Scott W.
Associate
Job category Law

About Scott

Key Experiences

From the stage to the courtroom
I always intended to pursue a career on the stage. I was sure I would audition for drama school, move to London and spend my days reciting Shakespeare or Willy Russell to anyone that cared to listen. What actually happened was I chose Law as an A-level, which sparked an interest that had previously gone uncultivated. I found the mix of public policy and human stories so intriguing and decided (along with a firm push in that direction from my parents) to do a degree in Law first. I applied to Cambridge, all the while acting on the side, and by some miracle secured a place. From there my passion for the law grew, and I found myself applying to firms for Vacation Schemes. Three schemes later, I faced a choice between three well respected, yet different firms. I followed my heart and went with HSF, the blend of top quality litigation, and a brilliant culture. Three years later I am a second seat Trainee sitting in HSF's bespoke Advocacy Unit and spend my days preparing for and attending hearings alongside the superb Barristers and Solicitor Advocates that I work with.

Current Position

I solve complex problems with some of the best litigators in the city
I am currently a second seat Trainee sat in the firm's Advocacy Unit. The Unit is run by two pre-eminent QCs and boasts a brilliant pool of solicitor advocates. I assist with drafting, researching, and discussing points of fact and law; just like a pupil barrister would. I then go to court with the amazing advocates in the team and assist them with our client's cases.

I have also had the opportunity to take on some pro bono cases of my own, which has seen me represent my clients in court. The best way to learn how to be a good advocate is to watch the best and then get on your feet and try it.

Main Motivations

Variety is the spice of life
I work on a broad range of cases, meaning the work is never dull. One day it may be an urgent injunction that is due to be heard that week. The next it may be assisting with drafting a defence, for a large commercial dispute for another division of the firm. Both inside and outside of court, the work is fast paced and engaging, making each day different from the last.

I also get the opportunity to work for different divisions of the firm, meaning that I see a broad spectrum of clients and types of disputes. During my seat so far I have worked on arbitration, insurance, real-estate, fraud, banking, and shareholder matters.

Top Advice

Be yourself and play to your strengths
HSF embraces diversity, and this includes diverse personalities and working styles. Do not fall into the trap of trying to imitate what you think a firm is looking for; as often it ends up going wrong. Be yourself and know your strengths. If you have studied History before, then use that to demonstrate your transferable skills; for example, research and close textual analysis.

Greatest Achievement

I represented my client in court, and we won on all counts.
I have conducted two pro bono advocacy cases in my seat so far. One was in the County Court and the other in the Employment Tribunal. The latter case proved more complex and saw me cross examining two witnesses on the respondent's payroll procedure. The case took a large amount of preparation, but was all worth it for a resounding judgment in our favor; which saw my client being returned with over £3000 of unlawfully deducted wages.

It was seeing the tangible impact of my work right in front of me as my client thanked me for my help that made me most proud. We sometimes forget in the legal world how useful our skills can be to ordinary people in their day to day lives. Being reminded of this fact is often a lovely occasion.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills is one of the world’s leading professional services businesses, bringing together the best people across our 26 offices, to meet all your legal services needs globally. We can help you realise opportunities while managing risk.

Visit website