Meet the Trainee - Hannah McGown
Friday, 19th May 2017
What were you doing before you joined the firm?
Before working as a trainee at Ashfords I spent three years working at Foot Anstey as part of their residential new homes team. This involved dealing with new build property purchases on a large scale as well as residential house sales. It was here that I caught the property bug which has only grown during my seats at Ashfords. Whilst in my third year at Foot Anstey I worked part time whilst I completed my MSc in Law, Business and Management.
Having always lived in the area (with the exception of my three year stint at the University of Warwick), I knew that I wanted to stay in the South West for my career. Ashfords ticked this box whilst also offering a national full-service work base. I was particularly impressed by the broad range of practice areas offered by the firm as although I had an inkling that I was interested in property, I hadn't quite realised how many different areas had a property element. Finally, when I attended the firm for my assessment day, I was really impressed by the open and friendly atmosphere.
What areas of law have you worked in so far?
In addition to working in new build residential property at Foot Anstey, I am currently halfway through my second property based seat at Ashfords.
My first seat was with the Commercial Property Team in Exeter. Here I focussed on development work which involved dealing with a lot of option agreements and conditional contracts.
I am currently half way through my Agriculture seat which is based in the Tiverton office. This involves looking at property transactions with an agriculture specialism such as farm acquisitions and sales, fishing rights, farm business tenancies and grazing licenses.
Most interesting case you have worked on?
I'd say the most interesting case so far has to be working for a developer on the acquisition of a multi-million pound development site. Not only did this involve a really interesting piece of contentious research but I also had the opportunity to don my wellies and carry out a site visit in order to check the practical elements of my research.
What has been your biggest challenge at Ashfords?
Currently this is the commute! I live in a small village in the middle of nowhere (which some of my fellow trainees discovered when they came to visit me one weekend!); which means I have about a 45 minute drive to the Exeter office and 55 minute drive to the Tiverton office. However; I love my house and the firm so wouldn’t change this at all! Just an excuse to get a better car when I qualify…..
What is your favourite thing about working at Ashfords?
Rather cliché but this has to be the people. Having experienced two different departments and two different offices, everyone is so welcoming from paralegals all the way through to the partners. I've made some great friends not only with my fellow trainees but also with department colleagues which has led to plenty of good nights out! There is also so much to do to involve yourself with the firm - currently I am scoring for the Ashfords cricket team on a Wednesday night which definitely helps in meeting new faces outside of the work environment.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself
I am a qualified dance teacher and studied ballet, tap, theatre and freestyle modern throughout my childhood. You'll have to tempt me with a few drinks at the office summer ball before I show you any moves though!
What is your aspiration?
In the short term I am currently just hoping to complete my training contract smoothly and obtain an NQ position within the firm in my preferred department. I am hoping to then stay with the firm and progress through the development stages of the career ladder with partnership being an ultimate goal.