Trystan Cullinan

My journey I grew up in Wales, was educated in the Welsh language, then went to the University of Bristol. There I studied International Relations and Politics, with a particular focus on the Middle East, and undertook internships in the field of maritime security. I was first introduced to commercial law by a close friend who also happens to be a trainee here at HSF. I chose commercial law as I’ve always been fascinated by the world of business, and wanted to understand the technical processes and rules which underpinned the deals and disputes I read about in the paper. I chose HSF because it is a prestigious law firm known for its good culture. My first seat was in the securitisation team, which sits within the broader finance department, and I am now training in the corporate department.

My future focus

I’d like to focus on encouraging people from different backgrounds to bring their whole selves to work. We operate at our best when we are comfortable in ourselves, when we bring our own personalities to the office, and when we are surrounded by a supportive team. Forging this culture can also be as simple as sharing a story or checking in with someone.
My difference During my time at the firm, I’ve been fortunate to work with some great clients, whether large banks, corporates or specialist finance providers. Highlights include a trade-receivables matter for a multinational agricultural company headquartered in Asia, banking matters for a big European bank, warehouse facilities for a specialist finance provider in the auto space, and repo facilities for a real estate development lender. HSF is well-suited to me because of the breadth of exciting work it offers, which often involves international elements. HSF's focus on learning and development also ensures trainees are in the best position to succeed. I’m driven by the talented people I get to work with day in, day out, and this makes me push myself to learn more. The firm is also a place where you can make a difference on a real level, for example, I am currently working on a pro bono matter focused on improving educational outcomes in Sierra Leone.

My view

A lot of the work we do in finance involves large transactions, where we usually advise either the borrower or the lender. This work is enjoyable and there’s a real buzz as we approach the closing of a deal. However, we also sometimes get instructed on more discrete, advisory mandates, which are equally exciting. These matters sometimes involve more niche areas of law which provide the opportunity to get stuck into something new.

One such matter I worked on involved a technical piece of advice for a Swedish client which provided finance to SMEs in Europe. The client is subject to certain banking regulations, in particular the Capital Requirements Regulation. They’ve come to us for advice on how some of their assets – the loans they provide to their customers – should be treated under these regulations. We are currently combing through legislation and regulatory guidance to provide practical and actionable advice. This is satisfying work given the technical interpretation it requires and allows plenty of scope for bouncing ideas off my supervisor which is always fun. My involvement in this matter is a great example of how the firm empowers its people, as my supervisor got me involved on this matter because I had an interest in capital regulation.

This small example reflects the importance the firm places on encouraging its people to pursue their interests.

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