Cathryn Bailey - Newly Qualified Solicitor
I began working at Blake Morgan in May 2012 as a paralegal in the insurance litigation department. While working as a paralegal I managed to obtain a training contract with the firm to start in September 2015. Due to an influx in work into the department, I was asked to start my training contract early, undertaking my first seat in the professional regulatory team. I undertook my second seat in commercial property and my third seat in corporate.
During my third seat, a vacancy for a newly qualified solicitor came up in the commercial litigation and dispute resolution team in Oxford. I knew that this was the area I wanted to work in and so I applied and managed to secure the position.
As a newly qualified solicitor in the team I run my own (smaller) cases and assist more experienced members of the team on more complex matters. Within the last six months, I have been heavily involved in a multi-party contract dispute estimated to be worth just over £1 million, in which we assert that our American client is the rightful owner of shares in a UK company. Within the last two weeks I have drafted witness statements in response to the claim and corresponded with the client to ensure that it is a true representation of the facts. I have prepared documents to defend an application where the defendants sought to obtain security for costs. These documents included witness statements, costs schedules and without prejudice offers. I then attended the application hearing in the High Court to assist counsel. Supervision is good, but as everything became more hectic just before the court hearing, I found that the Partner wanted me to do more by myself. Certainly a learning experience!
I particularly enjoy working in the litigation department due to the varied nature of the disputes, it never gets boring! One day I can be working on a family dispute in relation to a loved one's will and the next day I can be drafting a detailed witness statement in relation to a shareholder dispute.
Whilst Blake Morgan is a top 50 law firm, it has retained its friendly atmosphere and is committed to developing and progressing its staff. I have found that more experienced colleagues always make the time to help and support me, making it a brilliant place to start your career.
Blake Morgan is big enough to deliver a challenging and diverse work load while maintaining a good work/life balance. Whilst you are expected to put in the hard work and get the job done, it does not demand all of your evenings and even weekends like many other big firms