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Harriet Kingston

Harriet is a first year trainee at Rollits in Hull. Her current seat is in the company and commercial department.

March 2019 - Well my first month in the Company Commercial Department has come to an end already. Having worked in Commercial Property for a number of years in York, it has been quite an adjustment for me, not only starting a new area of law, but also now working in the Hull office. This move has been a welcome change of pace though and I have loved the opportunity to better get to know my fellow colleagues and to integrate myself into a new team and dynamic. I think that big moves such as this, where you are moving outside of your comfort zone, just show how important being adaptable is, in a work environment.

The Company Commercial Department incorporates the Employment, Corporate and Commercial teams and I have been given work from each team, with a strong focus on Employment Law.

I have been tasked with some large research projects from the Employment Team, including research behind changes in employment law over the past 12 months and in particular new case law in relation to the ever evolving “Gig Economy”. Additionally I have spent considerable time exploring case law surrounding reference periods used to calculate holiday pay, where the existing legislation is not clear cut and also some pernickety aspects of the redundancy process.

From the Commercial Team, I have been asked to familiarise myself with the GDPR and Data Protection legislation in order to assist with providing legal advice in relation to a large data subject access request. I have also assisted with the first drafts of data sharing agreements. A more complex drafting assignment has been concerned with the drafting of the consultancy element of an Agreement for Purchase of Goods and Services. I was also able to observe a meeting with a client who required advice surrounding some IP queries.

I quickly got to grips with carrying out company searches and reports for the Corporate Team and also had the exciting opportunity of attending a client meeting with a client who is at the early stages of selling a business. Additionally I have been looking into ways in which a long-standing but fully repaid charge in favour of a lender who has long-since been dissolved, can be removed from the Property Title.  

I look forward to what the next month in this seat will bring!

February 2019 - I cannot believe I have reached the final month of my first seat! The months have flown by.

This month I have completed my Professional Skills Course in Business and Finance. This is a mandatory 3 day course, that trainees must complete before they are able to qualify as a solicitor and it includes an exam on the final day. The course was jam-packed with information and there was a lot to take in, however the content was extremely interesting. I definitely have a better understanding of investments and investment products and the (limited) extent of advice and information that solicitors are able to give to clients.

I have also had the pleasure, along with a few of the other trainees, in assisting Pat Coyle with an Institute of Directors event, held at the Hull University Business School. This involved ushering and registering delegates and the opportunity to watch the speaker, once guests were seated.

The rest of the month has been spent in the office,  and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting my teeth in to some new tasks. One being the drafting of a Deed of Variation to a Transfer. I have also carried out thorough research surrounding Neighbourhood Planning and its creation and implementation. Following this research I then drafted an Article which should appear on the Rollits website some time soon!

From a more commercial property perspective, I have been dealing with the drafting of a lease renewal and a new lease of two industrial units. I addition I am dealing with a commercial sale of part which has involved more complex drafting of the contract and consideration of restrictive and positive covenants that must be incorporated into the Transfer.  

I look forward to March as I will be moving from the York office to the Hull office to start my second seat in the Company and Commercial Department. This will be completely new territory for me and I am excited to see what new challenges and task the coming months bring!

January 2019 - I have welcomed a slightly calmer start to this month than other months since working at Rollits. This has been hugely productive, as I have had time to carry out some thorough research on topics that I haven’t touched on in too much detail since the LPC. Finding the time to do this can sometimes be tricky!

I’m excited about a new task that I have been given in relation to drafting a Deed of Easement, the first steps being to meet with the client and discuss the extent of the right of way that is to be granted and explain all of the considerations that must be taken into account. So far this has meant undertaking thorough research to refresh my knowledge of Easements allowing me to consolidate the types of questions I need to ask the client prior to drafting the deed. I look forward to the actual drafting, once I have met with the client.

This month I have also been tasked with drafting a licence, preparing a first registration and carrying out further Land Registry registrations. There has also been time to make the most of some training sessions on commercial leases and construction contracts. These training sessions are always great, as there is precious time set aside to ask any questions that come to mind.

In the second week of January I took part in my first PSC Course on Advocacy and Communication Skills. I absolutely love presenting and as such I really enjoyed developing my persuasive presentation skills. It was also great to learn more about how to undertake various aspects of a trial to include; opening and closing speeches, cross examining a witness and undertaking evidence in chief. I look forward to the next PSC course next month.

December 2018 - This month has been lovely with everyone in the office embracing the festive season and joining in with various Christmas celebrations. This has been great as I have been able to get to know even more colleagues in each office.

I have also enjoyed attending a few networking events to include the Chambers of Commerce Christmas lunch. I always thoroughly enjoy learning about other businesses operating in the area and having the opportunity to establish some good relationships.

Whilst being a particularly cheery month, December has been a busy one. I continue to deal independently with residential property related matters and many of these clients, hope to complete their transactions before Christmas. Trying to therefore ensure that this happens before the holidays is testing and requires a significant amount organisation, preparation and management.

I have also been tasked with further complex commercial and planning matters to include a commercial remortgage, a lease extension and drafting of a new commercial lease. I have dealt with these matters independently and I have welcomed the challenge. Additionally, I have assisted in drafting a legal statement to accompany a planning appeal as well as reviewing a contract for sale of agricultural land.

I am excited for the next month as I hope to become involved with some more planning and development work and I will also undertake my first Professional Skills Course in Advocacy and Communication Skills

November 2018 - Another busy month in the Planning and Development Department and I am now really starting to find my feet! This month I have undertaken various research projects to include finding and exploring supporting case law in order to build an appeal to a planning decision.

I have also been involved in a few drafting tasks including a Deed of Variation to an Option Agreement as well as a Deed of Release to a Pre-Emption Agreement. This involved carefully comparing other example documents from our database and precedent documents from Practical Law, in order to tailor each new deed to the individual matter at hand and their specific requirements.

I have also been tasked with drafting a commercial lease. I am now amidst negotiations of the terms of the lease with the Tenant’s solicitor. This is great experience for me to balance negotiation skills, so as to achieve an agreed form of lease, whilst ensuring that important terms remain incorporated in to the lease that our client requires.

This month has also been a busy month of networking and I enjoyed attending the “Word Class York” Business Conference at York Racecourse and “Economic York” at the Principal Hotel, York. The more networking I become involved with, the more I realise that this is an important skill that cannot be underestimated, as it is pivotal in keeping existing and building new connections. As Christmas approaches, I am looking forward to attending more events!

October 2018 - I am just coming up to the end of my second month in the Planning and Development Department which has gone by in a flash!

I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my colleagues in department, who have been so patient and welcoming and really do take a lot of time to explain things to me in depth.

This month I have had the opportunity of reviewing and amending a Section 106 Agreement, reviewing a Wayleave Agreement and explaining the obligations under the agreement to our client and also drafting a Deed of Variation of an existing overage agreement. I was also asked to research Agricultural Occupancy Conditions and their implications and also case law surrounding how these can be lifted.

The really beneficial part of the process is going through each document I have drafted with a colleague, who will discuss how to change certain aspects to strengthen my drafting and which things to consider in order to make each document more favourable to the client. I will then have the opportunity to review the final draft from my colleague and compare this with mine and really spot those changes.

These have all been exciting tasks for me as they have each involved thorough research to allow me to really understand the law behind each matter. This has helped me lay a good foundation of legal knowledge, which I can now start to build upon.

I look forward to next month, where I hope to have further opportunities to test what I have learnt this month and also become involved in more complex development matters.

 

After graduating from my degree in Biomedical Science at the University of Hull in 2012, I then completed the GDL at York College of Law in 2013. Following this I worked as a paralegal for several years before commencing the LPC at BPP University in Leeds, which I completed in September 2017.

Having worked for Rollits for just under a year as a Paralegal in the Property Department dealing with residential and commercial property matters, I am now entering my fourth week as a trainee solicitor in the Planning and Development Team. My first few weeks involved handing over existing files, while undertaking various training courses. I was also pleased to meet the new trainees and my trainee supervisor and mentor.

I have now returned from my holiday and I am eager to get back in to the throws of work within my new team and I look forward to seeing what the next six months bring!

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