Monday, 20 May 2013

A day in the life of a corporate and commercial trainee

Having selected the Corporate and Commercial practice group as my final training seat it has been a rewarding experience to begin honing the skills I will now need throughout my career. My days as a trainee in CoCom vary between corporate transactional work designed to test the sharpest mind, to researching caselaw for three of the six partners within the practice group. And before you ask, CoCom is short for Corporate and Commercial in the B P Collins dictionary.

After my regular morning catch up with partner Vicky Holland, my trainee supervisor, I begin my day by checking my emails. From the emails, I identify action points and prioritise tasks in relation to the matters I am assisting with.

 My first task is to review due diligence information provided by our client on a business sale. As an integral part of the transaction, I will present my findings to and discuss my thoughts with both the partner and associate working on the transaction later today. These transactions are particularly document heavy so those three little words that you heard so often at law school, “attention to detail”, play an important role in the due diligence process.

The practice group is always actively searching for new opportunities and tomorrow, in partnership with NatWest Bank, CoCom partners Diane Yarrow and Simon Deans will host an important pharmaceutical and healthcare sector lunch with key companies in the local area. Lunches like these require a lot of planning and research. Both partners will need to be briefed on who they will be meeting, which areas of the sector each business deals with and how we could potentially assist.

Maintaining and cultivating key contacts within corporate circles is one of the most important parts of any commercial law practice and the firm prides itself on adding value to our client’s businesses at every stage of a businesses growth cycle. The industry analysis is a nice break from the lengthy documents I had been reading and the timing (before lunch) is fortuitous.

One of the many perks of training here is that we are given a good amount of responsibility and client contact. The telephone rings regularly with urgent requests from fee earners in the practice group and across the firm. These requests often mean that I get to speak directly with clients and this morning is no exception as a senior associate asks me to make an application to restore a company that has been struck off. The matter is time sensitive so I will need to draft the application and supporting witness statement for approval this afternoon. I will have to send the documents to court today. My colleague informs me that, in relation to distinct parts of the matter, I am the client’s point of contact.

I spend the rest of the afternoon discussing my progress with several fee earners who have assigned me tasks to complete throughout the day, before I begin to draft a tripartite investment agreement and ancillary documents for one of the partners.

As everyone slowly starts to slip out of the office, to complete my day I usually file appropriate forms with Companies House and update some company books. Before I can head off home, I check returned dictations for accuracy and finalise any letters before filing emails and correspondence.

Araba joined the firm as a trainee in September 2011. She graduated from the University of Warwick with a BA (Hons) in Politics and International Studies and completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Law and the Legal Practice Course at BPP Law School in London. She then worked as a consultant in a national Employment Tribunal representation service for three years.

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