What were you doing before you joined the firm?
After finishing my law degree, I decided that I wanted to take a break from law and started work in a bank. After two years' work in the economic downturn, I decided I missed law and started looking for paralegal jobs. I joined Ashfords as a Paralegal in the Trusts and Estates department in 2012. From there, I applied for the training contract and well, as they say, the rest is history.
When I originally applied to the firm, I wanted to gain legal experience and due to my circumstances I wanted to stay local to Exeter. Ashfords was one of the leading law firms in the South West and therefore it seemed like the right place to garner that all important legal experience. However, as soon as I joined the firm, I quickly realised that Ashfords was the place where I wanted to complete my training contract. The ethos of the firm and the career progression paths were exactly what I was looking for.
What areas of law have you worked in so far?
My first four years with the firm was spent with the Trusts and Estates team assisting them with all manner of private client work. Following this, my first seat was in Property Litigation where I assisted the team with a variety of property disputes. I undertook a large amount of work for a statutory undertaker dealing with disputes with their customers. From there, I entered the world of Commercial Property where I assisted the team with large scale property transactions and the drafting of leases. I have now entered my third seat and I am back with the Trusts and Estates team.
Most interesting case you have worked on?
This is a difficult question to answer as every seat has been so varied. One particular matter that stands out for me was when I was working in the Commercial Property team. We were acting for a housing association in the purchase of a number of golden brick properties. Due to issues with the freehold title and planning matters, the case had stalled for a number of years and all parties had downed tools. Sorting out the Title issues and getting the parties to finally agree took some time, but it was a good feeling when the matter finally completed!
What has been your biggest challenge at Ashfords?
If you ask any trainee they will all probably come up with the same response - seat rotation! Moving to a seat has to be the biggest challenge you face during your training contract. Every six months you start in a new department, with a new team and with a new area of law which you have probably never worked in before. It is a very daunting task and one that you never really get used to.
What is your favourite thing about working at Ashfords?
It may sound like a cliché, but it has to be the people. Everyone is so friendly and approachable.
What is your aspiration?
My ultimate goal is to qualify with Ashfords as a solicitor and become an expert in my chosen field.