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Fergus Gallagher

Senior Associate

Fergus Gallagher
Hogan Lovells provides a great atmosphere in which to develop as a lawyer. It is an intensely challenging environment and the work is often demanding. Being driven out of my comfort zone, but with the knowledge that as a result of the strong team ethos there would always be people to turn to for support and advice, undoubtedly aided my personal progress.

Before applying to Hogan Lovells, I carried out the customary research about the firm, but I first really felt that it was the place where I wanted to train when I came for an assessment day. There was a sharpness and a professional feel to the firm but it was combined with a personal approach that I had not felt at other firms. Everyone that I met was open and personable and I recognised that these were people that I would enjoy working with.

The firm is very welcoming and, as a new trainee solicitor every effort is made to help you settle into the firm and the department within which you are sitting. The various future joiner events that take place during the LPC make this even easier, and after the two week induction course run for new Trainee solicitors, you have a really close group of friends.

In my first seat I sat in the corporate group and found the intensity of the fast moving cross-border transactions extremely satisfying. After spending my next seats with the Tax and Litigation teams, a client secondment to the international brewer SABMiller in my final seat was great for my development. I worked on a wide range of areas of law, doing everything from assisting with corporate M&A transactions and commercial contracts to litigation and property work but it also showed me what clients expect from the lawyers they engage and the high level of service that Hogan Lovells provides.

My time on a client secondment at SABMiller confirmed to me that I wanted to qualify into the Corporate group and since qualification, from knowing the intricacies of SABMiller’s business, I have continued to work closely with them on a range of transactional and advisory matters including high profile deals such as the establishment of the MillerCoors joint venture and the disposal of its interest in Tsogo Sun but also smaller acquisitions in Africa and Latin America where I got the chance to take on greater levels of responsibility. Appreciating the value of the relationships developed through such opportunities, I have also now been on secondment at the investment banks, Morgan Stanley and Jefferies.

Looking back at how I came to join Hogan Lovells, I definitely made the right choice. When choosing a firm to train at, it is important that you find one that fits you as well as one that wants you. The impression of Hogan Lovells that I gained from my assessment day confirmed that Hogan Lovells was the right place for me.

Finding the right firm at which to begin my legal career was initially a daunting task. They all sounded very similar on paper, and I felt as though I was hearing the same messages over and over again. It was only when I started to experience firms from the inside, by attending vacation schemes and open days, and hearing first hand from lawyers who worked there, that I was able to pin down exactly what I was (and was not) looking for. I chose Hogan Lovells because it seemed to combine top quality work and a market-leading practice (especially in litigation, which is where I wanted to qualify) with a very welcoming and inclusive culture – and I have not been disappointed.
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