What you need to know about… Hogan Lovells

November 13, 2021

4 min read

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An intro to the firm

In 2010, US firm Hogan & Hartson merged with UK firm Lovells to create one of the world’s largest transatlantic firms, Hogan Lovells. While the firm has only been operating for a decade, its excellent work has made it one of the best combinations of scale and quality outside the magic circle, and a member of the emerging global elite. A global revenue of USD 2.25 billion makes this Anglo-American juggernaut one of the ten biggest firms in the world.

The firm’s network of 48 offices spanning 26 countries implies that the work is truly international, with London trainees reporting that they have interacted with people from almost every continent in the course of their work. The trainee intake of 50 is generous and inclusive, as around 50% are recruited from a non-law background. The firm has a diverse array of top-ranking practice areas, with corporate and finance being the top revenue generators, followed closely by global regulatory, intellectual property, media and technology, and litigation. To characterise the firm in three words, Hogan Lovells is international, unique in its practice areas, and inclusive.

Its key strengths

The firm’s financial litigation practice boasts high rankings, due to its rich experience based on a well-established banking practice. The client roster is impressive and includes 46 out of the 50 banks listed on the Fortune 500, including institutions such as HSBC, Lloyds, Citibank, Ares Management, and more! Hogan Lovells uses its deep knowledge of the financial services industry, its products and the law, to identify when its clients’ seemingly simple disputes can have far-reaching monetary implications.

The firm also has a Tier 1 ranked practice in administrative and public law, and has extensive knowledge on government policy that it applies to the dealings of corporate clients with state regulators. Its innovative side is exemplified through its Brexit Taskforce, which provides both public and private sector clients important business-critical knowledge of constitutional, public and rights reform. The team’s expertise is also evidenced by the fact that it is permanently retained by The Crown Estate for advice regarding the statutory requirements of its commercial endeavours.

Hogan Lovells’ aviation finance team is involved in structuring complex asset financing transactions all over the world, that are located across borders, subject to the laws of multiple jurisdictions and under immense time pressure. The firm’s expertise in this area spans the globe and every facet of the industry (from regulatory work to environmental issues), making it “a one-stop shop for all aviation finance leasing work.” The firm recently advised long-term client Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA on its recapitalisation. This involved the conversion of USD $912 million of the company’s aircraft operating lease obligations into shares, the restructuring of its aircraft operating leases, along with the acceptance of a COVID-19-related state aid package from the Norwegian government. The deal was awarded “Equity Deal of the Year” at the AFJ Awards 2020, recognising the most innovative transactions.

Training, training, training...

All trainees take part in the Hogan Lovells BaSE programme, which teaches business basics, what goes behind client-decision making, and hands-on experience in managing the client relationship  preparing trainees for becoming lawyers in a way unlike any other firm. Trainees often attend commercial awareness workshops (even during the vacation scheme) and are encouraged to keep on top of legal and regulatory developments that affect their practice. They also attend monthly training sessions by internal speakers on the topical issues surrounding their practice. Hogan Lovells takes a trainee that has only been exposed to the academic side of the law, and equips them with the business knowledge and skills required to translate the law to the commercial context. The firm is also known for diversity and inclusion, with 29% of its partners being women, and 57% of all employees being women. It has made a 4% LGBTQIA+ partners commitment and a 15% black and ethnic minority partner commitment by 2025. The open-door policy means that solicitors at different levels (from trainees to partners) work closely with each other, allowing trainees to have a rich learning experience. The firm is also proactive and reassuring in addressing issues of mental health and wellbeing, and offers a ton of resources to trainees, including an on-site therapist.  Finally, the firm is extremely technologically forward-thinking, and has made vast investments in legal technology. The firm has created a data science capability of 72 algorithms that it applies to its enterprise database to build better client relationships, an AI delivery toolkit for the LIBOR benchmark, and a breakthrough technology that ‘tokenizes’ written languages using machine learning. These cutting-edge technologies enable the firm to quickly and efficiently handle vast realms of data. The firm has also placed an emphasis on bringing innovation to all aspects of its thinking, to ‘harness and deploy tomorrow’s offerings today’, particularly in client advice. Trainees of the firm will thus truly get a chance to work at the firm of the future.

Report written by Roshni Suresh Babu

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