Why did you apply to Ince & Co?
Since I started law school, I have always been interested in maritime and transportation law. With Ince’s reputation as one of the best maritime law firms around, I believed I could gain first hand insight into some of the key issues faced by the industry, and also get involved in the process of resolving such issues. As an applicant for a training contract, I hoped that during my traineeship, I would be exposed to some of the most complex commercial disputes in the industry. Since starting my traineeship I certainly have been involved in a number of these!
Do you rotate from seat to seat?
Unlike our London office, who have a flexible seat system, we do not have a seat rotation system at all in Hong Kong. Trainees here are expected to help out with different matters from different departments as required. I personally find it a very interesting way of learning, as I am exposed to various types of cases and deals, and can see matters from the beginning through to closing.
Normally how many traineeships are there in a year?
In the Hong Kong office, we take up to 3 trainees a year.
Ince & Co has many international offices. Have you got to spend any time abroad?
At the very beginning of my traineeship, I got to spend 2 weeks in our London office, attending the Trainee Introductory Course, alongside the London trainees and other trainees in our international offices. There are currently no secondment schemes for trainees in our Hong Kong office however we do have associates who get seconded to our international offices.
Have you been on any business trips?
Yes! I have been sent abroad by myself for several deal closings this year. It was certainly a nerve racking experience at first, but well worth doing. After the closing, the client took me on a tour of their oil tanker which was under construction. Surely a rare experience!
What is the training like?
There are two types of training: on the job training and training through seminars and workshops. It goes without saying that the learning curve for a trainee is a steep one, and we are faced with new challenges on a near daily basis. Although I am the only trainee in my year, it doesn’t mean that I have no support. Given that you ask the right person at the right time, you will always be pointed in the right direction.
As for seminars, our partners and seniors organise both internal and external CPD courses, for which we are often asked to assist with their research. We are also encouraged to contribute to the internal online database, sharing know-how with the other fee-earners of the firm. The partnership is also very generous in approving requests for external training opportunities; I have attended a number of sessions run by external shipping professionals since joining.
Do I have to join the vacation scheme to be considered?
It is strongly recommended that you join the Hong Kong vacation scheme. Not only does it increase your chance of getting into the firm, it also gives you a flavour as to whether transportation law is for you or not. The majority of the incoming trainees in the 2018 and 2019 intakes joined us via our vacation scheme.