A day in the life of an Ashfords Trainee

  • Lee Ward, second seat trainee at Ashfords LLP
  • Departments to date: Planning, Projects. 
  • Lee has been with Ashfords for 3 years, having started his career with Ashfords as a paralegal in Ashfords' Construction department

8:00am: Today starts slightly differently as I attend a golf networking event hosted by Old Mill, a local accountancy firm. The event is attended by a number of professionals from firms such as Charles Stanley, Barclays and Expedite. The event consists of 45 minutes of practice in the driving range and is followed by a full English breakfast in the club house. The views overlooking the driving range are a great way to start the day.

10:15am: I usually arrive at the office at around 8:45am but today I get in at around 10:15am. Ashfords are very encouraging (even at junior level) when it comes to networking and building good client relations so were more than happy for me to attend the networking event. When I arrive I check my emails to see if anything urgent has come in overnight. The office is open plan so whilst checking my emails I chat with my supervisor, who sits next to me, about a Brexit debate hosted by Ashfords he had attended the evening before.

10:25am: I exchange emails with the other trainees relating to the Vacation Scheme social we are planning for next month.

10:30am: The Projects department can be quite high paced and I'm approached by a solicitor in the team who has asked me to draft some supporting documents for a project we're involved in for the procurement of domiciliary care and community support. The project is relatively complex and has a value of £110 million pounds.

12:15pm: After drafting the documents I discuss them with the solicitor and we work together to finalise everything before she sends the documents out to the client.

1:00pm: I break for lunch and head upstairs to the third floor gym for some weight training exercise. After 40 minutes I call it a day, get changed and head to the onsite café to pick up some lunch. The other trainees are all eating lunch together so I join them for the last 20 minutes before returning to my desk. Last year Ashfords' charity of the year was Mind, a mental health charity, so Ashfords are keen to promote a good work/life balance and support employee wellbeing through various initiatives which include lunch time yoga classes, Mind workshops and free use of the onsite gym.

2:00pm: I'd been working on a contractual analysis report earlier in the week so I pick this up again in the afternoon. The project relates to an anaerobic digestion plant which was procured by way of an Engineering, Procurement and Construction contract. In particular I'm focusing on the payment provisions contained within the contract.

4:00pm: I receive a telephone call from a Partner in our London office who explains that his client will be arriving at the Exeter office at 4:30pm to execute a number of contracts for a project they have been working on together. The Partner emails the final versions to me and I prepare the contracts for signing. We agree that during the meeting, the Partner will dial in so he can discuss the contracts with the client and supervise the proper execution of the documents.

4:30pm: I meet with the client downstairs and show him to a meeting room where we run through the contracts. During this time I 'dial in' the London Partner who discusses the last minute changes which have been made and once the client is happy we execute the documents.

5:30pm: Following the meeting I return to my desk and telephone the London Partner for a debrief. I then send a number of emails to arrange for the executed documents to be couriered to our London office the next day.

6:15pm: I make a list of things which need to be actioned for the next day, in particular I note that we have been asked to provide some follow up advice on whether a local Council can delegate any function it may have to collect and dispose of waste. After this I head home for the evening. 

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