Kiddist Forsythe, associate in Weil’s Banking & Finance team, reflects on why she chose a career in law, and the opportunities Weil offers to work on challenging, high-profile deals.
You are equipped with a set of skills and tools that stand you in very good stead for the rest of your legal career.
My pathway into commercial law was fairly conventional - I grew up with a keen interest in helping others and regularly engaged in healthy debate (as – I had an unending need to always be right!). As I (thankfully) matured and grew older, this desire to dispute, wrangle and analyse was distilled into an interest in studying law. After all, when I was younger all I had wanted to be was an “authoress” (I didn’t realise female authors were just… authors). What better way to combine my passion for writing and my hyper-ability to (over-)analyse absolutely everything – I would become a lawyer!
I completed my undergraduate degree in law at The University of Manchester. During my time there, I realised that a career in law wasn’t just judges, jabots, and white wigs. After attending various open days and law fairs my eyes were opened to the world of commercial law. I had been selling items on eBay to supplement my student loan and was starting to take an interest in business and commerce, too. Commercial law allowed me to pursue a career in an area where all my interests overlapped.
I completed my degree and the LPC, trained and qualified at a Magic Circle law firm, and moved over to Weil as a lateral in April 2021. Starting at Weil during the pandemic was somewhat daunting, yet the friendly and welcoming culture was immediately evident and was one of the determining factors when I made the decision to move. This culture was even more marked when we returned to the office – unfamiliar faces soon became friends.
Today, I sit in the Banking & Finance team where I specialise in leveraged acquisition finance. I act for a mixture of lender and private equity clients. A typical transaction involves a private equity house wanting to acquire and add a group of operating companies to its portfolio using a high proportion of debt to pay for the purchase price. In this scenario, my team would assist with putting documents in place which detail the financing arrangements. Weil acts for some of the biggest private equity houses in the market, and as such, you have the opportunity to work on big, and occasionally bespoke, deals that sometimes find their way into the financial press – which is a satisfying bonus!
Trainees are an integral part of the team in Banking & Finance. Given that Banking & Finance is a transactional department, it is a fast-paced environment with a lot of moving parts and ancillary documents. Trainees typically assist with the drafting and review of these ancillary documents, helping to manage timelines and processes. Trainees also help to direct local counsel and are allowed and encouraged to have client contact. As a trainee in Banking & Finance, you can expect to hit the ground running with a very steep learning curve; however, you are equipped with a set of skills and tools that stand you in very good stead for the rest of your legal career, regardless of where that path may take you.
For more information on Kiddist Forsythe’s work at Weil check out her profile here.