A day in the life of an Ashfords Trainee - Cara White

Cara White: Trainee, Ashfords (Exeter Office)

Departments to date: Real Estate, Company Commercial

University: Cardiff University, Graduate Diploma in Law (Distinction)


I arrive at the Exeter office, log on to my computer and head to the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea whilst my computer loads up. Once back at my desk, I review any emails that have come in overnight and compile a to-do list for the day. I also have time to review the news and industry headlines.


I attend a meeting with my supervising Partner to discuss an urgent piece of work. It involves drafting an Incinerator Bottom Ash (“IBA”) Agreement which is something that I have never done before, so I am excited to get involved. 

My supervising Partner talks me through what an IBA Agreement is, its purpose and explains how it works in practice. He then provides me with details about the client and their specific concerns, discusses some of the key clauses to be included in the IBA Agreement and points me in the right direction of some useful precedents. 

I make a good start on the IBA Agreement, with the intention of coming back to it later on in the afternoon.


I attend a regular client meeting with a Partner in the Company Commercial team. The client owns a number of Anaerobic Digestion Plants (“AD Plants”) that generate renewable heat and power. In order to ensure the effective operation of the AD Plants, there are a number of documents that need to be negotiated. Fortunately for me, such documents are cross-departmental, which means that I am able to work with specialists from across the firm in the Construction and Infrastructure, Corporate, Employment, Planning, Environmental, Health and Safety and Real Estate teams.

Following the meeting, I type up the detailed notes that I had taken. I then circulate these to all those who attended. In the notes, I summarise what was discussed in the meeting, the various tasks to be undertaken before the next meeting, and who shall be responsible for them.


At lunchtime, I head to yoga. Ashfords offers a number of yoga sessions throughout the week, which are a great way to stretch out after being sat at your desk all day!


I return to the IBA Agreement that I was drafting this morning. However, at 15.15, a Partner in the Company Commercial team asks me if I have capacity to make amendments to a Heat and Electricity Offtake Agreement. Given that I have made substantial progress on the IBA Agreement, I accept the work.

I get stuck into making amendments to the Heat and Electricity Offtake Agreement and, afterwards, discuss my amendments with the Partner. I then send the updated version back to the client for their approval.


Before I know it, it is 16.30. I use the final hour of the day to prepare for a Knowledge Sharing session that I am getting involved in tomorrow morning. The Knowledge Sharing sessions are run on a fortnightly basis and individuals from all levels get involved. It is a great opportunity to hear about the broad and diverse work being undertaken across the firm, as well as legal news and other general updates.


I leave the office on time today, as I am attending an XYBC event. The events are run by the Ashfords XYBC Group, and are a great opportunity to network and socialise with other young professionals in the local area. This evenings event is Zorb Football, followed by fish and chips. It is the perfect way to end what has been an interesting day!

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