My first 6 months as a Trainee Solicitor at Howard Kennedy


Having just started the second seat of my training contract, I thought it would be a great time to reflect on the first 6 months of my training contract at Howard Kennedy. So much has happened over the last six months that it would be near impossible for me to put together a round-up that really captures my experience so far, so I'll focus this post on just two memorable events so you don't fall asleep whilst reading.

First up is my secondment. During the summer of 2015, I was sat in a restaurant having a conversation with a retired couple. I asked them what advice they had for someone my age, they replied, “Whenever an opportunity comes your way grab it, even if the opportunity is to work on Mars, ensure that you take it.” 

Fast-forward to my training contract and with their wise words engrained in my mind, I was offered a chance to spend a couple of months of my real estate seat on secondment with one of Howard Kennedy’s property development clients, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

The secondment was an excellent chance for me to gain a real understanding of in-house legal practice, as well as being exposed to the different areas of the law that govern real estate development. I was also given an insight into the corporate structures and funding mechanisms that are required when undertaking new development projects. On a few occasions, I even found myself fully clad in a hard hat, high visibility jacket, and boots discussing construction issues with site managers.

Overall, it was great to be able to have this opportunity so soon into my training contract and the experience I gained will be invaluable in the future - and I suppose slightly more practical than working on Mars.

The second memorable moment I'd like to touch on is our Commercial Property Training Sessions.

If any Howard Kennedy trainee, both past and present, were asked to produce a list of the most memorable aspects of trainee life at Howard Kennedy, they would all undoubtedly make some form of reference to the weekly ‘Junior Lawyer Programme’. 

Although Howard Kennedy is a full-service law firm, real estate is the firm’s largest department and trainees are encouraged to develop a good understanding of property law during their training contract.

Consequently, trainees are required to attend weekly commercial property training sessions, which are run by two legendary lawyers who have amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience over their many years of practice. These sessions are particularly interesting due to their anecdotal nature, as the principals are able to highlight examples of legal challenges and the perplexities that they have come across.

Each week a new area of commercial leases or commercial property sales are discussed. As such, one week we may be discussing insurance provisions in a lease and the next week we will be discussing the risk provisions in a contract for sale.

These sessions are topped off with the firm renowned Howard Kennedy sandwich platter and fruit bowl, which always leaves you with the desire to come back for more.

Let’s see what the next 6 months bring!

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