Milosz Palej

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.

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.

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.

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.

Imaan Gangi

Associate - Private Funds
University College London – Law with Hispanic Law

I have recently qualified as an Associate in the London Funds team. In the final seat of my Training Contract I was lucky enough to complete a Funds seat in New York which gave me an unprecedented perspective on the firm and gave me amazing opportunities to network and build relationships internationally.

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.

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 four 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.

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 so that we can keep up-to-date with the latest developments affecting the private funds industry.

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.

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. I stayed to work on the deal which became a very high profile transaction making headlines on both the front and back pages of the newspapers in France. Although it was demanding it was also very 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.

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

Trainee Associate
University of Oxford - Law

Grace Smith

Associate, Corporate
University of Oxford - Law

Tom Richards

Partner, Banking & Finance
Newcastle University - English Literature

James Crook

Associate, Structured Finance
University of Nottingham - Economics

Imaan Gangi

Associate - Private Funds
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