Disputes & Investigations associate Matt Gibbon reflects on the rewarding breadth of his work at Weil and the opportunities this practice area offers to trainees.
As a disputes lawyer, you need to be adaptable and think creatively.
I grew up in North London and studied law at undergraduate and master’s level at the University of Bristol. I joined Weil’s Disputes & Investigations team in February 2020, having spent four years at another US law firm. Joining Weil just before the onset of the pandemic was a strange experience, but the Firm’s inclusive and supportive culture meant that I settled in quickly. I am really enjoying my time here.
Disputes & Investigations is a very broad practice area. We advise across the full spectrum of complex commercial disputes, including on pre-dispute strategy, representing clients in English Court proceedings or arbitration, and conducting internal and external investigations. Our team has worked on some of the most complex and high-profile commercial disputes in recent years, representing clients across a range of industry sectors including banking and financial services, private equity, energy and natural resources and aviation.
Our work is varied, and you never know what the next day will bring. The issues that our clients encounter are rarely the same and may be impacted by the state of the global economy or changes to the legal and regulatory regime. As a disputes lawyer, you need to be adaptable and think creatively to find a solution that achieves the client’s desired outcome. It can be challenging but, for me, it is what makes my work enjoyable.
For example, over the last two years my work has included: representing the official liquidators of a now-defunct private equity firm in expedited arbitral proceedings relating to the liquidation; contesting schemes of arrangements in both restructuring and takeover contexts on behalf of certain hedge funds; defending High Court proceedings, and conducting internal investigations in relation to alleged cartels; and advising on potential sanctions issues arising in very high profile transactions.
My most memorable moment followed an unexpected call from a client who had a team of solicitors standing outside their home with a court order entitling them to search the home for certain documents and devices. We had to quickly make our way there and advise our client as the search was happening. This meant quickly thinking on our feet - in highly stressful circumstances - to ensure that the legal process was followed properly. We ensured our client’s rights were protected to minimise their exposure to subsequent legal action.
As a trainee at Weil, you quickly become a core part of the team. In Disputes & Investigations, trainees are heavily involved in conducting legal research and drafting complex notes of advice to clients. Trainees also write letters in anticipation of, or as part of, legal proceedings, or assist with the preparation of legal pleadings, witness statements and document disclosure. Trainees are involved in arranging, preparing documents for, and attending, settlement discussions and mediations, and Court and arbitral hearings. You would also play a key role in investigations, reviewing documents to separate fact from fiction, and finding out what has been happening within the organisation.
For more information on Matt Gibbon’s work at Weil check out his profile here.