Amelia Cheng

Amelia Cheng

What did you do prior to joining Howard Kennedy LLP as a trainee?

After finishing my LLB and LPC, I worked as a paralegal for six months. I worked in Dispute Resolution at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and then in Aviation Finance at Norton Rose Fulbright. I moved to in-house at JP Morgan Chase thereafter and focused on the securities lending sector for two years. After being offered a training contract at Howard Kennedy, I worked at a hedge fund's in-house Legal & Compliance team, with an aim to broaden my knowledge in the capital market businesses. The working experience in different law firms and financial institutions definitely provides me a more commercial and pragmatic understanding of the legal services we provide. For me it is also the best way to develop soft skills and knowledge which are really beneficial as a trainee solicitor.

What has been your best moment or your biggest challenge during your training contract so far?

My best moment so far is when I attended a networking event at The Law Society representing my team. The event was on "How to Do Legal Businesses between the UK and China". Attendees are mostly partners and senior associates from law firms based in China or in the UK. It felt amazing being given the responsibility to introduce the firm to potential new relationships and contacts. I was able to discuss news issues and live policies with experts; build professional network both personally and for the firm. After the event I was asked by the partner to follow up with the contacts and maintain the relationships. The experience really shows the entrepreneurship and commercial awareness of the firm and the amount of trust the firm puts in its trainees. Also, on a general level, I have been given actual work on live cases from Day I. If I am stuck or face a challenge, there is always help and support in the team.

What are your personal interests?

I am a running-holic! I love running outdoors and I am always exploring new running routes.
I enjoy reading, mostly classics and thrillers. I am currently reading The Tale of Two Cities, which is surprisingly gripping!
On Friday evenings I am always at the National Portrait Gallery, where they run an amazing drawing class (free!), I am not the best at sketching but that's always my 'Zen' place!

What is your top tip to candidates looking to apply for a training contract at Howard Kennedy LLP?

Be passionate! It's really easy to list out what you've studied and where you've worked, but if you are not enthusiastic about it, it doesn’t make an impression. You need to show that you are genuinely interested in the training contract at Howard Kennedy and how your past experience led to it.
I also think it is really important to utilise the assessment day. It is definitely a great opportunity to get to know the firm. I thoroughly enjoyed all the tasks and activities on my assessment day. Even when you feel something is challenging, you can really learn a lot about the task at the end of the day and understand why the assessment is designed that way, which tells a lot about the firm's personality and what they are looking for.