Hannah Gumbrill's Diary

My first seat was in the Social Housing Finance department, supervised by Louise Leaver. Having no previous knowledge of finance or banking law, I was initially very daunted by the thought of this being my first seat, however the team were so welcoming, approachable and encouraging that my fears were soon laid to rest.

This team works on a very wide range of matters from simple loan agreements to bond issues and note purchase agreements for tens of millions of pounds. Interestingly, they also work for both borrowers and lenders so you get to see transactions from both sides of the spectrum. While most of the work is related to the social housing sector, there are also a number of deals that are more corporate in nature. The work was often very fast paced and so it can be difficult at times to keep up with all the elements of the transaction that are going on around you. The team are all very willing to answer questions though so you just need to make sure that you find time to ask them!

One of the things that I really enjoyed about working with this team was how collaborative they are with the rest of the firm. I also worked with the Charging, Real Estate, Social Housing, Corporate and Tax departments – so you get to meet a lot of different people and get exposure to more of the work that the firm does. The other element that I really valued about working with this team was the incredible career backgrounds that they all have – you really can learn a lot from them.

Many of the deals that the team works on are simply too large for a trainee to be wholly responsible for, so the seat differs from a lot of others in the firm where you are given your own files to manage. However, by the end of the seat, I was given the responsibility of managing some smaller matters alone such as amendment letters to loans. I was also tasked with managing the conditions precedent lists to the various agreements that we worked on which really appealed to my organisational side.

During my first six months I have tried to get involved as much as possible with the variety of things on offer at WS. I am in the running club and also attend the lunch time yoga classes. I have also participated in some of the various CSR activities that the firm is involved in. Everyone at the firm is very friendly and you get a real sense that you are working as part of a team. For me, that really sets us apart from other city firms.

Trainee Diaries