Name of the organisation. City. Office Address. How was the office? Team strength.
Holman Fenwick Willan. Singapore office. The website is here.
Office Adress: Samsung Hub, 3
Church Street, Singapore.
The office is very smart and swanky.
Extremely posh with big cubicles for all the associates around the perimeter of the office with the secretaries sitting in the centre of the office. There are about 10 partners in the Singapore office and 15 or so associates. The main office of Holman Fenwick Willan is in London.
Duration of internship
May 13th to June 1st
Application procedure? Internship Contact Details
One can apply on their own by sending a email to the managing partner.
The managing partners name is Paul Aston and all his details are on the HFW website. (His email ID and his phone number). Ideally, one should not directly call on his mobile. He’s very busy and usually is traveling so its always better to go through his secretary.
When an aspirant calls the firm, they can ask for Mr. Astons secretary and she will try to make sure that Mr.Aston sees the internship email and details.
Duration in weeks. Days of work per week. Timings.
3 weeks. Its for 5 days a week but if there is pending work one might have to come on a saturday for a bit but they don’t force you to do so. The timings are from 9.30 am till about 6pm in the evening.
First impression, first day, formalities
On the first day, one of the associates showed me around the office.
My interaction with him was fairly informal and friendly. He introduced me to some people on the way and showed me to my cubicle.
It was a large room which I had to share with one more associate. What I have noticed in most Indian internships I have done so far, if not all, there is always an ‘interns room’ where the interns sit and mingle.
Its most of the time cut off from the rest of the office and the interaction between the interns and the lawyers in the office is restricted to a more or less an as and when needed basis.
In HFW, when the lawyers heard that there is a new person in the office, a lot of them came to my cubicle just to introduce themselves and say hi.
HFW has a very strong shipping and maritime department as well as an equally strong aviation department. They also have a commercial side which is a smaller section of the office but equally competent.
My first task when I entered the office was to find Oil and Gas companies that had offices in certain areas in the UK as well in an office in South East Asia. This was a very research, Google based task with no such legal aspect to it but it did not take too much time and thereafter, I got to work on legal matters.
I assisted on many matters and got to sit in on a lot of meetings. My main subject of interest was Shipping and in particular maritime arbitration. The best thing about the internship was that I got the opportunity to sit through a three day arbitration that was going on and also help on the matter in some aspects.
I also worked on a salvage case wherein I had to deduce the extent of liability of a party. In the aviation side, I worked on a collision case wherein a piece of moving ground equipment rammed into the aircraft.
Here also all the documents needed to be put together and the liability of the party needed to be found out. HFW publishes a lot of articles on their website too.
A large part of my time there was spent on helping the trainee at the Singapore office with finding other articles and information on the Shale gas updates and then piecing all such information together into an article for the website.
Work environment, people
The work environment at the firm is relaxed. The office has a lot of open space and it is not crammed with people in every nook and cranny.
People are very cordial and will indulge any silly question one may have. As mentioned earlier, the lawyers there came to greet me when I entered the firm. The people working in the firm at HFW respect your time and effort.
For the most part, they do not want to overburden an intern with work so they will always ask if you are free and more often than not, it is the intern going up to an associate or a partner to ask whether they have any work that they require assistance with.
The best things AND the bad things
The best thing about the firm was the people there. They were very friendly and approachable. Also, the location of the firm was strategic. It was in a busy corporate hub that is always buzzing.
There are a lot of good eating and drinking places close by. One thin that could have been better was that I had to go around asking for work some of the time and when no one had work to give me I would sit idle for the next one or two hours until someone had work.
Stipend/monthHolman Fenwick Willan
Accommodation etc. What did you to do chill in and around the office and the place of stay?
I stayed with a relative but the trainee was staying next to the office (about a 15 minute walk). She said it was a comfortable one bedroom apartment with good places around and good connectivity.
Around the office, as mentioned earlier, there are a lot of places to go chill. There are food courts, reasonably priced restaurants, high end fancy restaurants, coffee shops, pubs, you name it and its all there.
The MRT station is also very close to the office (a 3 minute walk) so one can go anywhere from there. All in all, I loved my internship with HFW and would love to work there in the future 🙂
Participate in the Lawctopus’ Summer Internship Writing Competition, 2013 HERE.
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