Where focused
minds meet

London

Ope Oreyemi (he/him)

Trainee

"I've had the chance to get involved in Pro-Bono work. I am currently working with Redress, an NGO committed to implementing anti-torture policies and legislation around the world. I have also participated on a panel event with several members across the Clifford Chance US network, through the Paralegal Pathways Initiative, which focuses on helping those returning from American prisons to finding sustainable careers in the legal industry."

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I joined the firm in August 2020, following the completion of my undergraduate Law degree at the University of Oxford, as well as the Legal Practice Course.

One of my highlights in the application process, was the supportiveness of the graduate recruitment team, and the attention to detail that they showed to every candidate, even prior to sending any applications.

I chose a career in law primarily because I’ve always been interested in businesses, corporations and the financial system. The ability to use the law to facilitate and implement the strategies of such institutions, and be a trusted advisor, both in the legal sense, but also in these institution’s wider commercial objectives, always appealed to me.

In terms of my decision to join Clifford Chance, the reality is, a lot of firms do very high-quality work, but there were two things that stood out to me when applying to the firm. The first, is the firm’s strength in such a wide range of practice areas. Given the rotational nature of the Training Contract, having a breadth of strong practice areas to choose from when selecting your seats is certainly ideal. This allows for a fully immersive Training Contract experience, and certainly aids training and development.

The second is diversity and inclusion. Diversity has in recent times, been pushed to the forefront of many corporations’ and institutions’ agendas. However, a lot of places haven’t necessarily got it quite right with inclusion. For me, inclusion is about ensuring that the policies implemented to improve diversity are sustainable, to the effect that all employees, are given equal access to opportunities, and are able to thrive both personally and professionally. Clifford Chance has taken serious and sincere measures to improve both, and I could see that even before joining the firm.

In respect of my Training Contract so far, it’s definitely been far from conventional. My first seat was focused on aviation and shipping work, in the Asset Finance team. The nature of transactions in this seat are relatively fast paced, and it was great to be given a lot of responsibility so early so on in my career.

I spent my second seat, in the firm’s Abu Dhabi office. Given that you typically do four seats in the Training Contract, one of the appeals of undertaking an international secondment is that since the offices tend to be a bit smaller, the scope of work tends to be far broader than what you might do in London. This means you have the opportunity to get involved in a wide range of practice areas, and I’ve been fortunate to do a mixture of Asset Finance, Project Finance, Islamic Finance, General Banking, as well as some Restructuring work.

This seat will be followed by another international secondment, but with a client this time around. The firm’s commitment to giving such opportunities at such an early stage in my career, speaks to the truly global nature of a career at Clifford Chance. I’m definitely not a one off - my current supervisor is from the UK, and actually trained in London as well. Having spoken to him, he’s since worked in the firms’ Frankfurt and Abu Dhabi office, once again proving that a career at Clifford Chance is definitely a passport to travel and work abroad, if that’s something you want from your career.

Outside of the day to day work, I’ve regularly participated in the Clifford Chance weekly football team and also had the chance to get involved in Pro-Bono work. I am currently working with Redress, an NGO committed to implementing anti-torture policies and legislation around the world. I have also participated on a panel event with several members across the Clifford Chance US network, through the Paralegal Pathways Initiative, which focuses on helping those returning from American prisons to finding sustainable careers in the legal industry.

Both experiences have been extremely rewarding, and really serve as a reminder to use the platform, that is Clifford Chance, to do good and meaningful work.

Clifford Chance is a firm of diverse and personable people, meaningful and top tier work, and a breadth of international opportunities. There has been a lot to learn and it’s definitely been hard work, but if anything, this has made the experience all the more rewarding!