Catherine Lo, Associate at Clifford Chance
A day in the life of…

Associate at Clifford Chance

Catherine Lo studied ​a ​Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Law ​at Queensland University of Technology in 2015, and is now an Associate at Clifford Chance.

6.00 AM

Generally, I'm up around 6:00 a.m.. Some mornings are more difficult than others. I get ready and head to the city. I usually bike/run to work (nothing gets your heart pumping like biking on the streets of Sydney!) and head to the gym or I'll meet up with a friend for a coffee.

9.00 - 9.30 AM

It's time to start work. I'm in the Banking and Finance Group. The Banking and Finance Group begins a little later than the other practice groups. We have a broad practice and cover areas such as general banking, project finance, asset finance, acquisition finance, regulatory issues. As a grad, you see a wholistic approach of finance. You have exposure and get to know the different kinds of financing and the nuances of each area.

I read my emails to see what has come in overnight and begin to prepare for the day – This means making a list and prioritising work.

10.00 AM

It's time to get stuck into the work. There are many tasks I would be doing on a daily basis – drafting/review the financing and security documents, reviewing documents or comments received from other parties, reading and respond to queries of external parties, telephone calls, receiving instructions from and discussing issues with the instructing lawyer.

11.00 AM

Almost always around mid-morning I'll head to the kitchen to find snacks and chat to colleagues who are also floating around and then it's back to work.

1.00 PM

On the days that I don't get to exercise in the morning, I'll go for a run around Sydney and grab food on the way back to the office. I'm feeling energised and ready to tackle the afternoon.

2.00 PM

By this time our offices around the region are beginning to come online, so it's time to make a couple of calls to Clifford Chance Singapore or Clifford Chance Hong Kong if there are matters which we are working on together. The afternoon is filled by carrying on with work from the morning, making time for additional work that has come to my desk, attending meetings and/or trainings. Today, I'm preparing for a closing with our London office. I've been liaising with the client to make sure that documents have been signed correctly, liaising with external parties so that transaction documents and PPSA filings can be agreed and finalising legal opinions. Unfortunately, more often than not there are issues that seem to arise near closing but a couple of visits to the supervising lawyer generally resolves time. They always have an answer!

4.00 PM

The afternoon lull has come around and it's time to walk the floor and catch up with colleagues, and even grab a coffee.

7.00 - 9.00 PM

On a good day, it's home time. I may grab dinner with a friend, head down to the beach for a swim (if we have daylight savings), or just head home to relax.

As you would expect, during closings or busy periods, this would instead be the time to order dinner and continue with work. Late nights generally involve catching up on items you couldn't get to during the day or dealing with external parties, clients or our other offices in different time zones. Alternatively, depending on whether there are any time pressures, I may step out and grab dinner with a friend before returning to work, or take my laptop home, eat dinner and work from home. The firm is very flexible in this regard.

10.00 PM

I wind down by watching T.V, responding to messages and scrolling through social media. Sometime, I'll potter around the apartment to tidy-up. 

11.00 PM

It's bed time. Before going to bed, I prepare for the next day – packing my gym bag and work clothes so that the mornings are less chaotic.

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