Stephenson Harwood is committed to retaining and supporting its trainees, apprentices, and early talent to associate level and beyond. Pedram Norton, a partner in the firm's Singapore office, completed his training contract in London and recently reflected on his journey at Stephenson Harwood.
What has been your highlight in your journey from trainee to partner at Stephenson Harwood?
"There's a point in the associate timeline when things start to click; when you take greater responsibility for bringing in a matter, doing the work and managing the client relationship, and closing off the matter. As a result, the client wants to work with you again on the next deal. It's very satisfying and ultimately what it's all about.
A personal highlight for me was the international secondment opportunities the firm offers. Having moved from Belfast to London I thought that was the big move, but six months into my training contract I was off to Singapore. I ended up spending half my training contract in Singapore, qualified there and have spent the last 10 years there, so ultimately the secondment opportunity in the first place was a real highlight."
What advice would you give for aspiring solicitors or future trainees?
"Private practice in most areas of law is a long hours 'all in' lifestyle kind of job for most, and not everyone's cup of tea, so really research the role and make sure it's what you want to do. Once you're a trainee really hone in on what you want to specialise in; half the battle is staying motivated year after year, having the willingness to keep learning on the job and developing, and that's much easier to do when you have passion for what you're doing. If that's confirmed, then be enthusiastic, inquisitive and prepared to put in the hours!"
How has Stephenson Harwood supported you throughout your journey?
"Stephenson Harwood puts ongoing training and development at the forefront of the associate journey. Being based in Singapore, and thus away from the firm's London headquarters, you would think such support would be more limited, but the firm offers the same support to those overseas. At each stage of my associate career, I've been flown to London or Hong Kong for development courses, and, within the shipping & offshore finance practice, have also spent time on secondment in our Hong Kong office, as well as a separate annual trip to London for a finance 'retreat' training course conducted internally."
The firm is passionate about providing support and development opportunities throughout your career. During your training contract or apprenticeship, you will benefit from a tailored induction and practice area specific training. Once you join us as an associate, the support does not end. Training opportunities include the firm's 'female career progression programme' and the 'high potential associate programme', a programme designed to prepare associates for partnership. To find out more about what support is available at the firm, and to apply for one of our schemes, visit our website.