Milosz Palej

Future Trainee Associate
University of Oxford - Law

I’m originally from Poland and when I was given the opportunity to move to the UK and read Law at the University of Oxford I jumped at the chance. As much as I enjoyed studying law, and embraced everything Oxford had to offer, I was keen to get stuck into real work at a firm as soon as I possibly could. So, with the help of the university, I applied for a series of internships as early as my first year.

My internships were better than I could have ever expected. In fact, one of them didn’t just introduce me to life at a firm; it took me all the way to Singapore. When I arrived I realised I was the only intern in the whole firm and the pressure was on to really impress. Attending client meetings. Shadowing partners. Experiencing a completely different continent. It was an opportunity that I’ll never ever forget – what a start to any legal career.

I didn’t stop at internships though. I knew that it would only be by completing Vacation Schemes at different firms that I’d be able to choose which I wanted to train at. Weil stood out to me for so many reasons: the incredible responsibility I was given and the scope of the Training Contract. Plus, there’s a relatively small trainee intake at Weil, meaning trainees work in small, close-knit teams, with excellent access to senior associates and partners. This level of responsibility and support is unrivalled, and really allows you to step up and perform. At Weil, as long as you have a can-do attitude, you’ll never be overwhelmed.

Ben Tansey

Trainee Associate
Durham University - Law

At university I was really keen to get stuck into life at a law firm, so I became a Weil Brand Ambassador. It was amazing representing a prestigious international firm on campus. More than just an excellent experience, this role gave me the opportunity to connect with valuable contacts at Weil. It was a great introduction to the firm and propelled me to where I am today.

From the beginning Weil felt like a natural fit for me; I was immediately drawn to the firm’s market-leading private equity work and wanted to get involved in any way I could. The mechanics of that area have always been fascinating to me, so I was hooked from the start and delighted when I was offered a Training Contract.

I spent my first seat in IP and am currently sitting in Corporate. As someone at the beginning of their career, the support I’ve received from my colleagues has been amazing. Everyone is always willing to help, offering advice and answering any of my questions – I could not have hoped for a better working environment.

A great part of my job has been getting involved in pro bono work. Most recently, I have been advising on the Wayfindr project: an incredible scheme that will help the visually impaired navigate the London Underground. At this early stage, I’m thrilled to have been given the responsibility to work for such a great cause. My level of involvement has been motivating too. It has pushed me to be at the top of my game – I can’t wait to see what the rest of the Training Contract has in store for me.

Grace Smith

Associate, Corporate
University of Oxford - Law

At university I was keen to find out as much as possible about life in a law firm before embarking on a training contract. I went along to a graduate recruitment event which is where I was first introduced to Weil. I was really impressed by their presentation and I was able to gain an insight into Weil’s work and core practice areas. The firm’s strong client base and international presence, along with the friendly and engaging team members attending the event, were all factors that encouraged me to apply for a Vacation Scheme at Weil.

I completed vacation schemes with a few other law firms, but none of them stood out quite like Weil. Choosing to train with them was an easy decision for a number of reasons. I loved working within the Weil team as the whole environment is unbelievably friendly and hardworking. I feel that the smaller trainee intake makes for a tight-knit supportive community, and a more personal experience than you get at other firms. However the size definitely isn’t a reflection of the scale or quality of the work – you have the same large-scale, complex and interesting deals as firms with much larger trainee intakes, while benefitting from greater exposure and more opportunities to take on responsibility at an earlier stage.

The experiences I’ve had at Weil have exceeded my expectations and constantly challenged me. During my third seat I was seconded to New York for six months with the Corporate team. It was an incredibly competitive opportunity, so being selected was a huge personal achievement. I benefited immensely from my time overseas, it allowed me to develop both personally and professionally and to build strong relationships and connections with my colleagues in the US. I was also able to draw comparisons between US and UK deals and how the transactions are managed.

Another memorable time from my training at Weil was the first big private equity deal I was involved in. As a first seat trainee I was given a lot of responsibility, and was invited along to various client meetings and negotiation meetings with the senior associate and partner on the deal. This opportunity really sums up Weil’s attitude towards trainees: they’re pragmatic with the work they give you; they have confidence in you and always encourage you to be your best.

Tom Richards

Partner, Banking & Finance
Newcastle University - English Literature

My route into law wasn’t direct despite always wanting to be a lawyer. Instead of law I opted to study English Literature at university because I really enjoyed the subject and it seemed like a great opportunity to spend three years reading books! Soon after, however, I found my way back to law and joined Lovells (now Hogan Lovells) as a trainee.

I joined Weil in 2012 as a senior associate and it took me just over two years to make partner. Initially, it was the size of Weil that I was drawn to. It’s a relatively small firm in London, meaning you can be slightly more entrepreneurial and nimble. Also, being smaller, we are able to see when trainees and associates can take on more responsibility and really push themselves when they are ready – it’s all about progression here.

Hard work doesn’t go unnoticed, nor does being resilient and having a keen eye for detail. For somebody starting out in corporate law, these qualities are key, but I would also encourage them to find an area of law that they are passionate about – it’s so important to enjoy what you do.

As a law firm, Weil’s working culture is what differentiates it from other firms. Everyone gets on extremely well; we work hard to offer a full service practice to our clients, but still manage to take a keen interest in everyone’s wellbeing. The people are what really set it apart – it’s a great place to work.

Simon Saitowitz

Associate, Corporate
University of Edinburgh – Economics & Philosophy

I’m an associate in the Corporate team at Weil. I’ve always had a passion for business and a desire to experience the fast-pace of the City. Joining a leading international law firm like Weil provided me with the perfect platform to fulfil my ambitions and, having trained at the firm, I haven’t looked back.

As a trainee, I couldn’t quite believe the responsibility I was given – I was taken out of my comfort zone in the best ways possible. At one point, as a junior associate, I was part of a team advising a client in connection with the sale of an Indian business. One morning I arrived at the office to a voicemail from the partner leading the transaction: “Simon – an aggressive new timetable has been set to complete the transaction – I think we need you out in Mumbai – today!”

Despite my relative lack of seniority, my significant involvement in the matter meant I was the natural person to go. By lunchtime I was in a taxi on my way to the airport – heading to India to close the deal. It turned out to be one of the most memorable moments of my career. Once we closed the deal, the CEO made an announcement to the c. 300 employees that we’d saved the business and he called me up in front of everyone to thank me for helping them. The reception I received was incredible; I’ll never forget that feeling.

One of the key things I love about Weil is the meritocratic ethos at the firm. It enables you to have a huge amount of responsibility, and punch well above your weight, very early on in your career.

James Crook

Associate, Structured Finance
University of Nottingham - Economics

The decision to start my career at Weil was an easy one. I knew that I wanted to work for a prestigious US firm – I relished the prospect of being given real responsibility early on and, as part of a select trainee intake, I knew that I wouldn’t just be another face in the crowd. For me, Weil was the firm that stood out. Weil already had an established presence in the City and the firm was clearly committed to the long-term growth of the London office. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I was offered a Training Contract.

My first deal as a trainee was during my seat in Corporate. I was immediately made to feel an integral part of the deal team and frequently found myself working opposite associates from the opposing firm. At times this was intimidating, but I learnt so much from the process and felt such a sense of achievement when the deal closed. The experience shaped the path for my career at Weil and I’ve wanted to do transactional work ever since.

Now an associate in Structured Finance – I still find closing deals to be the most satisfying aspect of the job. It’s true that transactions can require intense periods of work but it’s always hugely rewarding when you know that your legal skills and intellect made a difference – and helped the client close the deal.

It’s not just the work that’s great here, it’s the people too. There’s an open door policy and everyone’s open to sharing and listening to each other’s ideas regardless of whether you’re a trainee, associate or partner. You have a real sense that you’re part of something dynamic and have the support of a team. I couldn’t imagine a better way to work.

Rowan Khanna

Trainee Associate
University of Cambridge - Modern Languages

I was recently offered a trainee position at Weil and I’m absolutely thrilled – it’s a huge personal achievement to secure a contract at a firm with such a prestigious reputation. I applied to Weil because I was really impressed by the quality of their work and the high calibre of their clients, which include some of the biggest names in banking and private equity. A couple of visits and interviews later, I’ve had a small taste of what the firm has to offer and can’t wait to start my Training Contract.

Compared to other law firms, what really stood out about Weil is the nature of the work I’ll get to do as a trainee. Every task has a purpose: I’ll get to understand why I’m doing what I’m doing rather than just going through the motions. This is really important to me – I want to learn as much as possible.

Another aspect of Weil that appealed to me right from the start was the size of the trainee intake. The smaller cohort results in the opportunity to take on real responsibility at an earlier stage of the Training Contract, whilst having a structured and dedicated support network. This is something I find really exciting – I’m keen to make a meaningful contribution whilst working closely with experts in the field.

One of the things I am most looking forward to is working alongside the lawyers at Weil, who are some of the best minds in the profession. Getting to know the people is going to be a big part of the experience. The firm has a really healthy, meritocratic working environment where people are encouraged to integrate with their team at all levels – so I really can’t think of a better start to my career. I hope to be a real asset to the firm and can’t wait to start my first seat in Banking & Finance.

Lindsay Merritt

Associate, Business, Finance & Restructuring (BFR)
London School of Economics – Economic History

I joined Weil as a trainee and I haven’t looked back. Choosing to train with Weil was easy after my assessment day – on top of the fact that Weil was brilliant on paper with top client names and international, innovative work, everyone was so personable. I was impressed that, despite doing big-ticket work, Weil still managed to retain an open door policy. For me, it was a winning combination and one that convinced me to train with them immediately.

During my training contract, I sat in Corporate, IP and Banking and Finance before qualifying into the department I’m in now: Business Finance and Restructuring (BFR).

In BFR we do a combination of informal corporate restructuring, as well as more formal insolvency processes. Corporate restructuring usually involves advising a business on how to restructure the company or to amend the financing terms, in order to avoid getting into financial difficulty. Our team has worked on a wide range of restructurings from top global corporations in mega-restructurings to middle-market debtors, and restructurings can take many shapes and forms.

Insolvency is often the more formal process and may, for example, involve an administrator taking control of the company in order either to close the business down, or to try and save it. It’s exciting to be a part of a team noted for the calibre of its work in these areas. For example, our experience in mastering chapter 11 bankruptcies is unparalleled in the market place. In 2016 the London team was awarded “Restructuring Team of the Year” at both the Financial News Awards and at the Legal Business Awards – a further confirmation that there is no better place to develop my career in this sector.

I chose to qualify into BFR because I liked the variety and nature of the work – it’s a good mixture of contentious and corporate transactional work, so you’re doing different things every day. The work also touches a vast range of industries so no two projects are ever the same. Marry all this with a very dynamic and welcoming team and it’s the perfect environment for me.

Weil provides you with huge amounts of interesting work, including opportunities to get involved in pro bono work. Over the years I’ve embraced the chance as much as possible, from advising charities and artistic institutions on contractual matters, to helping community projects at a local school. I love the variety of work and embrace the different challenges that each day can bring.

Imaan Gangi

Trainee Associate
University College London – Law with Hispanic Law

I’ve recently entered the second year of my Training Contract and I’m currently sitting in Structured Finance. I have previously completed seats in Funds and Corporate and have already learnt so much – I’m really embracing everything Weil has to offer.

For me, Weil was the obvious choice. I knew I wanted to do corporate or finance law – both areas that Weil has a first-rate reputation in. What’s more, Weil has a smaller trainee intake, which was just what I was looking for – the idea that I could get heavily involved and take on responsibility from the start really appealed to me. All in all, Weil suited me down to a tee and made it an easy decision to complete my Training Contract with them.

In my previous seat, I was fortunate enough to have been involved in a deal from the start to the signing. I was heavily involved in the signing process in particular, which involved drafting ancillary documents; coordinating the documents and process; and liaising with the financial advisors and the lawyers on the other side to ensure everything went as smoothly as possible.

Since joining, I’ve found the culture at Weil to be incredibly friendly. The non-hierarchal structure and open environment means I have felt entirely welcomed into the firm. This has enabled me to work with a variety of different people within my team. The high expectations that everyone works hard to achieve, means that every person is willing to go above and beyond to provide a great service to our clients.

Weil’s leading pro bono programme also plays a key role in a trainee’s development. It’s a great opportunity to learn new technical skills, from giving legal advice to drafting contracts. Most recently, I was involved in advising a pro bono client on the sale of a piece of artwork – I was involved from start to finish including drafting the contract from scratch and corresponding with the client. The level of responsibility was amazing. I’d encourage all trainees to take part in as much pro bono as they can.

Jessica Lowe

Associate, Private Funds
Queen Mary University of London – Law

In my third year of university, I completed several vacation schemes which helped me to make an informed decision about the type of law firm at which I would like to work. At Weil, I felt that every member of staff is valued and difference is welcomed, and, because the firm is a major market player, I knew I would get the chance to work with some of the very best clients in the industry and, by extension, get to work on some of the biggest, most sophisticated deals.

Now, almost three years in, I am an associate in the private funds team at Weil. My daily routine can involve reviewing and drafting limited partnership agreements as well as advising clients on European elements of fundraisings. At Weil you get quite a lot of responsibility during your training contract, so the transition to qualified lawyer is more of a gradual process than a big jump. You are well-supported, but you are also encouraged to be proactive about your development, and to use your initiative, whilst taking on high levels of responsibility.

Weil has a friendly, supportive culture and hands-on approach to training – you are never left feeling alone, as the associates and partners are extremely helpful and make a real effort to talk you through, and check over, your work. There are also weekly training sessions for the entire team where we analyse the rationale and the practical effect of the provisions in our fund documentation, learn about the tax considerations that drive the different types of fund structures and generally keep up-to-date with the latest developments affecting the private funds industry. The firm provides an incredible support system at every level which means that there is always a wealth of advice available.

Since I have started as a newly-qualified lawyer, I have been engaged on several news-grabbing projects. Recently, as part of a team I have advised KKR Credit on the formal creation of a new business which specialises in the investment and restructuring of non-performing loans. The transaction was seen as pioneering, both in terms of scope and scale, as the establishment of the business has involved complex multi-jurisdictional regulatory, tax and commercial considerations. For me, it was absolutely fantastic to be involved.

I like that my job is varied and that I am constantly challenged. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to begin my career at a place where I love to work and I look forward to continuing to both learn and contribute as much as I can along the way.

Patrick Brendon

Associate, Banking & Finance
University of Durham – Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Over the course of my training, I sat in Employment, Banking & Finance and Corporate. I was also fortunate to complete a secondment to the Banking & Finance team in New York, which was an excellent opportunity to live and work in New York and build relationships with colleagues outside the London office before I qualified into the Banking & Finance team in London.

The opportunity for progression is a big part of what initially attracted me to Weil. It’s a great place to be proactive – the firm is excellent at driving people forward and rewarding them for their skills rather than how long they’ve been qualified. So if you’re prepared to put in the work, you can really take control of your own career. The overarching sentiment is: do your work, do it well and you’ll be given plenty of opportunities to develop and progress.

I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to spend 6 months on a client secondment to a global private equity fund. The secondment, something Weil push for their associates to benefit from, has been a great opportunity to gain client contact, better understand what clients are looking for from their counsel, and broaden my skill set and commercial understanding.

During my time at Weil I have worked on huge variety of transactions and it is rewarding to see how the role I play on those transactions has developed and evolved from trainee to associate. I’ve worked extremely hard, pushing myself to get involved in deals that I know will be challenging. The work and opportunities Weil offers motivates me to learn and do more and I’m always seeking out ways to improve. For me, it’s so rewarding to appreciate how my knowledge, ability and role have grown over time.

Ellie Marques

Associate, Tax
University of Oxford – Biochemistry

I’m from a science background, so people would often be surprised when I told them I wanted to go into law. When I went along to a law fair, Weil was the first stand I approached and the person I met had studied Biochemistry at university too. It was great to see that they weren’t old-fashioned in terms of only hiring people that studied law or traditional subjects – it was the perfect first impression.

Compared to some of the larger magic circle firms, Weil’s smaller trainee intake appealed to me. I didn’t want to run the risk of feeling like a small cog in a giant wheel and I liked that you could actually get to know everyone and work directly with the partners. You’re made to feel part of the team, and like you’re really contributing.

I’ve had some of my proudest moments at Weil. A particularly memorable time for me happened during my training in Litigation. I was assisting on a deal and, while researching, found a case that we ended up relying on quite heavily in the closing submissions. What’s more it was only my first seat, so knowing that I’d actually made a difference to a case so early on in my career gave me a real sense of achievement. Since qualifying, I’ve worked on high profile deals in the Tax team and we won five awards at the Tax Awards this year. It was amazing to have worked in a team that was being recognised for their work – I hope to continue these successes throughout my career.

Catherine Gurney

Associate, Litigation
London School of Economics - Law

I trained at Weil before qualifying into the Litigation team six years ago. For me, it was the quality of the work and client base that brought me here. In addition, being one of a small number of trainees allows you to be more visible, and the opportunity to work as a key member of the team on a transaction or case really appealed to me. It was a fairly young office when I joined, and I liked the idea of joining a growing organisation that had an entrepreneurial feel about it.

The entrepreneurial feel continues today, which is what I think really sets Weil apart. The firm encourages you to take on as much responsibility as you are capable of managing, which extends to developing the business and contributing to the firm more generally. There are various ways to get involved, from joining committees to participating in charity or sports events – I myself run the firm’s netball team – which is a great way to meet and socialise with people across the office.

The people here are motivated and enthusiastic about the work they do. A few years ago I was the lead associate on a big arbitration for one of our top clients. Having worked hard to draft all the arbitration papers and devise the case strategy, it was a fantastic sense of achievement to come out with a win for the client. Very often the cases we work on require you to work collaboratively, both with people within your own team and across departments – which is facilitated by the firm’s open door policy. All in all, working here is a great balance between interesting and challenging work and a friendly place to be.

Tayyibah Arif

Associate, Corporate
London School of Economics – Economics

While I was thinking about my career options, I was lucky enough to gain a place on Weil’s Vacation Scheme. And I thoroughly enjoyed it – it seemed to combine my analytical and writing skills perfectly. An additional selling point was the working environment. It’s a flat structure without a hierarchy and I worked within a close-knit team and everyone from partners to trainees played a key role. I really felt like part of the team. So, once I’d completed my undergraduate degree, I proceeded with my GDL and LPC before starting my Training Contract with Weil.

Weil offers something different to other law firms. It’s a smaller London office, allowing you real visibility and responsibility. For example, I’ve recently been heavily involved in a pro bono project where I’ve worked closely with a Weil partner as well as acting as mentor to an upcoming social enterprise whose model is to provide healthy food snacks to pregnant women in Indian slums – ensuring the women have healthy children and breaking the cycle of poverty. Selling the healthy samosas in the UK will fund the programme and help them to expand. It’s been really exciting to see this project unfold and I’m thrilled to be working alongside such passionate people.

The work is so varied here – every single deal is different. A particularly memorable deal for me was when representing a client who was looking to acquire a business based out of Amsterdam. It was a very time intensive deal and probably the shortest deal I have ever done; we worked on it Friday through to Monday – alongside the client, and we worked around the clock to get it done. It was the team’s spirit and dedication that made this such a memorable deal.

James Harvey

Partner, Corporate
University of Oxford – Law

After studying law at Oxford, I seized an opportunity that took me all the way to New York. There, I completed my Masters in US Corporate Law. For me, it was a chance to pursue a dream career in law while really challenging myself. Pushing yourself to learn more is an important quality for a lawyer and it’s something I’ve continued to do throughout my career.

I trained elsewhere and joined Weil in 2006 as an associate, after being attracted to the firm’s unique working culture. I was drawn to Weil’s energy and forward-thinking – in terms of their practice areas, how they work with clients and the overall working environment. There’s no hierarchy here, so everyone works collaboratively and equally as hard. You feel as if you’re all in it together – it’s a great way to work.

At Weil, we believe in long-term hiring. Everyone we hire is a potential partner and this is reflected in our training programme. Trainees are given high levels of responsibility while still receiving extensive support throughout their time with us. This level of focus is made easier by our smaller trainee intake, allowing trainees to develop and reach their full potential.

In my 10 years at Weil, I’ve worked on a variety of different deals. A particularly memorable one was acting for Alstom, a huge French corporate. They were selling part of their business and I was required in Paris for a few days to help work on a document. Three months later, I was still working this high profile, contentious deal that not only made headlines, but upset the French government too. Although it was demanding it was unbelievably exciting. I think that’s something that’s in the DNA of the kind of people who want to work here – you have to thrive in what would be very stressful situations for some people.

Hannah Field-Lowes

Partner, Litigation
Keele University – English and History

I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer. And when it came to applying for training contracts, I knew I wanted to join a US firm. I liked the idea of being in a smaller office than some of the UK firms but getting extremely high quality work. For me, Weil ticked all the boxes. It was an extremely well established full-service firm with a fantastic reputation.

I was made a partner in the Litigation department at Weil around three years ago. Aside from that, I’m also head of the London Diversity Committee, Vice Chair of the Global Diversity Committee and head of the London LGBT group. In this capacity, I’ve done work for the Human Dignity Trust. This involves working on a pro bono basis with local law firms in jurisdictions where homosexuality is still illegal, and in some cases even punishable by death, to seek to change laws and release people who are imprisoned. Pro bono work like this and diversity is something we take very seriously at Weil – even as a trainee it’s something you’ll be able to do alongside your billable work.

I wouldn’t say there’s a certain ‘type’ of person that works at Weil – we’re quite an eclectic bunch save that there is one overriding theme – we’re all driven to do the best job we can. If you’re just starting out on a training contract, the best thing you can do is be open minded about the work you do and the practice area you are in – strive to learn all you can and do the best job you can. We’re lucky to have a great collaborative culture where everyone works together to make a success of the office, so if you’re open to getting the best experience you can then you can get great exposure and ultimately, become a better lawyer.

Our People

Our people and the relationships we build, both internally and externally, are one of the core factors that make Weil so exceptional. To find out more about the work we do, and the people who do it, click through each image for more information.

Milosz Palej

Future Trainee Associate
University of Oxford - Law

Ben Tansey

Trainee Associate
Durham University - Law

Grace Smith

Associate, Corporate
University of Oxford - Law

Tom Richards

Partner, Banking & Finance
Newcastle University - English Literature

Simon Saitowitz

Associate, Corporate
University of Edinburgh – Economics & Philosophy

James Crook

Associate, Structured Finance
University of Nottingham - Economics

Rowan Khanna

Trainee Associate
University of Cambridge - Modern Languages

Lindsay Merritt

Associate, Business, Finance & Restructuring (BFR)
London School of Economics – Economic History

Imaan Gangi

Trainee Associate
University College London – Law with Hispanic Law

Jessica Lowe

Associate, Private Funds
Queen Mary University of London – Law

Patrick Brendon

Associate, Banking & Finance
University of Durham – Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Ellie Marques

Associate, Tax
University of Oxford – Biochemistry

Catherine Gurney

Associate, Litigation
London School of Economics - Law

Tayyibah Arif

Associate, Corporate
London School of Economics – Economics

James Harvey

Partner, Corporate
University of Oxford – Law

Hannah Field-Lowes

Partner, Litigation
Keele University – English and History