Substantive Experience – Finance
Almost from my first day at Latham & Watkins, I managed transactions. From the very beginning, partners and senior associates got me involved in many interesting types of matters. As I gained more experience, I began to take the lead in running mid-size transactions and played an important role in key aspects of larger matters. I was always made to feel like a valued member of the team. Over time, I grew from assisting partners on discrete aspects of matters to becoming more involved in case management work. Now clients approach me directly. That’s very encouraging, since clients often only want to speak with the most senior member of their team. I credit this to the substantive experience I have received during my career at Latham.
Refinancing and restructuring matters can sometimes be tense, because none of the parties involved want to give anything up. To be successful, you have to understand how the parties will interact and you have to know how to handle difficult situations. And you only achieve this kind of knowledge through practice and diverse casework, which is exactly what I receive at Latham. Because I have been staffed on acquisitions and leveraged finance as well as refinancing matters since my early years as an associate, I’m able to incorporate that understanding also into my restructuring and refinancing work. At some firms, it’s tempting to assign associates to one type of matter or client exclusively. Not at Latham. I was exposed to a variety of deals and matters during my first years at Latham, and my initial responsibilities have translated into valuable insights about clients and my industry.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of Latham is the benefits of working for a global law firm. Depending on the transaction, I regularly talk to colleagues in London, Paris, Chicago and New York, among other offices, in addition to speaking to colleagues in the other German offices on a daily basis. If I have a question, I can call people around the world to get a sense of how things work in different jurisdictions. Someone somewhere always has an answer. Even as I ask my colleagues for help, I get to help train them on how the law works in Germany. That’s pure collaboration. Although I personally might not have expertise in a certain area, I can nevertheless bring such expertise to my clients simply by reaching out to my colleagues across the globe. I think part of the reason clients come to Latham is because they know we have this immense pool of knowledge readily available.
Another unique aspect of the Latham experience is that very junior associates are involved in running the firm. We have a say. A second-year associate from my team recently received an appointment to the Recruiting Committee. I myself just got named to the Technology Committee. It’s a point of pride here that every opinion gets heard. Latham has so much confidence in its associates, even first or second years, that we’re not only given the chance to work on high-profile matters, we’re also given significant training, guidance and the opportunity to participate in the management of a huge, multinational firm. It’s really incredible.