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London Graduates

Kathryn McArdle

Senior Associate

Year Joined: 2010
University: University of Oxford
Degree: Law

"Clifford Chance is fully supportive of new parents and has certainly embraced the idea of agile working."

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I joined Clifford Chance in August 2010 having graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Law. I am now a Senior Associate in the Debt Capital Markets team.

As a trainee, I sat in Finance X (which included a short secondment to Lloyds Bank), Insolvency Finance, Derivatives (where I was seconded to RBS) and last but certainly not least, an international secondment to the Capital Markets team in Hong Kong.

From my very first day in the office it was clear that the people who work here are the thing which sets Clifford Chance apart. I genuinely love the team I sit alongside and on a daily basis am amazed by the diverse, warm and collegiate environment I am lucky enough to work in. 

The work

The deals themselves are challenging, varied and fast paced which means that no two days in the office are ever the same. We have a truly international practice with endless opportunities to work across jurisdictions. One day I might be working on funding a renewable energy project in Lithuania, the next on re-capitalising a major bank. You never get bored!

Navigating my career as a new parent

I recently returned to work from Maternity Leave and it would be fair to say there are now far more commitments to juggle than before. Clifford Chance is fully supportive of new parents and has certainly embraced the idea of agile working. Knowing I have the flexibility to work around nursery pick-ups and the dreaded Chicken Pox has made my transition back so easy and I know of very few other City employers who would be as accommodating.

My advice

My best advice is to always give something a go. Some people are blessed with a clear direction as to where they would like their career to take them from an early age but that certainly wasn't the case for me. 

I always thought I wanted to be the next Judge John Deed and will confess I only applied for a Vacation Scheme at Clifford Chance on a whim. Thank goodness I did as it truly was a sliding doors moment. If you are tempted by the firm or just want to know a little bit more about us, apply, and see where it might take you!

The people

I really value the friendships I have forged at the firm over the years and, despite being in the profession for almost 10 years, I am still surrounded by a number of peers who joined the firm with me (and in fact people I met on my Summer Vacation Scheme). But I also now have a vast network of contacts across the City as previous colleagues have moved on to explore new opportunities.

Clifford Chance is unique in recognising the value of supporting not only those individuals who are here to pursue the partnership track but also those who may wish to use their time as a stepping stone to future career progression elsewhere.