Wupya Nandap, associate in Weil’s Restructuring team, reflects on why she chose to build her career at Weil and the continued intellectual challenge and growth opportunities of her work.
Seven years on and I am still at Weil, learning, growing, and building my professional footprint every step of the way.
I am a fifth-year associate in the Restructuring team at Weil. Born and raised in Nigeria, I moved to the UK when I was 12 years old. Diversity of culture, thought and background has always been an integral part of my upbringing. I attended SOAS for my undergraduate degree (BA Law and Economics), went on to complete the GDL and then an MPhil in Environmental Law and Economics at the University of Cambridge. Although I had always been interested in law and its interconnectedness with the macroeconomic world, it was only during my LPC that I discovered my particular interest in corporate law and decided to pursue a career in the legal industry.
After attending numerous networking events, open days, and insight evenings, I decided I wanted to work at a US law firm. I was attracted to Weil’s smaller office size yet global reach and the Firm’s emphasis on learning by doing. After speaking with existing trainees at Weil, I successfully applied for a training contract at the Firm.
Seven years on and I am still at Weil, learning, growing, and building my professional footprint every step of the way. Qualifying into the Restructuring team was an easy decision. I was convinced by the incredibly varied range of work that spans different industries, sectors, and areas of law. This allows you to work with a wide range of stakeholders and advisors. Even after five years, I am still being intellectually challenged on every transaction. Being a restructuring lawyer involves acting for companies and/or creditors that are experiencing some form of financial distress. This includes elements of crisis management, devising creative structuring solutions, restructuring via formal insolvency proceedings or out-of-court procedures, legal due diligence, and liaising with financial advisors and insolvency practitioners.
As a trainee in restructuring, you would typically be involved in drafting and reviewing legal documentation, conducting legal and commercial research, completing credit and security reviews, attending advisor/client calls and meetings, liaising with local counsel and other foreign offices, and preparing initial court documentation. As restructuring transactions are typically quite complex and involve several moving parts, it is important that trainees are organised, proactive and willing to take the initiative to move certain work-streams forward independently.
During my time at Weil, I, have had a number of transaction highlights. The transaction that stands out was advising the liquidators of Abraaj Investment Management Limited. This has since been known as a “genuinely unprecedented transaction for the private equity industry”. Abraaj was a Middle Eastern private equity fund, which collapsed in 2018, following accusations by investors that the fund had deceived investors and misappropriated their funds. This was the world’s largest private equity insolvency. It was an extremely complex cross-jurisdictional deal that has since been turned into a book: “The Key Man: How the Global Elite was Duped by a Capitalist Fairy Tale”, which even mentions Weil (the icing on the cake!)
For more information on Wupya Nandap’s work at Weil check out her profile here.