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Lily Dobson

Lily is a first year trainee at Rollits in Hull. Her current seat is in the Company & Commercial department.

November 2019 - Throughout November my responsibility has increased and I have enjoyed being involved in a range of matters from all of the teams within the Company Commercial Department.

In terms of corporate work, I attended a client meeting regarding the acquisition of a partnership by a limited company. During the meeting we ran through the asset purchase agreement; I found it very useful to understand the practicalities of the clauses and how they would affect the parties involved. I subsequently assisted in drafting the deed of retirement for one of the partners. I also assisted in drafting a shareholders’ agreement. This was a challenging task which involved adapting an existing agreement but also drafting new clauses, including a deadlock provision and a reversed vesting mechanism. In addition to this I also assisted in advising a client on the restrictive covenants in an existing share purchase agreement. Many tasks are starting to become more familiar, such as company searches and completing forms for Companies House. It is encouraging to see my progression since I started in the department.

For the Charities Team I have completed several research tasks which included the requirements of a Community Amateur Sports Club (“CASC”), and the rules on permanent endowment. I also assisted with, and attended, a charities seminar held at the Rollits Hull office earlier in the month. This was a very useful insight into charity law, something which I was unfamiliar with prior to starting at Rollits.

In terms of commercial work I have been able to assist on the application of trade marks, and I also conducted research on special category marks. Data protection legislation is starting to become more familiar and I gained further experience with subject access requests. I have also completed several research tasks, including when there is deemed acceptance when sending a notice by Royal Mail ‘Signed For’ delivery and whether a company director can also be a commercial agent.

In relation to employment work, I sat in on a couple of telephone calls which related to settlement agreements. Later in the month I attended a client meeting in which one of our solicitors was acting as the independent legal advisor. This meeting involved running through the settlement agreement and ensuring that the client was satisfied with its provisions and the effect of the agreement. I also researched whether electronic signature could be used on witness statements.

This month we also had our Rollits Annual Quiz, hosted by James Peel and the Employee Forum. This was a great event in which we were put into teams and completed different rounds. This was a great chance for everyone to get together, and it was also good to see people from the York office come across for the event.

I am excited to see my responsibility increase even further over the next month. I also look forward to the 2019 Conference which is to be held at The Deep, as well as the Company Commercial Christmas night out.

October 2019 - My second month in the Company Commercial Department has flown by and I am thoroughly enjoying my time in this seat. Everyone has been extremely helpful and patient whilst I have been settling in. My workload has been steadily increasing over the past month, and I am gaining experience in Commercial, Corporate and Employment matters.

In terms of commercial work, I have been involved in drafting a number of agreements including a sponsorship agreement and a learner-find agreement. I found it extremely useful sitting in on telephone calls with clients, understanding the purpose of the agreement, and then having a go at drafting with this information in mind. I have found the feedback from my colleagues very helpful; I already feel as though my knowledge has developed significantly and I am confident that it will continue to do so throughout this seat. I have also assisted on drafting website terms and conditions as well as privacy and cookies policies. Both of these were completely new to me, but the Commercial Department encounters these on a regular basis, so it is likely that I will be involved in a number of these agreements during my time here. My colleagues also deal with data protection matters, some of which I have been involved with; I have helped with subject access requests as well as conducting research. I have also been involved in some trade mark matters, including assisting in drafting a specification for a European Union Trade Mark. I studied Intellectual Property on the Legal Practice Course so I have found it very interesting putting the theory into practice.

In relation to work for the Employment Department, I helped with an in-house seminar earlier in the month. This was hosted at the Rollits Hull office and was the ideal opportunity to network. I was also able to attend the seminar which was a useful refresher on the employment tribunal system. I also assisted in preparing my first trial bundle; this was for a case which is due to be heard later this month. I was also present on telephone calls with clients relating to settlement agreements, and then prepared the subsequent file notes.

I have conducted a number of company searches for the Corporate Department, and also drafted my first set of board minutes. In addition to this I attended a telephone call with a prospective client relating to the removal of a director. This then resulted in a research task to establish the circumstances in which a company can buy back their own shares.

I am continuing to enjoy my time here in the Company Commercial Department and I am excited to see what the next month will bring.

September 2019 - After graduating from my degree in LLB Law at University of Hull in 2018, I then completed the Legal Practice Course with MSc in Business, Law and Management at University of Law in Leeds in 2019 and then came straight to Rollits to start my Period of Recognised Training.

My first week was filled with inductions on how to use the systems and getting to grips with how things are done here at Rollits. This induction week was very well organised and I immediately knew I would have a strong support system throughout my two years of training. I was also pleased to meet my supervisor who will oversee my two years of training, as well as my mentor who will oversee me in my first department.

It is now week four in the Company Commercial Department. The next six months will incorporate commercial, corporate and employment work so I am looking forward to gaining experience in all of these areas. Everyone has been extremely welcoming and I am being kept busy. So far I have assisted with commercial matters including drafting a sponsorship agreement and a services agreement. I also assisted on corporate matters such as reviewing a Share Purchase Agreement and conducting winding-up and bankruptcy searches. In addition to this I was also able to help on a number of employment matters, including drafting a suspension letter and conducting research.

I have also been involved in activities outside of work time; I assisted in the Heritage Open Day which was held at the Rollits Hull office. This was a great opportunity to learn more about the Firm and its connection to Hull, as well meeting new people. I will also be attending the Hull Incorporated Law Society Ball this week. I am thoroughly enjoying my time at Rollits so far and I am excited to see what the next six months will bring!

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