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Meet the Trainee - Hannah Pettit

What were you doing before you joined the firm?

Prior to starting my training contract I had completed my undergraduate Law degree at the University of Southampton and was studying my LPC at the University of Law in Bristol, whilst working part-time as a leisure centre receptionist.

Why Ashfords?

I chose to apply to Ashfords because of its reputation as a national full-service law firm, with a growing presence in the Bristol market. I liked that the firm was ambitious and innovative and that the people were down to earth.

What areas of law have you worked in so far?

I am currently in my third seat in the Employment department, having completed my first seat in the Corporate team and my second in the Commercial team. I have been exposed to a good range of high-quality work, both contentious and non-contentious.

During my first seat in the Corporate team I provided support on various transactions, from investment rounds to mergers and acquisitions. One particular transaction that I was fortunate enough to get involved with, was the £11 million sale of Comapi to DotDigital Group.

My second seat in the Commercial team gave me broad exposure to a variety of tasks, primarily within the Technology Sector. I loved that no day was ever the same. As well as a lot of data protection work, I provided risk reviews on large-scale software agreements and drafted documents such as deeds of novation and a design services agreement.

Finally, my current (third) seat in the Employment team has offered me a completely contrasting experience to my first two seats in the CoComm team. Litigation brings entirely new challenges and is very fast paced. I am really enjoying the high-level of client exposure and independence that I am given. I am able to manage employment claims right the way through from an initial assessment on prospects, to settlement discussions and preparation for final hearing in the Employment Tribunal. It is a great learning environment.

Most interesting matter you have worked on?

One of the most rewarding projects I have been involved in to date has been a largescale GDPR compliance project, for a corporate group which has a presence in several key industries. The timing of my Commercial seat, over the "GDPR go-live period", meant that I was able to see the project through from an initial consultation call, to completion. I adopted a project management role, as well as drafting and finalising many of the required agreements and policies. It was really satisfying seeing everything come together.

What has been your biggest challenge at Ashfords?

Undoubtedly the biggest challenge was starting in a professional working environment, straight from university. Having no paralegal experience made the process all the more daunting. However everyone at Ashfords is so friendly and approachable, so it didn't take me long to settle in.

What is your favourite thing about working at Ashfords?

The people! But I know that is a common answer - so also the chance to get involved with so many activities and events.

Trainees are encouraged to get stuck in from the start. Looking back at my training contract so far some of the highlights have been entering a firm team into the RSM Charity Netball Tournament, organising the Bristol office Christmas quiz, attending the firm's client reception on the launch night of the Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival and attending the Bristol Junior Lawyer Division annual fundraiser ball.

What is your aspiration?

In the short-term, to secure an NQ role - hopefully with Ashfords. In the long term, to become technically-excellent in my chosen area of law.

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