Name: Simon Thexton
Firm: Shearman & Sterling
Position: Trainee solicitor
Degree: Law with European Legal Studies
University: King’s College London
Hobbies: Football and Cricket
Current department: Antitrust, Brussels
Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 10/7
Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?
To experience a challenging, constantly evolving career environment that provides opportunities for me to develop personally and professionally. The task of constantly adapting your skills depending on the different commercial sector your client belongs to is very appealing.
What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to secure a training contract?
The general competition for places as there is an abundance of talented applicants for a limited number of training contracts.
What was the toughest training contract interview question you were asked (at any firm) and how did you answer?
I remember being asked to do some multiplication sums quickly (in my head) which I struggled with as it caught me completely off guard. I answered it incorrectly. Be prepared for anything!
Tell us a bit about the type of work handled by the department you’re in at the moment…
A wide-range of Antitrust issues: multi-jurisdictional merger transactions that require merger filings in several jurisdictions; a phase II merger investigation before the European Commission; various work for clients involved in/suspected to be involved in cartels; and responding to information requests sent to clients from the European Commission relating to Article 101 (anti-competitive agreements) or Article 102 (abuse of dominance) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?
Working with and learning from exceptionally talented people.
What about your job didn’t you expect before you started?
How important support staff are to lawyers – very.
Who’s the most recent email in your inbox from, and what’s it about?
A response from a partner giving me the green light to send out a re-drafted document I have been working on to the client.
Where’s the best place to go to get your office’s gossip?
Certain trainees who shall remain anonymous always have stories to tell!
Describe your training partner in three words.
Lots of fun.
Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).
- I am officially a world record holder.
- I never drink coffee.
- I never lie.
If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in law?
Be prepared to work hard and with the right attitude. Try and do as much research as possible about firms/which areas of law you’re interested in and what really matters to you in a training contract – this will give you the best chance of finding the right firm for you.