Billie Haddleton

Solicitor | Dispute Resolution

Karan Kalsi

Intern | Banking

Phillipa Lamberton

Solicitor | Banking

Dilshen Dahanayake

Solicitor | Employment

Joy Guo

Solicitor | Dispute Resolution

Ben Stewart

Solicitor | Construction

Isabella Denholm

Intern | Dispute Resolution

Katie Shorter

Solicitor | Construction

Nikhil Chand

Solicitor | Banking

Chantal Hoeft

Solicitor | Dispute Resolution

Scott Yang

Solicitor | Financial Services

Molly Dore

Solicitor | Corporate

Billie Haddleton

Solicitor | Dispute Resolution

Billie

Secondment

 

What do you enjoy most about working at MinterEllisonRuddWatts?

I love that no two days are the same. There are always new things coming through the door and the range of things you can be exposed to – even as a law clerk – is huge.

How would you describe the transition from law school to working here at MinterEllisonRuddWatts?

The transition to working at MinterEllisonRuddWatts was smoother than I anticipated! I really enjoyed going from university, where you would balance many commitments at once, to work, where you can clock off at the end of the day. We (the law clerks) did a full-time Profs course for three months at the beginning of the year which helped us get used to the 8.30am – 5.00pm routine. The full-time course allowed us to completely dedicate ourselves to Profs so that we could get the most out of the course and arrive at work better prepared. After arriving at MinterEllisonRuddWatts following Profs, the team eases you into work gradually to help the transition.

Have you been on any secondments?

I’ve been on two secondments. As a summer clerk, I was seconded to a parliamentary organisation (Parliamentary Services) to assist with a workplace culture review. I transcribed interviews and provided researching, editing and administrative support. This secondment took place across the summer clerkship and continued as a part-time job after the clerkship had ended. As a law clerk, I was seconded to a public sector organisation (Fire and Emergency New Zealand) to work in the organisation’s information request team for seven weeks. I got to answer a wide range of information requests from the general public, the media and other government organisations. In doing so, I gained insight into the operation of a large and complex organisation, the role of the in-house legal team in public sector organisations, and the practical application of key legislation to organisations.

How was the secondment experience?

Both secondments were really fascinating. It’s super interesting to see how other organisations work. My secondments allowed me to be exposed to a different range of work to what we would usually do in the office. They were a great opportunity to step up and take initiative and responsibility for my work. Plus, the teams I worked in were wonderfully supportive and welcoming which made for an equally lovely work environment!

How have you benefited from your time on secondment?

The best thing about going on secondment is the opportunity to see how clients and other organisations work. I’ve been fortunate to have had secondments to two interesting organisations – I’ve had exposure to the inner workings of Parliament and to the operation of a large public sector organisation. We do a lot of work for public sector clients in the Wellington office, so this exposure has helped my understanding of the context in which clients ask for advice. That extra understanding makes your job easier and your work better!

What advice would you give to someone at your level considering a secondment? 

Secondment opportunities are worth taking – you get the opportunity to build great professional relationships and are exposed to different types of work. It’s important as a junior on secondment to stay connected with the firm and with your team, whilst also committing yourself fully to the secondment opportunity. I’ve been grateful to have had two such opportunities so early on in my career.

Karan Kalsi

Intern | Banking

Karan

Intern

 

Tell us about your role as an intern at MinterEllisonRuddWatts?

My role as an intern is to assist our Banking team in their day to day tasks. These tasks are incredibly varied and can consist of helping the team settle a transaction, drafting finance agreements or conducting securities searches. I often work on a range of different transactions/projects at the same time, many of which involve some of New Zealand’s largest companies.

What does your typical working day look like?

After arriving at the office, I check my emails and grab a coffee, before joining the team kanban call. A kanban call is basically when the entire team comes together to let each other know the different tasks they are working on for the day and if they need help with anything. After the call, I get instructions from other solicitors on the tasks I have been asked to assist with. These can range from drafting research memos, assisting with drafting various financing documents or registering financing statements. I then start working on these tasks until lunchtime, when my team often goes to grab lunch together. As an intern, questions often pop up as I work. Luckily, the team is super approachable and are always happy to answer my queries. I then spend the afternoon completing my assigned tasks.

What have you enjoyed most about your internship?

Being able to get a meaningful insight on what working as a practising lawyer at a leading law firm looks like whilst studying. The knowledge I have been imparted with and the practical experience I have obtained is invaluable. Not only have my technical skills improved, but I also feel I can better understand the importance of what I learn in class.

Why would you recommend an internship at MinterEllisonRuddWatts to others?

I would definitely recommend applying for an internship to other students. The firm culture has been amazing. As an intern, it can be a bit daunting starting work in a legal environment that is foreign to you. However, the firm culture is approachable and supportive. There are plenty of support systems in place to make sure you always have someone to talk to if you need help. I never feel scared to ask questions. In addition, there are plenty of fun social events to get involved in!

Phillipa Lamberton

Solicitor | Banking

Phillipa

Q&A

 

How would you describe the transition from law school to working at MinterEllisonRuddWatts?

The transition from law school was reasonably seamless. Summer clerking meant that I was lucky to already be familiar with  some of the people and the type of work I would be doing. MinterEllisonRuddWatts also provides law clerks with a range of introductory training so you feel like you get to know the basics before joining your team. Having a buddy also meant I could ask any questions I had and made the transition much easier.

What drove you to apply for a role at MinterEllisonRuddWatts?

I had heard good things about MinterEllisonRuddWatts’ culture, in that it was inclusive and an encouraging and positive work environment. I knew I wanted to work in transactional law and believed MinterEllisonRuddWatts would give me a great opportunity to work on some of New Zealand’s leading deals, with some of New Zealand’s best lawyers.

What do you enjoy most about working at MinterEllisonRuddWatts?

Both the people and the work. During both my time summer clerking and my time as a law clerk, I have had the opportunity to work on some really interesting and challenging transactions and work. The people I work with have been extremely supportive, encouraging and helpful. This has enabled me to learn a lot and be given opportunities to take on responsibility for key aspects of client work.

In what way have you benefited from MinterEllisonRuddWatts’ professional development programmes?

I have been involved in several of the firm’s professional development programmes. I have found that these have encouraged me to approach issues in a new and different way, as well as developing my foundational legal skills.

What kind of work have you been working on in your role as a graduate?

I work in the Banking and Finance team, which means I have been involved largely in transactional work. This includes drafting key transactional documents such as facility agreements. It also means I get to be involved with clients and take on a reasonable amount of responsibility for ensuring a transaction runs smoothly. I have also done a variety of other work including legal research, drafting legal memos and opinions.

What advice would you give to someone who is applying for a graduate position with MinterEllisonRuddWatts?

I think the best thing you can do is be yourself and choose an area of law that interests you.

What do you think MinterEllisonRuddWatts is looking for in the ideal graduate?

I believe that our firm is looking for someone who is motivated, driven and enjoys working in a team and collaborating with others. I believe the firm values people that are genuinely interested in working in commercial law and are motivated to learn and develop a broad range of new skills.

Dilshen Dahanayake

Solicitor | Employment

Dilshen

Empowerment, Inclusion and Diversity (EDI) member

 

Tell us a little about the firm’s Empowerment, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee

The EDI Committee is a body made up of partners and staff representatives and its work is aimed at creating spaces and opportunities for diverse people to feel valued and to excel at MinterEllisonRuddWatts. Their remit overlaps with the firm’s wider sustainability goals, which are designed to prepare the firm for the future.

What do you enjoy most about working at MinterEllisonRuddWatts?

EDI is a space that naturally opposes tradition, and because of that there can often be a struggle with the inflexibility of law firm cultures. However, I have continually been impressed with the emphasis MinterEllisonRuddWatts puts on looking after its people and with the steps it has taken to advance EDI in the legal sector.

Why did you choose to be a part of the EDI Committee?

I think it is so important that people are valued in their workplace. But there is a lot of work to be done in all sectors to make this happen. I wanted to add value to the Committee by approaching it as someone affected by some of the issues that are the target of EDI efforts, and also as someone who is in a position to help tackle those issues.

Tell us about your experience so far with the EDI Committee

I’ve only been on the Committee a short while, but I’ve been surprised at the amount I’ve learnt – in terms of both the various initiatives that are tabled and the issues staff have raised as points of discussion for our meetings. It’s an area I’m really passionate about and I look forward to contributing to these important efforts.

Joy Guo

Solicitor | Dispute Resolution

Joy

Innovation leader

 

Tell us about the firm’s Innovation Forum

The Innovation Forum is a new initiative within the Innovation pillar of MinterEllisonRuddWatts’ Strategic Plan. The Forum is made up of a group of staff (including non-legal and legal staff from a range of year levels and practice areas) tasked with fostering innovation throughout our firm.

The Forum engages with staff to identify and solicit innovation ideas and supports ‘idea owners’ to develop and implement their ideas.  The Forum encourages all ideas (beyond just improvements to legal processes or services) to help our firm improve the way it does business both internally and with clients.  Funding is available to launch and implement select ideas.

What do you enjoy most about working at MinterEllisonRuddWatts?

One of the aspects I enjoy most about working at MinterEllisonRuddWatts is the ability to take part in meaningful initiatives, such as innovation projects. The firm is committed to innovation and has been recognised as one of New Zealand’s most innovative firms. For example, MinterEllisonRuddWatts was recognised in the NZ Lawyer Innovative Firms 2020 Report on its adoption of new technologies, novel team structures, and fresh ways of working with clients.

The firm’s Innovation Strategy places real decision-making ability with staff and fosters innovation from the ground up. This means anyone (regardless of seniority) can lead and drive innovation at the firm – this is a real differentiator to other law firms.

Why did you choose to be a part of the firm’s Innovation Forum?

More than ever, the legal industry is experiencing significant disruption and transformation. The pace of change will only accelerate as a result of the impacts of Covid-19. I have always been interested in how the legal industry can solve today’s challenges through innovation. There is a lot of opportunity within law to do things differently, and better. Being part of the Innovation Forum allows me to actively drive change and make an impact in this area.

Tell us about your experience so far with the Innovation Forum

The Innovation Forum was established in early 2021. We meet regularly to discuss innovation ideas from staff, and to identify the resources and support required to push ideas through to implementation. We have already had some great ideas come through to the Forum.

One exciting milestone is that one of our innovation projects was selected for the Centre for Legal Innovation’s (CLI’s) Innovation Incubator Programme. The project was one of 16 projects selected across New Zealand, Australia, and Asia. As project co-leaders, Jack McCaw (senior solicitor) and I received the support of the Innovation Forum in developing the idea. We will receive coaching from the CLI to implement the project. I’m looking forward to working with the Forum and others across our firm to see the project through to fruition.

Ben Stewart

Solicitor | Construction

Ben

Secondment

 

What do you enjoy most about working at MinterEllisonRuddWatts?

The two biggest things for me are the people and the quality of the work. I have been part of the Construction team for almost two years (I interned in this team through university) and the positive and supportive team culture was an enormous draw to me. Working at a firm like MinterEllisonRuddWatts also means that the construction projects I am involved in tend to be significant (both financially and in terms of the community asset).

Have you been on any secondments?

I have spent the past three months on full-time secondment at one of our firm’s energy company clients, assisting with the administration of construction contracts. This has mostly been remote (working from the MinterEllisonRuddWatts offices), but I have also made a few trips to Hamilton to meet the team.

How was your secondment experience overall?

The experience has been great. I’ve really enjoyed having so much client contact at such an early stage of my career and working full-time on a single project has given me a really good understanding of how the entire process works from start to finish. The work has been varied and challenging which has been very rewarding as I’ve gotten more familiar with it.

How have you benefited from your secondment work?

Being on secondment has given me the chance to understand things from the perspective of a client, which has been invaluable. Through the secondment I’ve also had the benefit of being able to see the bigger picture of how a file is managed by the team.

What advice would you give to someone at your level considering a secondment?

I think it is important to approach it with a positive and enthusiastic mindset. The learning curve on my secondment was pretty steep (getting up to speed on project history), but everyone at the secondment firm was very helpful and happy to chat about things.

Isabella Denholm

Intern | Dispute Resolution

Isabella

Intern

 

Why did you choose MinterEllisonRuddWatts for your internship?

I have always held MinterEllisonRuddWatts in extremely high regard because of the incredible work they do both in the commercial law field and in the communities of Aotearoa New Zealand. It was clear to me prior to applying that the firm has a strong culture of achieving excellence and success for their clients, yet also places great emphasis on encouraging and supporting their own people. Together, this makes them a truly phenomenal firm and I think it was the combination of these things that made me pursue MinterEllisonRuddWatts for my internship.

Tell us about your role as an intern at MinterEllisonRuddWatts?

I interned in the Dispute Resolution team and my role as an intern involved assisting solicitors, associates, special counsel and partners with various tasks they were working on. This meant the work I did ranged from legal research to preparing court documents, with a whole lot in between. My role as an intern was one of great variety and, truthfully, I never really knew what task I’d end up doing on any given day. Overall, I believe the intern role is one of learning; learning new ways of thinking, learning new skills, and learning about different areas of the law and how they operate. It is a role I’m incredibly grateful to have had.

What was the highlight of your internship?

I have two highlights. Firstly, the learning aspect. The internship provides an incredibly unique experience to learn directly from some of the best legal minds in the country. There are so many opportunities to work with different legal professionals and it has been incredible learning skills that I know I will use for the rest of my legal career. The second highlight is undoubtedly the people. MinterEllisonRuddWatts has such an extraordinary culture of community and the people at the firm are so invested in you. As an intern, we were provided with a ‘solicitor buddy’ and a ‘responsible partner’ who we report to. I have found this to be such a helpful experience, which has made the transition to working in a law firm a whole lot less daunting and a whole lot more fun. I have loved working alongside so many amazing people and learning so much from them.

How has the work experience at MinterEllisonRuddWatts helped you with your studies?

On a specific level, the work experience at MinterEllisonRuddWatts has significantly developed crucial law school skills of legal research, writing case briefs, drafting legal documents – and more. However, on a more general level it has also really helped keep me motivated for university study. Towards the end of a degree, it can be hard to find the motivation to keep giving study 100%, as you start to feel ready to enter the workforce. However, gaining the work experience at MinterEllisonRuddWatts has given me a taste for what the real world will feel like and galvanised me to study even harder! It has really confirmed my love of the law and my desire to pursue a career in commercial law and affirmed to me that I’m doing the right thing.

Katie Shorter

Solicitor | Construction

Katie Shorter

Mentoring at MinterEllisonRuddWatts

 

What drew you to MinterEllisonRuddWatts MentorME programme?

I liked the idea of getting to know people from other teams in our firm that I wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to interact with. I find it valuable to hear about other people’s careers and experiences working in a law firm and it is always interesting to learn about the work done in other teams. Sometimes it can be easier to open up to people who aren’t in your immediate team and who you don’t work with directly and this struck me as a really supportive programme.

How often do you meet up with your mentor?

We aim to meet up every six weeks but often end up having quick catch-ups in between.

What do you hope to gain from the programme?

I hope to build relationships with people across our firm and learn from others’ experiences. It is always useful to receive advice from a range of people (particularly career advice) and to talk through challenges with those who are able to offer a fresh perspective.

In what areas has the programme helped you to grow and develop?

The different mentors that I have had over the years have been incredibly supportive and great sounding boards for bouncing off ideas, whether this be discussing the type of matters that I would like to be involved with, how best to interact with others in my team or next steps in my career. I have had the benefit of being paired with mentors from a range of levels (junior, senior associate and partner) who have each offered insight into different parts of our firm and whose experiences have each related to me in different ways. Hearing about other’s experiences has inspired me to set my own goals and challenge me to think about what I want for my future.

Nikhil Chand

Solicitor | Banking

Nikhil

Q&A

 

What do you enjoy most about working at MinterEllisonRuddWatts?

The thing I enjoy most is that each day I feel that I have been both challenged and learned something new, whether that is a technical legal point, the context of an industry, or how a client’s business works.  By no means a distant second, I also believe that irrespective of the work or the amenities, the main thing that keeps you excited to go to work each day is the people you do that work with.  I enjoy working with, and learning from my immediate team, the wider firm, and our clients.

What kind of work have you been working on in your role as a solicitor?

As a solicitor in the banking and financial services team in Wellington, a lot of my work is done for banks, government and other financial institutions.  There are a wide range of projects I have worked on, from smaller matters that I look after from start to finish, to year-long projects that the whole team, and more, gets involved in.  Within those bounds, there is also a great mix of regular work and one-off projects so that no two days are ever the same, especially when working on cross-border transactions.  I have also enjoyed assisting other teams where there is overlap between their matters and the banking team’s expertise.  It is fresh and rewarding to be able to contribute your knowledge to the wider MinterEllisonRuddWatts team and the exciting work and projects that they do.

What advice would you give to someone who is applying to the MinterEllisonRuddWatts graduate program?

For something that can seem very intimidating, I greatly enjoyed the recruitment process.  Aside from the little things (like making sure your CV has been spellchecked!), for me, the most important thing was understanding the firm’s values and how they resonated with me.  MinterEllisonRuddWatts is built on its people, so the application process is all about presenting who you are and why you will both fit the firm and push it onwards and upwards.  If you are at the interview stage, I also highly recommend not being afraid to make use of your assigned buddy to ask all those questions that will give you the confidence to nail the process.

In what way have you benefited from the firm’s professional development programmes?

The MentorME programme has been great, whether I have specific questions or just want to talk things through, I know I can lean on my mentor’s expertise as both a lawyer and a MinterEllisonRuddWatts team member.  We meet for a coffee every couple weeks to chat about the previous two weeks, the immediate future, and sometimes long-term plans.  You also get a mentor tailored to what you want to get from the programme, so you can really make the most of the relationship.

Chantal Hoeft

Solicitor | Dispute Resolution

Chantal

A day in the life

 

7:00am

Just a regular day for me in the office today, so I wake up at 7.00am, get ready and leave the house at 7.30am. My commute is a 15-minute walk to the train and then a 15-minute train ride. I’m lucky to live so close.

8:30am

I arrive around 8.15am and walk across Britomart from the train to the office. I arrive at the office and catch up with the juniors in my team. I then head downstairs to grab a coffee (free today from the firm’s Social Club!) with my buddy Ellyse, then back up to check my emails. The first thing on my to-do list is to draft a memo to the court seeking an extension on a hearing date, to allow us time to serve documents on the other side. I give this a good first crack then send it to another solicitor in my team to review for me, as it’s the first time I’ve drafted one of these.

9:30am

Once I’ve got the memo back, I give it a check over and send it to the partner on the file for approval and signing.  While I wait to hear back from him, I get started on some document reviewing for a big discovery that I am working on at the moment.  I am enjoying this discovery because it’s on an interesting subject matter and the team involved are fun to work with. Discovery is also handy for those moments of spare time I have in between other tasks.

10:00am

At 10am I have a discovery team catch up meeting where we run through any documents we have come across that are unusual, or we don’t know whether to include or not. This is a whole team meeting, so there are a few juniors, one senior and a partner. These meetings are really helpful, and I always learn a lot from them – it’s a cool opportunity to hear the partner’s thought process on each issue.

12:00pm

The meeting took longer than we expected, but I am back to my desk at midday and starting to get hungry! I scan through my to-do list and pick a task that I know I can realistically get done in an hour (before my lunch break) to make the most of my time. I need to edit and finalise a Statement of Claim for a Summary Judgment proceeding I am working on. Being the junior on summary judgment proceedings is really cool because they are a pretty standard procedure, so seniors give us a lot of autonomy on these files. My aim is to have the statement of claim and accompanying affidavit done by the end of the day.

1:00pm

It’s time for lunch with my co-workers. For the month of August, the firm is giving all partners and staff free sandwiches for lunch on Tuesdays and Thursday and today is one of those days which is awesome. We all have a sandwich then head outside to get some sun and take a quick walk around the block before heading back to our desks.

2:00pm

Once I’m back after lunch, I get back into the Statement of Claim and affidavit. I am having fun drafting these and it’s really satisfying seeing the documents come together. I get them to a stage I am happy with and send them off to the Senior Associate on the file for review.

3:30pm

I catch up with a friend in another team for an afternoon hot chocolate at 3.30pm. She has not long started at the firm, so I want to hear how she is going and if there is anything she needs a hand with. She’s doing well and it’s nice to have a quick break.

4:30pm

I get stuck into some more document review. I am using the decisions we made in this morning’s meeting to apply to my review and go back and check that my other documents have been marked correctly.  This task will take me until the end of the day.

6:00pm

I check in with my buddy, submit my timesheets and head off for the day. I’m heading to a yoga class tonight down the road from the office that I am really looking forward to!

Scott Yang

Solicitor | Banking

Scott

A day in the life

 

7:30am

Today is Monday. After my normal morning routine I take a quick look at the news to see all the latest developments. I’m lucky that I live close to the office, so I leave home at 8:15AM and catch the bus to work.

8:30am

I arrive at work and get settled in. The first thing I do is check my emails as well as my to-do list to see what’s coming up for today and the rest of the week. I can see that today is looking quite busy, so I make sure to note down what needs to be done and by when. I then catch up with my colleagues, and we chat about what we got up to over the weekend.

9:00am

Kanban time! This is where the entire Financial Services Team jumps on a Microsoft Teams call to outline what their day is looking like, whether they have any capacity, and to pick up any work that can be delegated.

9:20am

Kanban is over, and I get cracking on the tasks I have to complete for the day. The first thing I need to do is to compare the information in a transaction document we have drafted to another document to ensure that it accurately reflects all the details. I am enjoying the work on this subject matter as it involves the sale and purchase of a large-scale and a well-known business, and will certainly make the news once it has been announced. I’m proud of the role (albeit small) I get to play in progressing the transaction.

10:30am

I finish comparing the two documents and send my comments back to the Special Counsel. I then attend a workshop on delegation skills with the other juniors in my cohort as the firm is receiving its Summer Clerk intake next week. I learn a lot about how to communicate instructions, supervise work and answer questions that they may have.

11:30am

I begin working on my second task for the day – drafting a checklist for an Intragroup Agreement. This also involves another high-profile business entity that is seeking to setup a highly innovative business structure. It’s quite exciting to be involved with something so novel and ground-breaking.

12:30pm

I finish drafting the checklist and sent it back to the Solicitor for her review. Before taking lunch, I decide to get through one more task on my list – drafting a scope of works and engagement email for a new client. It’s always exciting to be involved in brand new work and to witness a matter being run from beginning to end. I make sure that the engagement email accurately captures what we propose to do to help the client. I sent it to my supervising partner, who is happy with it and asks me to send it out.

1:00pm

Lunch time! Today I have packed my own lunch, although there is an array of different food establishments around the PwC building. I really like the Japanese options available, and they always make for a convenient option when things get a bit hectic!

2:00pm

I get back from lunch and get started on the final task for today. It’s quite a big one – reviewing a document from a client against the full legislative requirements. This takes a while to do, but it’s important that we are accurate so that we pick up on anything which is missing. It’s also something that I haven’t done before, so it’s great chance to learn a new skill that will come in handy in the future. It also allows me to learn the law in this area in greater detail.

5:30pm

I send the review of the document back to the Senior Associate for his review. Today has been productive, and I’ve managed to get through all of what I needed to do. Home time!

Molly Dore

Solicitor | Corporate 

Moly

A day in the life

 

6:30am

Wake up and listen to Radio NZ as I get ready for work. It’s Friday, so no early morning gym class for me!

7:45am

I leave the flat to walk to work. It’s a 20-minute walk that is often extended due to bumping into friends or family along the way (it’s a popular route, especially once I get onto Lambton Quay). I’m either listening to music or whatever podcast series has captured my current attention. Today I listened to an episode of Pandora Syke’s podcast series ‘Doing it Right’.

8:15am

I arrive at work and settle in with a cup of tea. I check my emails and calendar and, if I haven’t made one the night before, I make my to-do list for the day. Where necessary, I’ll update my team Kanban board to reflect jobs I’ve now completed and add anything new.

8:30am

Time to get stuck into my first task of the day. Yesterday I did a first cut of a response to a series of questions from a client as a part of a due diligence type report. My part of the report relates to tricky contract law questions which I had been specially asked to help with because of my interests in contract interpretation. The partner in charge of the project has read my draft and has some questions. We decide to give the client a call to clarify some aspects of the task at hand. We decide that the best response will be to write a memo that incorporates our answers to the questions, so I will adapt the structure of my draft today to be more chronological.

9:00am

Every week we alternate having a team meeting or team training on a Friday. Today we have a team training session. We’re currently doing a series of trainings on different aspects of corporate deals, covering broad aspects like who should be involved in the due diligence process to more specific aspects like what method of working capital adjustment should be used in the sale and purchase agreement.

Today’s training is on employment law considerations in both the due diligence process and terms to include in the sale and purchase agreement. Helpfully, it links in with previous training us law clerks have had as a part of our ‘DevelopME’ graduate programme so I can follow along even in the parts I’ve not directly had experience with yet.

10:00am

I’m back at my desk and back to working on the edits to my memo, but not for long because…

10:30am

… it’s time for morning tea! We have a freshly baked firm morning tea every Monday and Friday. Today we’re having cheese scones and they are every bit as delicious as they smelt while they were in the oven during team training!

11:00am – 1:00pm

After a generous chat amongst most of the juniors, we peel ourselves off the couches on level 18 and I swing past the coffee machine on my way to my desk. I finish updating my memo and send it back to the partner for review. Another team member has asked for quick but urgent help on a proofread so we can get this agreement out the client today. I’ve worked on this agreement before, so I’m in a good position to see if there is anything missing or that doesn’t make sense. It’s a satisfying job because I manage to pick up on some incorrect internal clause references. It wouldn’t have made sense in a few places had they not been changed. We manage to send it out before lunch.

1:00pm

Lunch time! We are realistic about the Wellington wind and decide to quickly eat our lunches at the breakout table before heading out for a walk. We risk it with the wind and head out to the waterfront. It’s a nice first taste of the weekend and we’re all feeling motivated to finish our to do lists this afternoon.

2:00pm

While I’m waiting to get further feedback on my memo, I work on another ongoing project that I chip away at when I get the chance. It’s for one of our international clients who are setting up a business presence in New Zealand. We started off by providing advice on how best to set up their business and we’re now finalising all the application information that we’ll need to register with the NZ Companies Office. I go through the information we’ve collected and make sure we’ve saved a copy of the relevant documents. I check that they meet all the requirements that we’ve asked for them to have and update our checklist to show that we’ve nearly got all the information we need.

3:00pm

Quiz time! We meet to do the Stuff quiz every day in my office. It’s a new team staple and a great way to learn about team members’ niche specialty knowledge. The quiz often turns into a “how on earth did you know that?” story time.

3:20pm

I get feedback from my memo again and with a few small tweaks it gets sent off to the client – very satisfying! I start drafting an email to explain to the international client what documents we’re still missing for the registration and create a timeline of what to expect once we can start the registration process. I’ve also had a few billing and other admin bits on my to do list, so I try to clear through as much as I can to help make the following Monday as easy as possible.

5:20pm

Done and dusted for the day! Excitingly, a couple of people have organised an Olympic themed Friday night event. Each team is a different country and we’re in for an evening of Olympic challenges with a twist – think of that episode of The Office and you’ll have the right idea!