Casper is a second year trainee at Rollits in Hull. His current seat is in the Dispute Resolution department.
March 2020 - March has been my first month in the dispute resolution team, and what a baptism of fire it has been!
I have been involved in a number of interesting matters from the outset. In particular I have worked alongside a partner to prepare all of the necessary documents to appeal a County Court decision to the High Court. This involved liaising with counsel who was preparing the grounds of appeal and the skeleton argument, as well as drafting the appeal notice and preparing the court bundle before serving it on the parties involved. This involved a lot of work and was a good introduction to the department and to get used to working under the Civil Procedure Rules, which are specific to litigation work.
I have also been involved in a number of construction disputes, which have been interesting to see. This included the rush of adjudication (which is very past-paced!) and also researching and preparing advice to clients.
Perhaps the biggest change this month though was the move to working from home as part of Rollits' response to the covid-19 pandemic. Although I miss the buzz of the office and working with my colleagues I am confident that we can continue to offer full services to our clients throughout this period.
February 2020 - This week is my final week in the Private Capital department and my final week working at our York office. From March to September 2020 I will be back in our Hull office to complete the final six month seat of my Period of Recognised Training in the Dispute Resolution Department. I am excited to make the move and experience the cut and thrust of litigation, but I am grateful to my colleagues in York for being very helpful and friendly throughout my time here.
This month I have drafted Wills, various trust documents (such as deeds appointing new trustees), and Lasting Powers of Attorney. I have also assisted in various probate matters this month, including liaising with stockbrokers to cash in shares and learning more about how to properly record an estate on the estate accounts. I assisted Sue Brad in the preparation of an application to the Court of Protection to appoint deputies for an individual who has lost mental capacity. This serves as a salutary warning of the dangers of not having effective Lasting Powers of Attorney, but it was an interesting matter to be involved in and I learn a lot about a new area of law.
December 2019 - December has been a busy month for the Private Capital department here in York. I have continued to act in most of the "bread and butter" aspects of estate and trust administration, and feel confident in carrying out most tasks given to me. I have also had some interesting research tasks, including preparing a note on the terms of certain accumulation trusts.
I also enjoyed socialising with my colleagues outside of the office. Early in the month was the Rollits Conference, held at the Deep in Hull where we were able to discuss the successes of the past year and share a meal together. The York office also went for dinner and drinks at our festive Mexican-inspired evening, which was a lot of fun!
Having had time off over the festive period to see family and generally unwind I am looking forward to my final two months with the Private Capital team.
November 2019 - With three months under my belt in the Private Capital department I am now half way through my third seat and feeling much more confident in a number of areas of Private Capital practise.
I have had ongoing involvement in a number of probate matters, from gathering estate information and arranging to close accounts and encash investments post-Grant to drafting Deeds of Variation in order that beneficiaries can vary their share in a tax-efficient way. I have also been involved in drafting wills and also drafting Lasting Powers of Attorney. Wills can be complex documents to draft, and they are seldom the same, so I have enjoyed testing my drafting abilities and the challenge of ensuring that the will is both valid and accurately reflects the testator’s wishes.
Rollits’ Private Capital department act for a number of established trusts and I have been involved in drafting a number of documents associated with this, such as deeds appointing trustees and deeds of advancement. It is interesting to see how trusts can be used for effective estate planning.
This month I also attended a Professional Skills Course on Communication and Advocacy. I enjoy advocacy and it was a lot of fun to spend a few days cross examining witnesses and developing my skills in this area.
October 2019 - My second month in the Private Capital department seems to have flown by. The department has been very welcoming and I have been involved in a wide range of work.
I have been given some interesting research tasks - such as researching how claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 are made, the basis of such a claim, and steps trustees can take to minimise their potential liability. I have also been able to practise my drafting, and have drafted various documents from Declarations of Trust to Wills (the latter of which will test the drafting skills of any lawyer!). In terms of routine work I continue to be involved in both pre and post-Grant of Probate work, and have worked on collecting in estate assets as well as making payments to beneficiaries.
Outside of work I took a week of annual leave, which was spent walking, running and cycling around various (muddy) National Parks!
September 2019 - September marks my move to my third seat as a trainee at Rollits, where I will be based in our York office in our Private Capital department for the next six months. I am excited to get to grips with a new area of law and develop my knowledge of this interesting area of law. The team here in York have been extremely welcoming and I have settled into the seat well.
I have been tasked with various matters since my arrival, from researching various trustee powers to distributing legacies to beneficiaries through to drafting Court of Protection application forms. I have also been involved in the initial stages of a few probate matters and have drafted initial letters to banks and other bodies in order to begin to administer the estate. One pleasant change is that I have been able to attend a lot of meetings, such as meeting with clients taking initial instructions to meetings with asset managers to review the performance of trust funds under investment.
All in all I have enjoyed my first month in Private Capital, and I am looking forward to the next five months I will be spending here.
August 2019 - As August (and summer!) comes to an end, so does my time within the Commercial Property department here at Rollits. It has been a busy six months and I have relished the challenges thrown at me and enjoyed the matters I have worked on. Property is a steep learning curve making the jump from theory to practice but it is an area which helps you grow as a lawyer.
August has been a slightly quieter month, but I have been occupied with a number of matters. Early in the month a long-running matter that I have been involved in from the outset completed and we received good feedback from the client. I also assisted other fee earners with a number of administrative tasks such as making various Land Registry applications and drafting SDLT returns (and the attendant research which can be required). I also learned a little more about leasehold transactions and drafted a Report on Lease to go to a client identifying the key points contained within a lease it was proposing to enter into. For the Agricultural team I assisted in drafting amendments to a very unusual agreement forming part of a wider transaction - a Straw for Muck and Slurry Agreement. This required a bit of “blue sky” drafting to adapt it to the particular transaction and was interesting to be involved in.
In September I will be moving to our York office to work with the Private Capital department. I am grateful to everyone in the Commercial Property department for giving me an interesting six months there, but I am looking forward to new challenges!
July 2019 - I was started July with a couple of weeks in Italy, visiting the Venice Biennale and Lake Garda. It was nice to take a bit of time off, watch the Tour de France on TV, and to recharge my batteries before returning to the office and picking up my files again!
I arrived back in time to complete on some other long-running matters which I have been working on from the start of my seat. It is always satisfying to achieve a good result for clients who you have gotten to know over the course of a transaction. I also drafted a number of documents, did more Land Registry applications, and had some interesting research tasks such as looking into whether there are any special considerations for buying property from a company that is in a company voluntary arrangement.
I also attended Rollits’ Charity Golf day which gave a number of our clients a great opportunity to network over a round of golf at Brough’s fantastic golf club.
June 2019 - June marked the start of my “mid-seat move” from the planning and development team to the commercial property team. At Rollits the whole property team is a well integrated unit, so I quickly took to the new surroundings (the other side of the office!).
I have been busy this month with the culmination of matters which I have been working on since starting my seat in the property department. The sigh of relief at getting a big matter over the line was mitigated somewhat by the mountain of post-completion filing which is required. However, an eye for detail, head for deadlines and organisation are all skills which any trainee will develop during their property seat and so I felt well equipped to handle the workload. I have become quite familiar with a number of Land Registry application forms and I am able to work more independently now.
My workload this month also involved various SDLT matters, such as researching and drafting letters to HMRC about partnership tax - a notoriously complex area of law. I also exchanged and completed on some smaller matters and assisted various clients at the pre-contract stage by advising on title issues. I have also undertaken routine work such as drafting CPSE replies to pre-contract enquiries and negotiated contract and transfer amendments with other lawyers.
All in all June has been a busy and enjoyable month, but I’m looking forward to a couple of weeks in the sun in July!
May 2019 - May has been a month of learning new things in the commercial property department, as well as seeing an increase in the amount of responsibility I have been given.
Of particular note I have spent a lot of time drafting the necessary documentation to charge a part of land in order to secure development finance. This involved drafting a fairly routine legal charge, and also because it was a charge over part of the land only to draft a deed of easement granting the financier the rights of access it will need if it ever needs to enforce its security. This involved technical drafting and a lot of patience to meet the tight deadlines required. I also handled the registration formalities post-completion. It was a very interesting matter to be involved in.
Aside from that I have also been progressing matters on another transaction involving secured lending, which has provided particularly complex in that we are dealing with equitable mortgages and legal mortgages as well as registered and unregistered land. On the research side of my workload I have also looked into the “ditch and hedge rule” for boundary disputes.
All in all the commercial property department remains challenging and is certainly keeping me on my toes!
April 2019 - April has been a busy month in the property department, which of course means busy trainees! Having settled into the department now I am taking on more responsibility, particularly in respect of some of our agricultural matters where I have been involved in various purchases and sales of farming land. This required a lot of drafting and also producing reports on title for our clients.
On the commercial property side of things I have been tasked with various research tasks, such as looking into the various regulatory requirements for landlords of houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs), research into historic rentcharges, and also research into extending business tenancies under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
My second month in the property department has been a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to seeing what May has to bring!
March 2019 - March has been my first month in the property department here at Rollits. It’s been great to settle into the new team and meet more of my colleagues - who have all made me feel very welcome!
I have been tasked with various interesting tasks such as exchanging contracts, drafting Reports on Title and making various Land Registry applications. It has been great to put into practice much of what is taught in law school and I am enjoying the responsibility which Rollits gives its trainees in the property department.
I have also attended various events outside of the office including a fantastic breakfast event organised by the Humber Institute of Directors and the Bondholders at which Andy Haldane from the Bank of England gave his perspective on Brexit and the global economy.
February 2019 - February marks the end of my first seat as a trainee at Rollits. The Company and Commercial department has been incredibly welcoming and have given me a lot of support in the transition from law student to lawyer - which can be quite a steep learning curve at times! I been able to grow into taking on more responsibility throughout my seat but have never felt unsupported which really is testament to the quality of the training here.
The past six months have allowed me to develop a number of skills imperative to being a good lawyer, such as drafting, legal research, advising clients, commercial awareness and time management. The CoCo department has given me a good variety of work. For the corporate team I have worked on transactions including selling businesses (both share sales and asset sales), shareholders agreements and option agreements. I have also worked on some commercial transactions such as drafting contracts for the supply of services and responding to GDPR subject access requests. I have really enjoyed working with the employment team in particular, where no two days are the same! On this side of things I’ve acted closely advising clients on various business immigration matters, advised on disciplinary/ termination cases and researched numerous pay and holiday related queries.
I am really looking forward to starting my next six months in the Commercial Property department, getting to know more of my colleagues and working on more matters!
January 2019 - Despite having a good amount of time off over the festive period January has been hectic! Arriving back into the office I was thrust into the midst of an Employment Tribunal due to be heard the following week. This involved a lot of proof reading, preparing bundles, instructing counsel and helping prepare witness statements. On the employment side of things I have also been tasked with a number of research tasks for our larger clients on topics such as maternity pay, contractual benefits and various visa related issues.
On the corporate side of things I prepared a number of documents for a management buy-out (MBO) which we are acting on. This required a suite of board minutes from various companies, written resolutions and forms to be filed at Companies House. I also drafted an asset purchase agreement for the sale of a local business, which was very interesting as the transaction had various unusual elements. It was a tricky task but put my drafting skills to the test which is always a good learning opportunity.
Outside the office I attended the Finance and Business Skills PSC course as part of my ongoing professional development. This was an intense couple of days in which I learned a lot about various investment products and the extent to which lawyers are able to act. I also moved house earlier this month, which has been very exciting and a great start to 2019.
December 2018 - The run up to the Christmas break has been hectic in the Company Commercial department, with various matters needing wrapping up before the new year. This month I have taken on more responsibility, including doing a lot of the leg work on smaller matters for the corporate team. I enjoyed drafting a suite of documents for a share buy back and drafted further banking documents. I have also continued to be involved in a lot of employment work, and have had interesting research tasks such as when the Tribunal will strike out claims due to the claimants vexatious behaviour.
It has also been good fun around the office, with our floor’s secret Santa and our Christmas meal. After a busy start to my training contract it was also very nice to spend some time at home with my family, eating good food, and riding my bike!
November 2018 - I am now halfway through my first seat at Rollits and it’s great to be settling into the firm.
Most of my work this month has been for the corporate team. As I have been at Rollits for three months now I have been able to take on some more responsibility. This meant more client contact, more complex tasks and more matters to work on. The work in corporate has been varied, for example I was involved in the completion of the sale of a business, which meant all hands on deck to ensure that all of the formalities were in place and that our clients were happy. I have also been drafting documents relating to share option agreements, incorporated companies and done various due diligence tasks relating to the sale of various business.
My work outside of the corporate department has been very interesting too. I have researched and given advice on a number of issues for the employment team and have also written various articles on employment law topics. For the commercial team I have been involved in reviewing contract terms and conditions and getting to grips with GDPR subject access requests.
Outside of the office I also joined Team Rollits at The Bridges annual fundraising quiz. Unfortunately Rollits didn’t keep up our winning streak, but a lot of money was made for a fantastic charity and everyone had a great time!
October 2018 - It’s hard to believe that I’ve been at Rollits for two months now! It’s been very interesting to get involved in the various matters that the Corporate & Commercial department have been working on.
The majority of my work has been done for the corporate team, who have had a busy month. I have incorporated a management company for a development of flats, giving me the opportunity to hone my drafting skills. I have also been involved in a number of banking matters as well as the sale of a company, both of which also required a careful eye for detail when drafting a number of ancillary documents and gave me an opportunity to consider some of the commercial issues surrounding corporate transactions.
I was also able to do some work with the employment team, such as drafting witness statements for an Employment Tribunal and doing some research on a complex immigration matter for one of our clients.
In October I was also able to attend the launch of the partnership between C4DI and Barclays Eagle Labs at Hull Minster, which was a great event to mark the next big step forward for the tech sector in Hull.
It has been a great first couple of months here at Rollits and I’m looking forward to the next few months in the Corporate & Commercial department.
My first two weeks at Rollits have absolutely flown by. I arrived at Rollits after completing my Bachelors in Philosophy at the University of Leeds, followed by a Masters in Law and the LPC at the University of Sheffield (achieving a Distinction in both) - so it has been fantastic to finally put what I have learnt into practice.
As a trainee in the Corporate and Commercial department I have hit the ground running, and have gotten my teeth stuck into interesting tasks such as drafting Articles of Association, a Deed of Retirement from a Partnership, as well as various bits of research.
I grew up south of the Humber, and so I am proud to be training at such a highly regarded firm. The team has been great in welcoming me to the department and I can’t wait to see what the next six months have in store.