Tom Pedel
Posted on 10 May 2021

Trainee Blog - A Guide to a Seat in Corporate

At the beginning of my Training Contract, I knew that I wanted to do a seat in Corporate; however, like all trainees yet to work in a practice area of interest, there remained one outstanding question – what exactly would working as a trainee in that team entail?

Having just finished a seat in Corporate, I thought I'd try to summarise what a seat in the Michelmores Corporate team involves, so that future trainees might know what to expect.

Key Practice Areas

The overarching title 'Corporate' is a very broad brush term, but as a trainee at Michelmores you will have the opportunity to assist with transactions that fall within the following areas:

  • Private company mergers, disposals and acquisitions (M&A)
  • Capital Markets and public company M&A
  • Emerging Markets
  • Impact Investing
  • Private Equity and Venture Capital

The exact nature of the work within these different areas is hugely varied, which - as a trainee - has its challenges, but also presents great learning opportunities. Working within these areas exposes you to a broad range of issues that often involve high-profile clients, interesting businesses and international complexities, all of which help cultivate invaluable professional and interpersonal skills.

Role of a Corporate Trainee

As a trainee, you will support the Corporate team throughout the lifecycle of a transaction. In a typical M&A transaction, you will often be involved in the following key stages of work:

  • Negotiating and agreeing the Heads of Terms
  • The due diligence exercise (conducted by the buyer)
  • Drafting, negotiating and reviewing the transaction documents and the ancillary documents
  • Completion of the transaction
  • The necessary post completion steps to bring the transaction to its end

Perhaps the most regular responsibility of a Corporate trainee is to prepare or review the ancillary documents. These are the necessary supporting documents required to give effect to the wider transaction. These will often include:

  • Board minutes on behalf of the directors of the buyer, the seller and the target company
  • Shareholder resolutions
  • Companies House forms

More generally, your role will be to help project manage the transaction, by co-ordinating internally with the rest of the team, with the clients and with all other external parties involved in the transaction, in order to complete the deal and to meet the client's objectives.

Working with Other Departments

Something that I particularly enjoyed about working with the Corporate team were the opportunities to work collaboratively with the rest of the firm. At the heart of any corporate transaction is the company itself. Consequently, there are always a number of other factors that must be taken into consideration which are relevant to that company (and the wider transaction). This requires input from other teams, for example, the Employment, Tax, Property, Banking and Commercial teams.

As a Corporate trainee, this gives you the opportunity to widen your internal network by working with a wide array of lawyers with different skillsets and specialisms, which in my opinion, certainly keeps the work interesting and the daily itinerary varied. It also enables you to learn more about the different practice areas at the firm, which is only a good thing in terms of narrowing down the list of different seats you would like to experience as part of your Training Contract.

Questions?

I hope that this summary has been helpful. If you are interested in applying for a training contract with Michelmores or have any further questions about what a seat in the Corporate team is like then please feel free to get in touch.