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University of Technology Sydney
Tom studied Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Laws at University of Technology Sydney
What's your job about?
Allens is a leading international law firm with offices throughout Australia and Asia. We work with some of the biggest organisations globally, often on groundbreaking and innovative matters and have some of the world's longest ongoing client relationships. Our strategic alliance with Linklaters makes us the only firm in Australia and Asia to have a working relationship with a UK 'Magic Circle' firm.
I am a lawyer in the Mergers, Acquisitions and Capital Markets (MAC) team in the Sydney office. I work on a range of transactional and regulatory advice matters which are always collaborative efforts and often involve multiple other teams in the firm and across the different Allens offices. Even the biggest matters can be broken down into a series of discrete tasks, every day is different but I often find myself drafting documents or assisting with research on particular areas of the law to help the team achieve the objectives of our clients.
What's your background?
I'm from Sydney and I grew up in the Hills district.
All of my education has been in Sydney, but before working at Allens I worked part time whilst at uni as an analyst with a company that owns and operates telecommunucations infrastructure. That experience gave me some great insights into the commercial drivers behind a transaction, so helps me see now how my role as an M&A lawyer operates as part of big collaborative effort.
I was a clerk at Allens in the summer of 2012/2013 and received an offer to join the graduate program. I started as a law graduate in 2015. Allens has a two-year graduate program consisting of two rotations, which is great to be able to really settle in and see the life of a matter all the way through. My first rotation was in Allens' Banking and Finance group and now I am a lawyer in the Mergers, Acquisitions and Capital Markets team – I am excited to be permanently joining the MAC team in March.
Before starting as a graduate I travelled for 14 months around the world. I managed to get to every continent and had a few amazing experiences along the way, like motorbiking through Vietnam, seeing the Northern Lights and sledding down an active volcano. Coming home after this adventure was a great way to transitition into full time work, feeling focussed and eager to start learning again.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Absolutely – as long as you've got the starting point of a law degree, different backgrounds and experiences foster innovation. Diversity is one of the things that makes Allens a really great place to work.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
The work we do with our clients is absolutely cutting edge and its great to be a part of groundbreaking matters. Last year I got to work on the privatisation of part of the electricity infrastructure in New South Wales – it was an enormous team effort across the firm and with lots of other advisers. On the other side of the big matters, we also do lots of great work with start-ups through the Allens Accelerate program. Young lawyers such as myself get to be really involved with our clients and deal with some really interesting businesses and concepts.
What are the limitations of your job?
We need to be responsive to the needs of our clients and there can be a lot of moving pieces at any one time – matters can move fast so it's important to stay on top of things and plan ahead, but I certainly wouldn't call it a limitation.
Pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
For law students in New South Wales the most common journey into commercial law is through the summer clerkship process. Often students don't start thinking about what it means to be a commercial lawyer until it's time to prepare the application – then you find yourself digging into the archives wishing you'd done more extra cirricular activities! Have this front of mind from day one: Get involved in uni and strive to find activities and work that interests you (certainly doesn't exclusively mean 'be a paralegal'). If you want to be a part of the legal profession it's also good to be familiar with it ahead of time, stay on top of news and current affairs in the market and have a bit of background about what the firms do and why you think you'd be a good fit in a particular area or place.