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Our newly qualifieds

At the end of two years' hard work, our trainee solicitors become fully qualified.

So what is it like to make the transition? Two of our recently qualified solicitors give their view.

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Molly Bell

Solicitor

I began my training contract with Ward Hadaway in September 2017 and I worked in the Property, Employment, Commercial Litigation, and Healthcare departments. I qualified into the Healthcare team in September 2019.

As a trainee solicitor in Healthcare, my workload was consistently busy, varied, and interesting. Typical tasks included drafting applications to court, drafting instructions to counsel, instructing experts, and drafting chronologies based on large volumes of medical records. Towards the end of my seat, I was also given the responsibility of running pre-action files, which was a fantastic opportunity to build up my experience in case management. I was also given the opportunity to attend multiple court hearings, mediations, and inquests, outside of the office. What I liked about Healthcare the most, was that you are dealing with human issues, the medical aspect is challenging and stimulating, and no day is ever the same.

As a qualified solicitor, I now have my own case load of litigated files, as well as pre-action files, where I act on behalf of various NHS trusts respond to medical negligence claims. The level of responsibility increased straight away, and within a few weeks of qualifying I have already attended various witness meetings, conducted advocacy in a case management hearing, and drafted an extensive range documentation. I find that you are constantly learning about the litigation process, and overcoming challenges which you didn’t know how to do when you first started them.

The transition from being a trainee solicitor to an NQ has been the steepest learning curve to date. No one said that it was going to be easy, but it is rewarding to get to this position and understand what is required of you from this level. Ward Hadaway provides an excellent level of supervision, which makes you feel confident that you will receive support whenever you need it. Any member of the team is happy to provide constant guidance and day to day assistance, which makes it feel that the firm want to continue to invest in you, and train you to become an experienced and successful lawyer.

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Jamie Guy

Solicitor

After graduating from the University of Leeds in the summer of 2016 I finished the LPC the following year and began my training contract in September 2017. Throughout the course of my training I completed seat rotations in the Commercial, Corporate, Employment and Real Estate departments before qualifying into the Corporate team in September 2019.

The experience I gained during my training contract was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed my time in all four departments, however, I particularly enjoyed the transactional and multi-departmental aspect of Corporate deals and the buzz surrounding completions. I therefore decided to qualify into the Corporate team.

As a trainee I was able to assist on a wide variety of corporate transactions which ranged from a £50m national disposal to local internal group reorganisations. This exposure to such an array of transactions meant that my workload was diverse and developed a prevalent range of skills. I principally assisted the team with legal due diligence exercises, drafting transaction documentation and dealing with numerous completions. I was also regularly taken to meet clients and was encouraged to attend networking events which resulted in a well-rounded and rewarding experience.

The progression into qualification was very straightforward as the firm dealt with all necessary formalities which allowed me to concentrate on settling back into the Corporate team and get up to speed with ongoing transactions. As an NQ my level of responsibility has increased, however, the team ensures that supervising partners are always available to assist, guide and review my work to give me the confidence to develop and improve from their direction.

In the future I hope to progress within the firm and believe that the experience I gained during my training contract, as well as the connections I established across the firm, will provide the ideal foundation to do so.

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