After completing the LLB in July 2020 and the LPC LLM in June 2021, I was fortunate enough to begin my training contract with Whitehead Monckton soon after that in September 2021. Strangely, I was not as nervous to start my training contract as I imagine, I was more excited. After meeting various members of the firm during my application process I soon realised how welcoming and helpful everybody here is which is how I knew this was the right firm for me.
I am now 9 weeks into my first seat and can safely say that my expectations have been met. I am currently working in the Property Department and have already learnt so much about the area of law and have gained/developed a variety of skills. The majority of cases I have worked on have been related to commercial property matters however I have also been working on a few residential files in order to gain exposure to both.
I started my training contract in our Canterbury office under the supervision of Dan Cowley and have now moved over to our Maidstone office and am working under the supervision of Alexander Bak. I am grateful to have worked within both offices as it means I have been able to meet and work with various members of the team and gain an insight on many different working styles which I am picking up along the way. I am grateful to be supervised by solicitors with many years of experience and a wealth of knowledge in the area. I have an eagerness to learn and develop myself therefore am enjoying being a metaphorical sponge and absorbing all the information and guidance they offer.
I have really enjoyed gaining first hand experience on the concepts I learnt on the LPC such as sale and purchase of freeholds/leaseholds, lease assignments as well as areas I have not been exposed to previously such as option agreements, wayleaves, substation leases and many more. I have also been able to work with the firms variety of clients such as private individuals, limited companies, pensions, banks, charities etc. I have been assisting solicitors as well as leading on my own files from the beginning of a transaction (under supervision) which has boosted my confidence and independence in this area of law and is now a potential area I would like to specialise in.
Typically, I will either be briefed on a client matter or encouraged to research into a particular type of transaction and my supervisor will then guide me on the required steps. Depending on the matter, I may be asked to, draft or prepare documents, conduct research, liaise with parties for example clients, opposing solicitors, agents, etc. As I have been given lots of responsibility from the start of my seat I am gradually seeing my skills begin to develop and strengthen as I do not need as much guidance as I did at the start of my training contract.
I have been given lots of support from all staff including my training principle, Emma Palmer, and mentor, Samuel Corse. I appreciate the open door policy the firm encourages to ask any questions I have as well as regular scheduled meetings to catch up and see how my training is progressing. This has made me feel very comfortable.
I am looking forward to continue working with the Property department aswell as the future departments I will be working under during my seat rotation. I am also looking forward to many future networking events where I will be able to expand my professional network.