A day in the life of a trainee in the Property Litigation team

Adam Ward-Thomas discusses his role as a trainee in our Property Litigation team. 

I normally arrive at the office for around 9 AM and check my inbox to see if there is anything urgent that has come through from a client or a member of the team, in litigation anything can happen at any time and so it isn't unusual to walk straight into urgent work!

At about 9:30 AM if there isn't anything urgent (and after making a brew) I start to work through my tasks which can be anything from drafting a claim form and particulars of claim for a possession claim to preparing a settlement order that will bring a matter to a conclusion.

The office environment is pretty chilled so it's during this time as well that you can have catch-up with colleagues before the day escalates and I am going straight from one task to another.

I normally try and get all of the bulky work (normally drafting documents) done first so I can give it to the partner to review and I can then do more routine tasks such as typing up attendance notes from a client meeting or mediation that I have observed whilst I'm waiting.

By 11:00 I will have normally been given a few tasks such as legal research or drafting a letter to a client or the other side's solicitors. The vast majority of the work I do is reviewed before it leaves the office and so it's good to be as organised as possible as I am working on other peoples' time. Before lunch I will normally have had the work given back to me that I have been doing for the partner or solicitor in the team and I can then make the necessary amendments to it and give them back the final product to sign off.

At 1:00, I and the other trainees grab lunch and take it to the office break-out area to catch up, if it's hectic then I sometimes have to eat at my desk but fortunately this isn't too often.

After lunch, it's back to the grind and getting on with tasks that I have been given and anything that I may have been pushing back which I try not to do (always court bundles). In litigation, you never know how the day is going to pan out with urgent court deadlines or dates that a client needs to comply with under a lease.

This means that it isn't unusual for me to have to bolt down to the court to file a Defence before the court closes or trek across London to serve a break notice on a landlord so that the client is given sufficient notice. It might be pressurised at the time but it's part of what makes the work exciting!

From about 5:00PM, I start to wind down and begin clearing off any outstanding tasks or filling in my trainee diary, on average I leave the office at about 6:00/6:30 PM which as far as London law firms go is great. Only every now and then do I have to stay late if there is an urgent court application or client deadline to meet and even then it's never an horrendous hour. After a final check of my inbox and tidy up of my desk, it's time to go home and rest so that I am ready for whatever tomorrow will bring.