“I was involved in the firm's team advising an Indian company on the US and International aspects of an IPO on the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange in India - it was a great experience to work with a leading cross-border team.“
A SNAPSHOT OF MY INTERNATIONAL SECONDMENT IN SINGAPORE
The weeks leading up to my secondment in the Singapore office went by very quickly, and before I had enough time to recover from the farewell cake and coffees, I was on a plane to Singapore.
The firm's Singapore office has 9 partners and approximately 40 fee earners – Singapore is one of the firm's largest offices in Asia, advising clients on some of Asia's largest and most complex transactions.
There are 7 trainees that are based in Singapore for each rotation (the others are usually all from the London office). Similar to the graduate programme in Australia, each trainee is allocated to a particular practice group for the rotation, however as Singapore is a relatively small office, trainees are often given the opportunity to gain experience by working with different practice groups. My rotation in Singapore was in the international capital markets team, which advises corporates and investment banks on international securities offerings.
During the first few weeks, I received comprehensive training on capital markets and I was soon up-to-speed on a few different transactions. The other trainees and I also received informal training from the previous group of trainees, where they shared their insights and tips on working and living in Singapore.
I was involved in a range of finance and corporate matters from early on, including a due diligence exercise for a large energy acquisition, a review of maritime and shipping contracts for a corporate insolvency matter, assisting with advice on the international selling restrictions for securities offerings in international offer documents, and with various client seminars.
October was a busy month for my Singapore team. We undertook a consent solicitation exercise, which is another way to describe a vote of bondholders to get their approval to change the terms of the bonds. I was involved in drafting various agreements and deeds to amend the terms of the bonds, arranging the publication of the formal notice of the meeting of bondholders in Singapore’s national newspapers, and scrutineering the counting of the votes. I liaised directly with a number of clients and was responsible for ensuring that the meeting ran smoothly.
I was also able to get involved with the firm’s team advising an Indian company on the US and international aspects of an IPO on the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange in India. As part of my role in this matter, I went on my first international business trip to Mumbai! I had the opportunity to participate in discussions in Mumbai and was involved in an all-party drafting session (a meeting in which lawyers representing all of the parties to the transaction comment on the drafting of transaction documents). I worked with a number of financial advisers and analysts representing the interests of several companies through the finalisation of a key offering document for the IPO. This was a great opportunity to develop my stakeholder management and technical legal skills.
In November, I worked with our clients and Indian counsel to file certain offering documents with the Indian regulator for the IPO. The partner that I worked with gave me a lot of responsibility to comment and draft documents, coordinate advice from the different teams, and communicate directly with our clients to complete various parts of the project.
We successfully filed the relevant documents with the regulator and everyone was pleased to have passed a critical hurdle in this transaction.
I have been working on a number of project financing matters over the last few weeks. This is again a new and unfamiliar aspect of the firm’s practice to me, but I am confident that with the training and support available at the firm, I will be able to learn and develop my skills in the area.
It is unbelievable how quickly the first 3 months of my secondment have gone – I am looking forward to the Christmas break and the new opportunities that will come up over the next 3 months.