Jonathan Zane joined Gowling WLG as a trainee and has progressed to senior associate in our Commercial Litigation team. Here, Jonathan talks about his experience as a trainee.
Why did you choose Gowling WLG? What sets us apart from other firms you researched?
I chose to work at Gowling WLG because of the culture. I wanted to work at a firm that promoted a friendly working environment and where the more senior lawyers were approachable. Having small, close-knit teams really helped to set Gowling WLG apart from other firms and I found that, throughout my training contract, I frequently worked alongside partners, directors and senior associates alike, and was exposed to high-quality work as a consequence.
What did you enjoy about your training contract?
I enjoyed that we had a small trainee intake (there were 12 of us in the London office) so that, as a group, we are good friends. There is often another trainee in your team, so it's nice to be able to quickly pop out for a bite to eat together. I also enjoyed the exposure to clients that the firm is willing to give you from a very early stage in your training.
What was your steepest learning curve as a trainee?
During my real estate finance seat, I worked on a loan facility that was to be used to fund the acquisition of a group of companies that held a portfolio of properties. In the weeks leading up to completion the associates involved in the matter were on holiday, leaving me and the head of department to complete the deal. As a result, I received a huge amount of responsibility, which included progressing key transaction documents to final form, liaising with opposing and foreign counsels, being solely responsible for the conditions precedent, and regularly leading all-party calls to discuss deal progress.