‘As a career-changer I was delighted with OC’s positive attitude to those with prior experience outside the law’ Penny Coombs
Former consultant and now an Associate in commercial litigation at OC. London

Why did you choose to work at OC?

I was initially attracted to OC by the opportunity to work at a mid-sized firm which also had an international reach, and an interesting sector approach. My first contact with the firm was to attend an open evening and I really felt that the OC people I met there were the sort of colleagues I wanted to work with, which clinched it. As a career-changer I was delighted with OC’s positive attitude to those with prior experience outside the law, which is also evident when you work here.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you’d had?

Find a mentor early on if you can.

What sets OC apart from other law firms?

The people. We have great lawyers and support staff but they are also rounded human beings.

What has been your best experience at OC?

As a litigator you often develop very close working relationships with your clients in stressful circumstances, and these can be very rewarding, even if you don’t take a case all the way to a blazing court victory. One moment which does stick in my mind is completing a mediation in the dead of night in which our client walked away with a settlement several times the size of the one we’d dared to hope for. I was also part of a team which secured a competition-law-related success for a client on grounds which were usually near-impossible to argue – a great team effort.

Have you been involved in any charity/pro bono work whilst at OC?

As a trainee I assisted one of our firm’s charities on several property transactions which we managed pro bono, and I always try and take part in the annual Poppy collection, when OC staff take turns to rattle tins at St Paul’s Tube station for a day. I was also a member of a team of OC ladies who took part in the Cancer Research Race for Life one year, and last year I took part in the annual 10k London Legal Walk for charity, for which OC provides staff sponsorship.

What’s the biggest difference between being a law student and a trainee/lawyer

The need for brevity and commercial thinking. As a law student it’s important to “show your workings” when tackling a problem, but the client doesn’t care about how you got to the answer – they just want clear advice, and it needs to consider the commercial implications as well as the legal position.

Meet our people

  • Max Herfurth

    Studied an LLB before training and is now an Associate.

  • Chloe Deng

    Studied for an LLB and LLM, now a Solicitor at OC.

  • Poppy Pite

    Studied history and philosophy, before working as an employment advisor. Poppy is now a Solicitor at OC.