Kenzo Onumonu, Bird & Bird

Name: Kenzo Onumonu

Firm: Bird & Bird

Position: Trainee solicitor

Degree: Law

University: University of Exeter

Hobbies: Everything to do with football, food markets and Masterchef

Current department: Corporate

Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 15/7

Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?

It is a varied career which provides the opportunity to work across multiple sectors and with multiple businesses. No two days are the same.

What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to secure a training contract?

I think one of the biggest challenges is establishing why your experiences make you suitable for a specific firm. It was tempting to apply to as many firms as possible but I found that once I established what I had in common with specific firms, I was more successful with applications.

What was the toughest training contract interview question you were asked (at any firm) and how did you answer?

I think it’s always tough to describe your weaknesses. I was once asked to describe my biggest weakness in relation to a specific firm. The firm was international and as I don’t (currently) have a second language, I highlighted that as an area for improvement.

Tell us a bit about the type of work handled by the department you’re in at the moment…

The corporate team at Bird & Bird are Tier One for venture capital and seed financing work. It’s a great team to work in because we often deal with businesses in their very early stages and are constantly learning about new technologies.

Aside from the VC work, the department also advises on mergers and acquisitions and a range of public work, for a number of clients.

What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?

As a trainee, I enjoy the responsibility of looking after discreet parts of projects. For example, working on a corporate deal often involves responsibility for managing the diligence process, a data room or the drafting of ancillary documents. I’ve also been encouraged to take on more responsibility on projects which is pleasing.

What about your job didn’t you expect before you started?

I wasn’t expecting such a range of extra-curricular activities. There is plenty to get involved in and it’s always a good way to meet more people in the firm.

Who’s the most recent email in your inbox from, and what’s it about?

From a client approving some documents we have drafted as part of a current project.

Kenzo Onumonu
Kenzo Onumonu, Bird & Bird

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).

  • I have worked at the Football Association and met Roy Hodgson
  • I turned down the chance to appear on Masterchef
  • I set up a business after university

If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?

Business management or consultancy.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in law?

Make sure you understand why a firm is unique and what makes you the right fit for that firm.