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Meet the Trainee - Rachel Maddocks

What were you doing before you joined the firm?

The year before I started at Ashfords I was living in Cambridgeshire, doing my LPC and working at a National Trust property. Prior to that I studied history at undergraduate level, and then did my GDL at the University of Law in London.

Why Ashfords?

Having lived in London for a year, I knew that I wanted to escape the capital and do my training contract in a smaller city. The fact that Ashfords' head office is in Exeter therefore appealed to me, as did the fact that it is a good size of firm with several other offices across London and the South West. When I attended the firm to do a vacation scheme, everyone was so friendly and welcoming that it cemented in my mind that this was the firm I wanted to do my training at.

What areas of law have you worked in so far?

My first seat was in Public Sector, where I assisted the team with advising clients on outsourcing arrangements, procurement projects and State aid. I then moved to Commercial Property, where I assisted with property development projects and in particular did a lot of leasehold drafting. My third seat was in Restructuring & Insolvency, where I was involved with both personal and corporate insolvency matters and also carried out debt recovery work on behalf of clients. I am now in Employment, which is also where I will be qualifying. In this department I have been involved in a variety of both contentious and non-contentious matters, as well as carrying out immigration work.

Most interesting case you have worked on?

During my time in Employment I have worked on several interesting cases, which is one of the reasons I was so keen to qualify into this area of law. For example, I recently attended a Remedy Hearing at which the Claimant in the case was seeking reinstatement to his old role, following a finding of unfair dismissal.

What has been your biggest challenge at Ashfords?

As previous trainees have already said in answer to this question, I think the biggest challenge during a training contract is moving to a new department every 6 months. Having said this, the settling-in period does not last long and the varied experience and broad knowledge that I have gained as a result of moving to four very different practice areas will no doubt be invaluable to me throughout my legal career.

What is your favourite thing about working at Ashfords?

The people, who are all lovely.

What is your aspiration?

To become an Employment Law expert, and to own a smallholding on which I will keep pigs, chickens and maybe a few sheep.