Education: English, Southampton
Joined: As a trainee 2010
Practice area: Private client property
Q. How would you describe the culture at Macfarlanes?
A. It is a friendly, focused and intellectually stimulating firm to work at. The majority of the partners trained at the firm and that in itself is an indication of how much is invested in your progression as a solicitor.
Q. What's the most interesting matter you've worked on?
A. In private client I worked on several matters for a number of high-profile clients. In particular we advised one UK resident client on the purchase of and security over a high-value property abroad. My role involved analysing the most appropriate structure for the transaction and discussing the potential tax and immigration implications with the client's overseas advisors before reporting back to the client. It was complex and at times prolonged but I learnt so much about project (and client) management from my supervisor and the client partner that the successful completion of the matter was very satisfying.
Q. What's the best way to learn?
A. The firm has a significant focus on training and education but for me exposure to a wide range of work to put theory into practice is the key to acquiring new skills. I have also had the benefit of sitting with very experienced solicitors which has increased my awareness of the practical and commercial implications of the work that I undertake.
Q. What support do trainees get?
A. Each trainee receives a partner as a mentor from the start of the training contract. When you change seats, your new supervisor is always a useful resource as are trainees in the same department who are further along in their training contract. The graduate recruitment team and the trainee solicitor committee also take a keen interest in your progress and to be honest most members of the firm are happy to answer questions and provide support as and when it is necessary.
Q. As a trainee did you get much client contact / opportunity to work with clients?
A. From my first seat I had a lot of client contact, from attending meetings and industry events to being the first port of call for clients on matters in which I took the lead. I think this has been one of the best things about training with Macfarlanes - the fact that you are acknowledged as part of the team from the beginning and actively encouraged to take responsibility for matters.
Q. Are there opportunities to get involved in CSR activities?
A. Yes, there are a broad range of CSR activities to get involved with. As a trainee I joined the firm's CSR Committee which is responsible for the firm's varied CSR initiatives. These include providing legal advice at a debt clinic in South London, mentoring GCSE and A Level students from inner city schools through their studies and providing advice on a range of firm wide pro bono matters. We also arrange a programme of speakers from human rights and civil liberties groups. As well as being rewarding I find that getting involved with CSR projects really helps to improve and build on skills that are essential to my development as a solicitor.
Each year the firm also chooses a charity of the year to support and there are regular fundraising events from social events and quizzes to sporting challenges and raffles.
As a trainee I joined the firm's CSR Committee which is responsible for the firm's varied CSR initiatives. These include providing legal advice at a debt clinic in South London, mentoring GCSE and A Level students from inner city schools through their studies and providing advice on a range of firm wide pro bono matters.