosions
and piracy, to total loss and wreck removal. We advise on all forms of
shipping contracts, ship and transport-related disputes, ship finance,
corporate matters and marine insurance.
We provide advice and legal representation to the space industry
and to its insurers and reinsurers on all matters arising out of
product supply, launch, in-orbit and other risks. We understand the
usual contracting principles and regulation of the industry and are
experienced with ITAR. We have been chosen to advise on some of the
largest insurance matters the industry has seen.
Our market leading superyachts practice draws together a team
of expert international lawyers who have in-depth technical and
commercial knowledge of this specialist sector. Our clients come from
across the sector and include builders, designers, owners, banks and
financial institutions, charterers, brokers and insurers.
Travel, Cruise & Leisure
Our practice includes advising on shipping and travel law, regulatory
compliance, company/commercial matters, dispute resolution, health
& safety, crisis management, IT/IP and data protection. Specific areas
of expertise include vessel and vessel operation agreements, M&A
and JVs, IP and IT, regulatory cruise ship advice, employment, crewing
and passenger disputes, corporate and regulatory issues, ATOL and
CAA licensing, aircraft charter and sub-charter agreements. Our
clients include cruise companies, shipowning groups, P&I Clubs, ship
management companies and holiday companies.
HFW Graduate Recruitment: Growing Potential 3
WHO ARE WE LOOKING FOR?
We encourage students from all disciplines to apply. Recent Trainees have
studied subjects as diverse as music and engineering or, following
graduation, have worked in areas as varied as the Lloyd’s market, the
shipping industry, banking and engineering. We welcome people who are
becoming lawyers as a second career.
We are looking for Trainees with entrepreneurial spirit and
commercial acumen, who are hungry for success and have an
innovative approach to solving complex legal problems. If you
enjoy challenge, are driven, and have an outgoing personality,
then we would like to hear from you. As many of you apply
before you know your final degree mark, your first and second
year results should demonstrate that you are on course for a
Nazim Alom (1st Year Trainee)
Degree: Law at University of Greenwich
Seats: Corporate, Projects & Finance; Trade & Energy
“At HFW it is usual to work closely with Associates
and Partners on transactions and it is this
aspect of my training contract which I find most
4 HFW Graduate Recruitment: Growing Potential
good upper second. Languages are an advantage, as we are an
international firm with multilingual clients. We also value highly
your ability to understand complex financial or technical issues.
Our clients range from individual businesses to multinational
corporate blue chip companies, so we look for well rounded
individuals to reflect our commitment to our broad spectrum
What has been the most rewarding aspect of your training
Sitting with a senior Partner in the Corporate, Projects & Finance
department gave me the opportunity to be involved in a range of
transactions from the beginning of my training contract. During the
first week of my first seat, I was involved in a transaction in which
our client was interested in acquiring two software development
companies via two separate share purchase agreements.
The transaction was challenging as our client was a Singapore-
based company which specialised in making investments in
information technology companies and they were particularly
keen to close the deal as soon as possible. My very first task was
to review two online databases with a view to downloading all
documents exchanged as part of due diligence. This meant I had
to review each document and extract key information or points of
concern and then draft individual due diligence reports so that the
client was able to ascertain the key features of the transaction.
What made this task particularly rewarding was the fact that I was
working closely with the Associate and I had the opportunity to
be involved in all aspects of the transaction from the very outset.
Working closely with the Associate enabled me to develop my
knowledge of the key features of a share purchase transaction
and to contribute at all levels. At HFW it is usual to work closely
with Associates and Partners on transactions and it is this aspect
of my training contract which I find most rewarding.
Due to the nature of six month seats, it is not usually possible
to be a part of a transaction or case from inception through
to completion. I was however able to be involved on this
transaction through to completion. I am now in the Trade &
Energy department and continue to enjoy working closely with
Associates and Partners on the cases that I am involved with.
Guy Robson (1st Year Trainee)
Degree: Geography at Edinburgh University
What are you most enjoying about your current seat?
I am currently in my first seat in the Aerospace department,
after coming from a non-law background. It is one of the smaller
departments in the firm and this has a number of advantages.
I have been able to interact and work with all of the different
Partners in the team, which has provided me with a great variety
of work. I have also enjoyed being challenged and pushed by
being given a lot of responsibility. I have interacted with clients
and participated in meetings, drafted important documents and
liaised with other solicitors in relation to disputes.
The department’s particular areas of expertise that I have been
involved in include aviation liability and dispute resolution.
Much of my work has been in relation to advising insurance
clients on contractual limits of liability and exposures and giving
practical advice to airlines for their insurers. An example of
this is a passenger being injured whilst on a flight and claiming
compensation against the airline. We investigate the claim, handle
the procedural aspects and advise the airline’s insurer on their
The aviation claims that arise vary in size and I have been
able to take on a suitable level of responsibility for a number
of the smaller claims. I have liaised with the other side in
several claims, drafted instructions to counsel and helped to
prepare for a hearing to set aside a default judgment. My most
interesting assignment to-date involves complex litigation in a
product integrity dispute. The dispute centres around whether
an aircraft engine functioned properly and was fit for purpose.
Understanding the technical aspects of this particular case has
been a challenging and interesting experience.
Taïs Jost (2nd Year Trainee)
Degree: Law with French Law at LSE
Seats: Shipping & Transport; Geneva; Insurance & Reinsurance
What attracted you to HFW and how has the training contract
lived up to your expectations?
When applying for vacation schemes and training contracts,
I knew that I wanted a firm where I could gain experience of
contentious work in a multi-jurisdictional context. HFW attracted
me precisely because of its expertise in litigation, arbitration and
dispute resolution, and its international outlook. The fact that
HFW Trainees have the opportunity to spend six months in an
overseas office also encouraged me to apply. During my vacation
scheme, I saw that many of the firm’s lawyers had had industry
experiences outside of law prior to joining the firm, and I felt that
this not only made the firm diverse, but also added value to the
legal services being offered. Having grown up in several different
countries and continents, I also felt that HFW was a place were I
would really be able to contribute and grow as a lawyer.
My first two seats so far have been in Shipping & Transport
(London) and in Trade & Energy (Geneva), and I am now delving
into the world of Insurance & Reinsurance. Since starting my
training in September 2011, I have had the chance to work
on interesting cases, within solid teams that have supported
my learning whilst at the same time encouraging me to take
on increasing responsibility. From my seats to-date, I have
discovered that I very much enjoy interviewing witnesses, working
through the factual details that can be crucial to the case that
is being put together, and of course, attending hearings where I
have been involved in the preparation. The cases at HFW are real
and often affect our everyday lives, from the energy we consume,
to the various modes of transport that are employed to source the
commodities and goods that we buy, and to the natural disasters
we face. I am enjoying my training contract and the variety of
cases, and work that I have been involved in. I would recommend
the firm to anybody looking to gain overseas experience and
in-depth industry knowledge
during their training
HFW Graduate Recruitment: Growing Potential 5
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSIVITY
We promote a workplace where diversity is valued, where everyone has
the opportunity to contribute and fulfil their own potential. This in turn, we
believe, helps us to deliver the best service to our clients, and is central to
everything we do.
■ We are signatories of the Law Society’s Diversity & Inclusion
Charter. The Charter is a public commitment to developing
and implementing best practice in equality, diversity and
■ We are members of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions’
Programme, and attend the Law Society’s Firms’ Diversity
■ We monitor all stages of our recruitment and promotion
processes to ensure that the criteria used are appropriate,
remove unintended bias and give everyone an equal chance.
■ Where possible, we facilitate flexible working for those with
■ We recognise that as an employer in the legal sector, we
have a responsibility to promote access to the profession
from all sectors of society. We support a number of initiatives
to encourage students from low income backgrounds to
consider law as a career.
■ We are signatories of PRIME, the work experience
commitment from the legal profession. Through this initiative,
we provide quality work experience for school-age students
across the UK from disadvantaged backgrounds.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Our corporate social responsibility programme extends to:
6 HFW Graduate Recruitment: Growing Potential
■ Charitable programmes: On a global basis, the firm
supports ChildHope, an international charity which supports
programmes in Africa, Asia and South America that challenge
violence suffered by children and young people. In addition
to this, individual offices take part in a range of fundraising
activities for local charities working with their communities.
The firm also regularly donates to fundraising efforts in
response to some of the world’s worst disasters.
■ Community programmes: The firm runs a number of
mentoring, literacy, language and art projects in local
communities, working with local schools and colleges
to encourage children and young adults to participate in
education in a way they may not previously have thought
about. We also support The Chauncy Maples Malawi Trust,
a charity set up to renovate the Chauncy Maples steamer
as a floating clinic on Lake Malawi, providing treatment for
diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, measles and HIV/Aids.
■ All Trainees play an active role in pro bono and community
legal work. We offer advice, on a pro bono basis, to charities
and other not-for-profit organisations. For example, we
operate a weekly drop-in advice centre in a south London
borough staffed by Partners, Associates and Trainees.
■ Environment: In 2009 the firm joined Green500, a carbon
reduction scheme, pioneered by the Mayor of London. As a
result, the London office recycles 60% of its waste material.
Sarah Jane Thompson
(Associate – Hong Kong)
Degree: History at Cambridge University
Seats: Trade & Energy; Commercial Litigation; Corporate,
Projects & Finance; Shipping & Transport
What is the most exciting aspect of your role?
One of the most fantastic things about working for HFW Hong
Kong is being able to see what we work on from the windows of
the office. International commerce is the lifeblood of most of the
world’s major cities, but it’s often tucked out of sight: in Hong
Kong’s Victoria Harbour, which teems with ferries, helicopters,
cruise ships, yachts, tugs, cranes, lighters and barges at all times
of day and night, it’s the star of the show. You simply can’t escape
the fact that this city is and always has been a hub for trade and
transport, and I really enjoy working somewhere which feels so
closely connected with what we do.
Much of our work involves engaging with the practicalities of the
industries we serve – in my case, shipping and commodities.
That’s one of the things I really like about my job: learning about
and dealing with real world problems, such as why coal might
start spontaneously combusting on the quayside or how a
vessel’s steering gear can stop having any effect just as she’s
coming into port. Here in Asia, we’re often assisting clients with
these issues in real time, which provides great opportunities for
gaining the kind of in-depth industry knowledge that can really
help you provide clients with expert service, tailored to what they
Outside of work, Hong Kong is simply a great place to live –
there’s an incredible amount to explore beyond the central high
rises, shops and bars, including ancient temples, beautiful country
parks, floating fishing villages and (believe it or not) deserted
coves. I’m very glad I made the decision to come out here on
qualification, and I think the remarkable opportunities HFW offers
for working abroad deserve serious consideration by any Trainee.
(Associate – Insurance & Reinsurance)
Degree: Theology & Religious Studies at Bristol University
Seats: Trade & Energy; Commercial Litigation; Corporate,
Projects & Finance; Insurance & Reinsurance
What have been the highlights of your career to-date?
Travelling the world and experiencing new cultures has always
been a passion of mine. In that respect, I have been lucky that the
majority of the cases I have worked on during my career in the
Insurance & Reinsurance department in the firm’s London office,
have involved an international element. This has allowed me to
travel to a number of other countries including Germany, Bermuda,
Iceland and Thailand. One of the highlights of my legal career
to-date arose on a recent case where we were instructed by a
group of reinsurer clients, together with the local insurer, in relation
to a claim by an international energy company in the Thai courts.
It quickly became clear that, unlike some other jurisdictions, the
time frame between the issuance of a claim form in the Thai courts
and the dates set down for the final hearing can be extremely
short! This meant that we only had a very short period of time
to work alongside local counsel to prepare our defence. This
involved travelling to Thailand to interview the witnesses as well
as preparing our client’s evidence for disclosure under the Thai
court rules. Having had no previous experience of the Thai legal
system, it was a steep learning curve and a number of challenges
had to be overcome along the way. However, it ultimately proved
to be a very interesting and hugely rewarding experience. We
even managed to establish new law along the way, with the court
granting permission for the use of electronic disclosure for the
first time in the Thai courts! Being a very keen sportsman, I have
also been lucky enough to be involved in a number of HFW sports
teams, including rugby 7s, cricket and football. The highlight was
definitely travelling to Dubai to play for HFW’s rugby 7s team in the
international invitation tournament. Other highlights have included
getting to the final of the annual Lloyd’s Rugby 7’s tournament, as
well as playing cricket for a client team at the renowned JP Getty’s
estate against the Lloyd’s of London Cricket Club and the Stock
Exchange Cricket Club.
HFW Graduate Recruitment: Growing Potential 7
YOUR DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING
Our aim is to retain all Trainees on qualification, to develop your
career as an Associate and support your progress to partnership.
We have one of the highest retention rates in the City, and it is
for these reasons that we are highly selective in the recruitment
of our Trainee Solicitors. Each Trainee who joins us is assured an
outstanding training contract. You will do interesting, stretching
work, very often with an international element. You will have early
responsibility, under the supervision of an experienced lawyer.
We work to the highest standards and look to maintain and
enhance this through every hire that we make, and our Trainees
are no exception. Your training from day one will begin with a
tailored induction programme. You will be fully integrated into our
firm through face-to-face information sessions with Partners and
Associates, in addition to attending interactive workshops with
our business services departments and key players from our legal
areas of expertise.
You will have four six-month seats, sitting with a Partner or a
senior Associate. Typically three seats will be in litigation and one
in a non-contentious department. You may have the opportunity
to be seconded to one of our overseas offices, or to a client.
You will have the opportunity to join one of our pro bono
schemes. Trainees are important members of the team and
frequently enjoy participating in various activities within our CSR
programme, some of which include attending a Legal Aid Advice
“Drop-in” clinic in Morden and also assisting students from our
local borough, Tower Hamlets, to apply for university places
and training them with key business skills. We also encourage
our Trainees to get involved with out of office activities including
sports teams (football, netball, rugby, golf, cricket and sailing),
gym membership, quiz nights and staff parties.
We arrange regular assessment meetings with a Partner to
discuss your progress. We aim to ensure that your training is both
successful and enjoyable.
8 HFW Graduate Recruitment: Growing Potential
(Associate – Singapore)
Degree: Law & French at University of Surrey
Seats: Corporate, Projects & Finance; Trade & Energy; Insurance
& Reinsurance; Shipping & Transport
What does a ‘typical’ day look like for you?
A ‘typical’ day in Singapore is quite difficult to define as the work
can vary significantly from one day to another. That is certainly
part of the appeal of working in this office. Having trained in the
London office and completed a year there post qualification
before moving abroad, I have found Singapore a great place to
work and gain experience, and an exciting place to live.
I tend to arrive in the office at 8.30am and check emails to see
what has happened overnight. Although most of our clients are
based in Asia, a lot of the work has some link back to Europe/
London so you really see the international element of the work
that HFW does.
As there are fewer lawyers in the international offices than in
London you tend to be given a lot of responsibility even at a
relatively junior level. Whilst that may sound daunting it is a
great way to gain a lot of experience and knowledge even over
a short period of time. Yesterday, I spent most of the morning
drafting correspondence and having phone calls with clients and
opponents in various arbitrations. In the late morning I also had
a meeting at a client’s offices to advise on EU sanctions. Most
large international businesses, including HFW, have their offices
in the central business district (CBD) so face-to-face meetings are
commonplace and valued by clients.
Lunch is sacred for many in Singapore and whilst there are plenty
of high-end restaurants, we tend to head to the hawker centres
for delicious (and cheap!) local food. My afternoon was spent
reviewing documents and preparing advice on a new case for
a long-standing client of the firm. Another benefit of working in
Singapore is that the clients tend to be very dedicated to their
legal advisors and will send a variety of cases their way. We have
handled cases ranging from typical commodities disputes to
fraud investigations. My working day finished at around 7.30pm
with drinks at the firm’s “local” – it’s a friendly team and we
regularly get together in the evenings.
Outside of the office, there’s a lot to do and see, including
restaurants, bars, shopping, parks, sports clubs, museums,
temples and even beaches. Most of South East Asia can also
be reached in a matter of hours so is not uncommon to see a
group of city workers dashing to the airport on a Friday night
for a weekend away. Given the rate at which HFW is growing
internationally and the broad range of international seats offered
to Trainees, I would recommend any Trainee to seriously consider
a seat, or even qualification, in one of the international offices.
Elinor Dautlich (Partner)
What is the most exciting part about being a Partner in your
When I moved from my English degree and journalism into a
second career in law, I wanted to choose a sector that would
make the law exciting, and for me this was ships. I applied
to London law firms with a shipping focus and qualified into
transactional shipping at HFW in 1996. I describe myself as an
“owners’ lawyer”, looking after the commercial contracts which
a shipowner enters into (shipbuilding, sale & purchase, chartering
and ship repair), as well as financing arrangements, JVs and
ownership/leasing structures. No deal is ever quite the same, but
our task is to think laterally and make the deal happen.
I also work in the superyacht and business jet sectors, acting for
manufacturers, designers and owners. It’s a slightly different skill
set as these are very personal assets rather than income earning
ones, and this changes the way commercial decisions are taken.
I had my two sons whilst an Associate and came back to work
full time thanks to support and flexibility from the firm. Ultimately,
it is about keeping the client happy rather than being in any
particular working environment and certainly that is a lot easier
with modern IT.
My best trips are to shipyards and I always carry flat shoes in my
briefcase in case there is time for a tour.
I was made a Partner in 2004. We are a growing firm, but still of
a size to take individual decisions as Partners across all the
offices. I spent time in our new Sydney office in 2010 and I got
stuck there visiting family as the volcanic ash hit Europe. The
office kitchen was full of bananas and beer, but there was plenty
of lawyering going on. I haven’t made it to our Dubai office yet but
I did hear Bon Jovi in Abu Dhabi in the heat of a summer evening
a couple of years ago, between signing a yacht contract and a
late flight back to Europe.
It’s hard work but never boring.
“I applied to London law firms with a shipping focus and qualified into transactional shipping at
HFW in 1996. I describe myself as an “owners’ lawyer”, looking after the commercial contracts which a
shipowner enters into (shipbuilding, sale & purchase, chartering and ship repair), as well as financing
arrangements, JVs and ownership/leasing structures. No deal is ever quite the same but our task is to
think laterally and make the deal happen.”
HFW Graduate Recruitment: Growing Potential 9
(Office Head – Piraeus)
How has your career evolved as HFW has grown over
My first experience of HFW was during a summer placement in
the London office in 1991. The firm at the time had only a couple
of international offices and we hadn’t opened our Greek office.
As a university student with a family-bred love for the sea, I was
looking to find a home for my career that would combine law and
ships on an international platform.
At the end of the placement I knew there would be no better
place for me to fulfil my plans. I was so inspired from this short
experience at Holmans that I then went on to do a two month
stint on a large bulk carrier on a voyage from South America to
the Baltic. Such practical experience made me reaffirm my wish
to become a shipping lawyer and proved invaluable later on in
my career. After completing my degree in London, I joined HFW
London as a Trainee and spent a total of seven years there.
Doing a mix of “wet” and “dry” shipping litigation was exactly
what I needed to become marketable to one of the firm’s
international offices (and which by then had grown in number).
Despite an initial interest in Hong Kong, I thought that Greece was
probably my natural habitat. On transferring to the Piraeus office,
I had to do my national service in the Greek Navy. I served on a
minesweeper for a couple of months before moving to a
I quickly developed my own clients, mainly Greek based but also
from Turkey and the Near East. Since then, there has never been
a dull moment. A case that particularly stands out in my mind was
a deal between an Eastern European client and a Middle Eastern
government. We negotiated from a tent in the desert (blackberry
reception was an issue!), and I was introduced to the customs,
and culinary delicacies, of the local tribal leaders.
Working abroad has given me the opportunity to meet and work
with the actual shipowners. I have been able to develop strong
business relations with a significant number of them, some even
becoming friends. The feeling in this relatively small but extremely
powerful business community is quite unique. It has kept me
interested in my career and focussed throughout, as I felt I was
an integral part of it.
10 HFW Graduate Recruitment: Growing Potential
Despite Greece’s economic woes in recent years, the maritime
and international business sectors in Greece are particularly
buoyant. To some extent, shipping is insulated from the rest of
the economy and with Greece being a leading maritime nation, its
shipowning community and satellite service providers (insurers,
banks, traders, brokers etc) operate with an air of professionalism
and advanced business standards.
Thanks to my English legal education and the training and
experience gained in the London office, my legal career has
rapidly evolved in this ever dynamic and burgeoning sector.
I became Partner about ten years ago, and the Piraeus Office
Head in 2007.
My work brings me back to London regularly, where I invariably
represent clients in arbitrations, High Court trials and mediations.
Maintaining an international career perspective whilst working
out of Greece in conditions very similar to London and taking
advantage of the local lifestyle provides an exciting life that most
people would wish for!
“Thanks to my English legal education and the
training and experience gained in the London
office, my legal career has rapidly evolved in this
ever dynamic and burgeoning sector. I became
Partner about ten years ago, and the Piraeus
Office Head in 2007.”
We encourage all of our Trainees to become future Partners.
That is why we recruit only a small number of Trainees.
Applications for training contracts open on 1 November and close
on 31 July. We recruit two years in advance.
For more information on how to apply please visit our website
King William St
King William St
Old Broad St
Lower Thames St
Great Tower St
St Mary Axe
Lower Thames St
Tower Hill Terrace
Our vacation schemes are open to undergraduates and those
who have graduated or are at work.
You will work on real cases as they unfold, assisting our
Partners and Associates, as well as participating in workshops
and social events.
Becoming a lawyer at Holman Fenwick Willan is not “run of the
mill”, so it is often very helpful for you to experience life with us at
first hand and for us to get to know you better.
Applications for vacation schemes open on 1 November and
close on 14 February.
How to apply
Application for vacation schemes and training contracts is by
way of our on-line application form. Please visit our website
at www.hfw.com/careers for further details and to apply.
We run open days during the year to enable you to experience
our firm first-hand and meet our Trainees, Associates and
Partners. Please see our website for dates and details on how to
apply for an open day.
Holman Fenwick Willan
St Botolph St
Aldgate High St
Vine St Crescent
Whitechapel High St
W tenter St
N tenter St
E tenter St
S Tenter St
Royal Mint St Cable St
HFW Graduate Recruitment: Growing Potential 11
Friary Court, 65 Crutched Friars
London EC3N 2AE, United Kingdom
T: +44 (0)20 7264 8000
F: +44 (0)20 7264 8888
France - Paris
65 rue d’Anjou
75008 Paris, France
T: +33 1 44 94 40 50
F: +33 1 42 65 46 25
France - Rouen
47 avenue Gustave Flaubert
76000 Rouen, France
T: +33 2 32 08 18 60
F: +33 2 35 89 90 54
Blue Tower, Avenue Louise 326
Box 19 B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
T: +32 2 643 3400
F: +32 2 643 3488
Cours de Rive 13-15
1204 Geneva, Switzerland
T: +41 (0)22 322 4800
F: +41 (0)22 322 4888
6th Floor, 83 Akti Miaouli & Flessa Street
185 38 Piraeus, Greece
T: +30 211 189 3500
F: +30 210 429 3118
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
In association with Allazzam Law Office
Tahlia Street, Tahlia Trading Center 2
First Floor Office 105P.O.
Box 250532, Riyadh 11391, Saudi Arabia
T: +966 1 288 6679 or +966 50 6193143
F: +966 1 288 6697
In association with Salem Al Maddfa
Blue Tower, 6th Floor Suite 601
Al Khaleefa St, PO Box 42914
Abu Dhabi, UAE
T: +971 (0)262 66880
F: +971 (0)262 66033
12 HFW Graduate Recruitment: Growing Potential
Level 8, Barclays Building
Emaar Square, Sheikh Zayed Road
PO Box 53934
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
T: +971 4 423 0555
F: +971 4 425 7941
15th Floor, Tower One
Lippo Centre, 89 Queensway
Admiralty, Hong Kong
T: +852 3983 7788
F: +852 3983 7766
People’s Republic of China
Room 901, China Insurance Building
166 East Lu Jia Zui Road, Pudong
Shanghai, 200120, China
T: +86 21 2080 1000
F: +86 21 2080 1177
3 Church Street, #19-03 Samsung Hub
T: +65 6534 0195
F: +65 6534 5864
Australia - Sydney
Level 29, 201 Elizabeth Street
Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
T: +61 (0)2 9320 4600
F: +61 (0)2 9320 4666
Australia - Melbourne
Level 41, Bourke Place, 600 Bourke Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia
T: +61 (0)3 8601 4500
F: +61 (0)3 8601 4555
Australia - Perth
Level 19, Alluvion
58 Mounts Bay Road, Perth
WA 6000, Australia
T: +61 (0)8 9422 4700
F: +61 (0)8 9422 4777
Brazil - São Paulo
Av. Paulista, 1337 - 21°, Andar - cj.211
Bela Vista - São Paulo - SP
CEP 01311-200, Brazil
T: +55 (11) 3179 2900
F: +55 (11) 3179 2914