What were you doing before you joined the firm?
I spent the summer of 2016 travelling in South East Asia. Prior to that I assisted the management team in a high street law firm in Salisbury, where I was involved with a variety of legal and non-legal tasks, from producing a new website to working in residential conveyancing.
Ashfords felt like a good fit. I wanted to work for a firm in the South West that could train me to a high standard and give me the experience of working on a variety of matters. Ashfords showed a commitment to CSR, including charity fundraising and innovative green initiatives, which staff seemed to have great fun getting involved in. When I met existing trainees and other members of staff on the assessment day I felt that I would enjoy working at Ashfords and luckily that instinct turned out to be correct!
What areas of law have you worked in so far?
My first seat was in the Corporate department. Knowing that Corporate teams in most law firms have a reputation for long hours, and if I'm honest not really knowing much more than that about Corporate law, I found it more than a little daunting as I walked to work on my first day. I need not have worried however, as the team were very patient and soon had me drafting documents. During my time in corporate I predominantly worked on investment matters, but was also involved with some share sale acquisitions.
My second seat was in Employment. I was involved in a variety of Employment Tribunal, Country Court and High Court matters, advising both Claimants and Respondents on a range of issues. I also assisted the team with non-contentious work, including corporate support work and advice on TUPE transfers.
I am currently in Commercial Litigation, where I have recently been involved in a very interesting three day mediation.
Most interesting case you have worked on?
During my time in Employment, a company bought a claim in the High Court against 9 former and current employees who had been involved in setting up a competing business. I assisted Stephen Moore in acting for one of the Defendants. I was involved in preparation for an interim hearing for an injunction which the company sought against each of the Defendants and was able to attend the hearing to watch. It was great experience to be involved in a case of this size and watch 9 barristers, including 3 QCs persuade the Judge that no interim relief should be granted to the Claimants.
What has been your biggest challenge at Ashfords?
Juggling my normal workload with my role in organising charity and marketing events. While I wouldn't normally consider myself to struggle with prioritising tasks, this has definitely been put to the test during my training contract. I organised the Bristol Charity Quiz for 2017 which was held at Cosy Club in May. It was attended by over 120 people and raised over £4,000 for Alzheimer's Society. I am also organising the Bristol Black Tie Comedy Night which will be held on 2 November - the day before this blog post is published!
What is your favourite thing about working at Ashfords?
The people and the culture of the firm. I felt that I settled into Ashfords very quickly just by being myself - the atmosphere in the office is relaxed and unstuffy, yet still professional.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself
I once met an ex-Russian spy on a bus in Belarus, who insisted on telling my fortune. (A very weird story, so it's best left at that!)
What is your aspiration?
I hope to obtain an NQ role within the firm and qualify in September 2018. In the longer term I am sure I will always keep the next step up the career ladder in mind!