Summer Clerk Diary: Tori Grimshaw, King & Wood Mallesons
Arriving at the King & Wood Mallesons Sydney office, a summer clerk might expect to undertake a first task such as getting personally acquainted with the photocopier, to have the opportunity to refine their legal and analytical skills, or to be sent to lodge documents with ASIC.
While I have definitely ticked all of the above boxes off my to-do list at some point during my clerkship, KWM has given me the opportunity to tick many, many more. In actual fact:
My “first task” was to don a fluoro pink wig and lead a troupe of fellow clerks in dancing the Nutbush atop the steps of Town Hall; I took the “opportunity to refine” my Wii bowling, baking and temporary-tattoo application skills; and I was “sent” to Hong Kong for my second four-week rotation.
I began my clerkship in the Leveraged and Project Finance team and was thrown into working on at least three separate matters for clients with unmoveable Christmas deadlines. As other groups were winding down for the holiday period, I was fortunate enough to take part in the frenetic daily activity of the KWM Banking and Finance floor and gain exposure to an extensive variety of legal work – from resolving concurrent client conflicts, to writing memoranda advising on the implications of proposed client actions as potential contractual default events, to arranging and witnessing the execution of loan and security documentation.
Following the New Year’s break, it was off to Hong Kong for my second rotation along with two of my fellow Sydney clerks. I am currently working in the Corporate & Securities team. It’s been both eye-opening and challenging working on deals over here as the Hong Kong office unofficially serves as a nexus for complex international corporate matters. This has meant that my research, advice and documentation, on diverse issues such as stamp duty, related-party transactions and conveyancing, has not simply concerned questions pertaining to Hong Kong Ordinances but has also involved a degree of jurisdictional interplay between Canada, the UK, the British Virgin Islands, the PRC and Australia.
The most valuable lessons I have learnt at KWM are not necessarily the legal ones. The key thing I learnt from my clerkship is the importance of engagement in the workplace. I cannot understate how beneficial I have found KWM’s open-plan office in terms of eliminating traditional barriers to seeking assistance from superiors and fostering involvement in projects and events that may have otherwise slipped under my radar.
I also have taken great delight in interrogating my colleagues and testing their Hong Kong recommendations: visits to the Mong Kok night markets, Victoria Peak, Macau, Disneyland, the renowned Lan Kwai Fong district, hiking in Shek O Country Park and consuming an obscene amount of dumplings.
For clerks there are also plenty of opportunities to write for the firm’s blogs and industry publications, participate at Mallesons in the Community events and assist with pro-bono work, attend CLE presentations, play Monday night inter-firm sport and assist the social committee to conceptualise costumes for the next clerk/firm event. And in the (unlikely) event that none of those tickle your fancy, my fellow clerks have also used their summer to direct and produce a clerkship video, hold introductory mah-jong sessions in the Level 56 café or use the Banking and Finance team as guinea pigs for home-baked goods.
Tori Grimshaw is a commerce/law student at the University of Sydney.
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Read more clerkship stories from our 2012/13 Summer Clerk Diary series:
Anthony R Clarke & Associates | Australian Taxation Office | The Benevolent Society | Cancer Council Legal and Financial Planning Referral Service | Champion Legal | Herbert Geer | K&L Gates (Middletons) | Linklaters | Marque Lawyers | Webb Henderson
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