Seif Borin, King & Spalding

Name: Seif Borin

Firm: King & Spalding

Position: Trainee solicitor

Degree: LLB and LLM

University: City University

Hobbies: Writing, films, Juventus, chess and snowboarding

Current department: Tax, real estate and finance

Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 20/6

Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?

I won my first argument at the age of nine.

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

Trying to come up with interesting answers to the myriad of questions on non-academic issues. Getting potential employers to see beyond the fact that despite not having competed in the Olympics, played in a symphony orchestra or trekked the Sahara, I was still good enough to become a solicitor.

Seif Borin, King & Spalding

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

Managing Partner: So please explain why you have an Irish accent?

Me: Uhm… I’m not sure (and I’m not Irish).

Managing Partner: I see.

I didn’t get the job. Moral of the story: always pretend to be Irish. Unless your supervising partner actually is Irish, like mine. In which case, just pretend your granddad was Irish.

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

We recently advised a prominent insurance company in connection with an acquisition financing. I was responsible for running the conditions precedent process as well as drafting certain finance documents. I was also given the opportunity to negotiate with the lender’s lawyers on certain issues in relation to the finance documents.

What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?

On a professional level, the autonomy provided to run a project while under the supervision of some great partners. On a personal level, the people I work with on a daily basis. 

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

I didn’t expect to work so closely with partners on certain transactions. K&S also fosters an environment in which trainees are expected to voice their opinions, which is really good for professional development.

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

“Birthday chocolates galore in the kitchen”. It’s a shame I don’t eat chocolate.

Where’s the best place to go to get your office’s gossip?

The breakout area. I try not to eavesdrop but…

Describe your training partner in three words.

Highly contagious laughter.

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

  • I have lived in nine different countries.
  • Once, a rattlesnake bit me. After five days of excruciating pain, the snake finally died.
  • A Serie A football team once offered me a youth contract.

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

Maybe a screenwriter.

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

Do it because you are genuinely interested in pursuing a career in law. Don’t do it for the money.