1. What were you doing before you started your training contract?
Prior to starting my training contract, I worked as a paralegal in the Real Estate Team at Ashfords having previously completed the LPC. I would recommend the 'paralegal route' to a training contract to anyone; it gives you time to get to know the firm and gain invaluable hands-on experience before day 1 as a trainee.
2. Why Ashfords?
Ashfords appealed due to its national presence, diverse range of practice areas and, crucially, its track record of awarding training contracts to existing paralegals. Once at the firm, it was clear that the collegiate culture at Ashfords suited me.
3. What areas of law have you worked in so far?
I started in the Real Estate Team. During my two years in the team, I worked on both sides of the full range of real estate transactions including leasehold matters, financings, investment and management work and acquisitions/disposals.
My first seat was in the Property Litigation Team which was the perfect start to my training contract in that it provided exposure to a new, exciting area of law but I had the comfort of being able to apply my existing property law knowledge. My seat was perfectly timed, coinciding with not only the Christmas party but also with several interesting cases which went to trial including at the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court (more on that below).
My second (and current) seat is in the Corporate Team which was a big, but interesting, change from my previous experience. So far I have worked on a range of M&A transactions as well as venture capital and private equity investments.
4. Most interesting case you have worked on?
The stand out case so far would be my involvement in the ground-breaking case of S Franses v The Cavendish Hotel which (without wanting to try and shoe-horn a technical summary into this blog post) went all the way to the Supreme Court and redefined aspects of the Landlord and Tenant Act (1954). For more on the case, see my article.
5. What has been your biggest challenge at Ashfords?
Whilst leading the charity committee in 2017, I thought it'd be a good idea (despite minimal running ability) to 'lead from the front' and run the Royal Parks Half Marathon in aid of the firm's charity of the year, the Alzheimer's Society. After very little training, race day arrived and, well, the photo below of me almost being outrun by a dinosaur says it all. Saying that, the firm raised around £60,000 for a great cause and I was proud to be a part of it.
6. What is your favourite thing about working at Ashfords?
CLICHÉ ALERT (sorry) - The people. Everyone says it, but it really is true at Ashfords. Everyone is friendly and supportive, it is the perfect environment to develop as a trainee and is an enjoyable place to work.
7. What is your aspiration?
To gain a NQ role and continue to progress my career with Ashfords.