Update on Life at A&O

It’s been a few months since I’ve last posted, but that’s because there’s been a lot happening (as there often is, with life at A&O).

The period from September until Christmas is often very busy at a law firm, as some of you may know. Transactions often “kick-off” after the summer ends and generally have a three or four month time table (if you’re lucky). The race to complete deals before the holiday season often means an associate can be working on two or three transactions simultaneously during this period, depending on the amount of work involved. The true challenge in December is balancing festive office xmas parties, client dinners and team lunches with a deadline around the corner – a good problem to have!

I’ve had a different experience in the last few months however, because in early October I was selected to go on secondment from A&O. This is one of the benefits being an associate at the firm can give you – the chance to experience a different working environment for 6 months or more, by working with in another A&O office or with one of our clients. Client secondments allow associates to work with a range of big UK banks, building societies, regulators and corporates.

My particular secondment is slightly different, since I am working with an organisation that A&O supports as a patron. The Financial Markets Law Committee (FMLC) is an independent committee of experts established by the Bank of England in 2002 to examine issues of legal uncertainties affecting the wholesale financial markets. The FMLC’s role has become even more significant following the financial crisis. Experts forming the FMLC include senior people within the Bank of England, HM Treasury, the FCA, global investment banks, City law firms and industry bodies. A&O has been involved with the FMLC since its early days, and has always had one of its partners on the Committee. I joined the FMLC secretariat in November and so far it has been very interesting, not least because walking into the Bank of England every morning is a change from working above Spitalfields market!

For the moment though, I will have to get back to work and be productive – lots to get off the list before the Christmas party with my team at A&O tonight. Wish me luck!