Having worked as a paralegal at Winckworth Sherwood before commencing my training contract, I was fully aware of the diverse range of seats the Firm has to offer as well as the collaborative and friendly atmosphere between departments.
My first seat was in the Real Estate department, supervised by Krissun Soodin. The department work on some of the country’s most high profile development schemes so the work is fast-paced and complex. I was given a huge amount of responsibility from the start requiring precision, stamina and attention to detail. This is however carefully balanced by hands-on supervision and I worked closely with some extremely skilled and hardworking lawyers from whom I was able to learn and develop. The work I undertook was varied, including reviewing and reporting on title for development sites, negotiating utility and highways agreements and handling multi-million pound phase completions. I also had the opportunity to attend client meetings and conference calls including a meeting with the Parochial Church Council.
There is also a really great sense of camaraderie in the department, and the Friday drinks trolley proves a fantastic opportunity to socialise with everyone across the team. My first six months proved to be a great introduction into life as a trainee at Winckworth Sherwood!
My second seat has been in the firm’s Parliamentary department, supervised by Hazel Anderson. As one of a very small number of firms undertaking Parliamentary Agency work in the UK, I was excited about the unique prospect which this department has to offer, though this excitement was mixed with a somewhat heightened level of apprehension given my limited knowledge in this area of law! My fears however were soon put to rest as the department has been extremely supportive and helpful throughout my seat. The work has been interesting, ranging from researching queries relating to the various powers of the HS2 Phase One Bill, helping to negotiate and agree a set of protective provisions relating to a Development Consent Order, and drafting instructions to counsel regarding the enforceability of certain planning conditions relating to an application for a Transport and Works Act Order.
Despite having to spend the majority of this seat working remotely due to Covid-19, regular Zoom meetings and virtual interactions with my colleagues helped me feel like a fully integrated and valued member of the team.
My third seat will be in Property Litigation, and I am really looking forward to experiencing contentious work as well as all of the challenges and opportunities which this department will have to offer.
Aside from work, as a keen footballer, I have enjoyed representing the Firm’s football team in charity tournaments and in matches against various clients a couple of times each month. This has proved to be a great way to develop and build a strong rapport with clients in a relaxed atmosphere. There is also a huge emphasis on corporate social responsibility – my favourite is the annual Bede House Football Tournament. Bede House is a local charity with long-standing ties with the Firm who help young people with learning disabilities develop various skills, make new friends and build confidence. This tournament always proves to be a fun