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Meet the Trainee - Jessica Tallon

What were you doing before you joined the firm?

Prior to joining Ashfords, I completed the GDL and LPC at the University of Law, Bristol and took a few months to travel Asia before moving to Exeter to commence my training contract in September 2016.

Why Ashfords?

During my GDL, I spoke to a number of Ashfords trainees at the Bristol University law fair. Each trainee spoke highly of their training experience, emphasising the hands on nature of their training as well as maintaining a good work/life balance. It was from speaking to them that I decided to apply to Ashfords for a training contract. I was also impressed with Ashfords quality of people and strong client base and valued a firm with a strong sense of CSR. Lastly, having not lived in Devon previously, being within 20 minutes of a number of beaches was also a big draw!

What areas of law have you worked in so far?

My first seat was in the Employment department, assisting fee earners with a wide range of contentious and non-contentious employment and immigration matters. During this seat I was fortunate enough to attend an 11 day hearing at the Employment Tribunal in relation to a claim for unfair dismissal and whistleblowing.

My second seat was in the Property Litigation department which is where I discovered an appetite for contentious work. I worked alongside a lead Partner which enabled me to be involved in a wide range of matters such as commercial and residential landlord and tenant disputes, trespass and dilapidations claims. I was afforded a high level of responsibility during this seat meaning I had to quickly learn how to manage a large and demanding workload.

My third seat was in the Commercial Property department. This seat provided exposure to the non-contentious side of property law. I assisted a lead partner with a wide variety of development matters and assisted with the negotiation and drafting of overage deeds, conditional contracts and reports on title.

For my final seat I have returned to the Property Litigation department in preparation for qualification in September 2018.

Most interesting case you have worked on?

During my time in the Property Litigation department, I was (and still am) involved in a matter concerning claims in relation to rent review and dilapidations. I have been fortunate to assist with every stage of the litigation process, for example I attended the client's premises and conducted an extensive disclosure exercise as well as attended a CCMC at the Royal Courts of Justice alongside Queen's Counsel. This matter has provided me with invaluable exposure to both the court process and arbitration. This matter is still ongoing and I look forward to seeing the outcome of both claims.

What has been your biggest challenge at Ashfords?

I think my biggest challenge to date has been changing seats every six months. By the time you have got to grips with the work in one department, you are off to the next where you start all over again.

What is your favourite thing about working at Ashfords?

The people. Everyone at Ashfords is supportive, friendly and have a genuine interest in watching you grow your knowledge and involvement within the firm.

What is your aspiration?

In the short term, I aspire to qualify into the Property Litigation team in September 2018. Looking further ahead, I hope to develop a specialism within this area of law and work my way up the promotion ladder whilst maintaining a good work /life balance.