Katie Geraghty – EU Competition
My first rotation was in the EU/Competition Group. I studied law in Trinity College Dublin before coming to work for Arthur Cox.The EU/Competition Group is an excellent place to sit your first rotation. While it is smaller than other practice groups, being the sole trainee in the group you get to see a lot of action and you are generally aware of what projects are on-going at any one time.
On a practical level, the work is varied. One minute you could be reading a merger notification reflecting in depth knowledge of different markets and the next learning how businesses operate in the commercial sphere, how they decide on their prices, methods for dealing with suppliers and what are their biggest competition concerns in a challenging market. Like all trainees there will always be indexing and electronic bible creation to keep you busy but much of my time is spent researching different directives and regulations and responding to queries as to how the different pieces of legislation interrelate.
As a trainee in the EU/Competition Group, I am often given a task comprised of a list of queries by one of the partners. A prior briefing will explain the query or problem that exists for the client. It is then my job to gather certain information, assess what is relevant and how I think it does or does not respond to the client query. My answers are often communicated by memo to the relevant partner. I then meet the partner to discuss my findings and the next stage of the task be it further research or to compile a report to send to the client setting out my findings and their relevance to the client’s situation.
I have also attended at court. I compiled a watching brief of a case in which our client had an interest in the approach that the court would take.
As a trainee in the EU/Competition Group you also see how the group interacts with other groups. The nature of mergers means that the group often works in conjunction with the rest of corporate department. I also worked with a partner and fellow trainee in the Environmental Group on a very interesting issue which required much research: grey areas do exist in directives, regulations and legislation which will be relevant to a client query or concern.
I was also involved in a Competition Authority investigation which was very exciting. I worked closely with another solicitor on part of the discovery aspect of the case, reviewing documents and assessing their relevance to the issues at hand.
Trainee work in the EU/Competition Group is varied, exciting and relevant to the current commercial climate in Ireland. In particular it is very satisfying to see my work reflected in advice that is provided to the client.