Back to trainee blogs

Lily Dobson

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

August 2021 - August has flown by! During the first week of the month I continued my time in Dispute Resolution. I dealt with incoming queries from existing and potential clients; I enjoy having the client contact and also developing my communication skills which will benefit me throughout my career.

I also did a number of research tasks, from which I always learn about a topic completely new to me.

The second week of the month marked my move to Corporate, the department in which I will qualify. It feels great to be joining the team earlier than planned, and gives me the opportunity to settle into my role prior to qualifying in November 2021. So far I have had a wide variety of work. I drafted the Heads of Terms for a business sale. These are effectively a letter of intent, usually drafted on behalf of the buyer to the seller, outlining the terms of a proposed deal. Heads of terms are predominantly non-binding, however it is common practice to include legally binding provisions such as exclusivity and confidentiality clauses.

I also assisted with the due diligence of a business sale. In businesses acquisitions, buyers are expected to do their due diligence i.e. find out the important information relating to a purchase of a business. The buyer submits questions to the seller, and the seller responds to these questions with supporting evidence. In this particular deal, we act for the seller, and I was tasked with drafting the responses to the buyer, and dealing with the supporting evidence.

I also assisted in drafting some completion board minutes, in addition to the Completion Agenda for the purchase of a business and assets. The Completion Agenda is important because it lists all of the documents required to complete a deal, and outlines who is responsible for each aspect.

This month I also attended an online course on loan agreements which was very informative and no doubt will prove useful on qualification.

July 2021 - July has been a busy and varied month in the Dispute department.

At the start of the month I helped out at the Rollits Charity Golf Day at Brough Golf Club. This is a great event in which we raise money for a chosen charity. It’s also a great excuse for golf-lovers to get together, which was enjoyed by all, particularly since the event sadly had to be cancelled last year. I enjoyed helping out and being involved in the day, and also catching up with some colleagues that I hadn’t seen in a while. It was also a chance to develop my golf knowledge which was extremely lacking!

In terms of my work-load this month, I assisted on a family matter in which we act for one of the parties in a divorce. Having never studied family law, it was interesting to gain an understanding of the process. Although as trainees we ultimately end up specialising in one area of law after completing our training, it is very beneficial to have an awareness of several areas, since often a matter can involve several departments. Divorce is often a much longer process than people anticipate; clearly there are a lot of emotions involved and parties can often a take a long time to agree on things. I first attended a video call with counsel; the purpose of the call was for the client to ‘meet’ the barrister, and to discuss matters prior to the First Appointment Hearing. The purpose of the First Appointment Hearing is to act as a directions hearing in advance of the Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing; it is an exercise in active case management, and the aim is to put the parties in a position where they can negotiate, being fully informed at the following hearing.

I did plenty of research throughout the month, such as considering how to transfer a premises licence, research in relation to a construction contract and much more.

This month we also ran our work experience programme. This is a fantastic opportunity for aspiring lawyers to gain some hands-on experience, and also get a feel for Rollits. The scheme had to be cancelled last year, and many firms also cancelled it this year, however Rollits still managed to provide the students some experience and we had two lots of students in for a few days over the course of the two weeks. I enjoyed helping out, answering questions about life as a trainee, which hopefully the students found beneficial.

July has been another good month and I look forward to seeing what August brings.

June 2021 - June marks my first month in the Dispute Resolution department. It is great being able to work with people at Rollits that I haven’t had the opportunity of working with before, and everyone has been very welcoming. It’s always a big change moving seats; as trainees, we start to become comfortable in a department, and more familiar with an area of law, and then before we know it we’re being moved again and starting from fresh, but being able to work with a variety of people and in different areas of the law is a great part of the process. My colleagues have been extremely helpful and supportive and I have enjoyed my first month in the department.

It’s only my first month, yet I can already tell that no two days are the same in Dispute Resolution. The majority of my work so far has involved research on a variety of topics. We have to be responsive to clients’ needs; they come to us with an issue and we have to consider their options and present them to the client for consideration. The majority of the time this will involve research of some sort, and this month I have been involved in a variety of matters. Every topic has been completely new to me, so I am constantly learning new things and broadening my knowledge.

At the start of the month I did some research on Education, Health and Care Plans. In summary, these are plans put in place by local authorities to help those with education, health and care needs. I researched the process of how an education provider is appointed in a plan, and on what grounds they can object to this appointment. I was then involved in drafting letters to be sent on behalf of the client to the local authority. This was a great opportunity to practice putting my research into practical advice that would help the client.

I also researched the Ombudsman process; specifically, I considered whether or not the final decisions are legally binding, and what the next step would be for a complainant, if the recommendations weren’t followed.

I also did some research on statutory nuisances, specifically, noise, and the process that local authorities follow when dealing with complaints. I was then asked to consider this further in light of the COVID-19 guidelines.

I also researched what a commercial landlord can do when a tenant has not paid rent. As a result of COVID-19, the Government introduced a number of measures to protect tenants. These measures include a voluntary code of practice which is intended to encourage communication and negotiation between landlords and tenants i.e. if the tenant is struggling financially as a result of the pandemic and cannot afford to pay their rent in full, the parties are encouraged to come to a compromise. However, these measures were not intended as an excuse for tenants to withhold rent if they could afford to pay, which was the approach adopted by some tenants. As a result of this, frustrated landlords instead sought to pursue debt claims. I considered recent cases in which commercial landlords were successful in achieving summary judgment for recovery of the unpaid rent in addition to interest as specified in the lease. These cases set a precedent going forward. I also produced an article for the Rollits' website which covers the extension of the ban on winding up petitions, another measure introduced to help commercial tenants.

This month I also attended the ‘Personal Brand - Earned Not Given’ event. This was part of Hull Biz week and was an event aimed at young professional to offer advice as to how to market themselves. This was a great event and I came away with some useful practical tips.

Overall it has been a great month and I look forward to seeing what July will bring.

May 2021 - May has been another busy month in the Company Commercial Department, which I have thoroughly enjoyed.

My workload has been varied. I assisted on the completion of a share sale which I was involved in from the beginning. This was a great opportunity to see a relatively simple deal from start to finish. Over the course of my time in the department, my involvement in matters has increased, along with my responsibility, which has been a great chance to learn more skills.

Earlier in the month I attended the Board Meeting for one of the businesses for which we offer company secretarial services. I subsequently prepared the board minutes and Action Log which were sent to the company directors for their approval.

In terms of drafting, I worked on a number of Shareholders’ Agreements. Every agreement is unique to reflect the objectives of the company’s shareholders, so it has been great being involved in a number of these and develop my drafting skills.

I also started working on a new matter involving a share reorganisation, followed by a share sale. This is done in two stages, the first of which involves new shares being issued, the second stage is the shares being sold. There are several documents required to effect this deal, many of which I had not drafted before, so this was a great opportunity to learn a new process.

I drafted a number of corporate ancillary documents, such as board minutes, share certificates and Stock Transfer Forms; these are becoming much more familiar to me.

In terms of research, I assisted on a GDPR query and produced a memo with my findings.

I have really enjoyed the last few months in the Company Commercial department. I am now moving to the Dispute Resolution department; I am looking forward to learning some new skills and working with colleagues from the firm which I haven’t had the opportunity of working with before.

April 2021 - April has been very busy in the Company Commercial Department. It has been a great month; the majority of matters I worked on were all new to me, so I had lots of learning opportunities, and I am also becoming more confident with things which are familiar to me.

I was involved in a share sale from the start of the transaction. This is an ongoing matter, and we are acting for the sellers of a company. The majority of the drafting is done by the buyer’s solicitors, therefore much of my work involved reviewing their drafts and amending them to make them more favourable from our clients’ point of view. I was also tasked with drafting the disclosure letter. The purpose of this letter is to disclose any relevant matters against the warranties which are contained in the Share Purchase Agreement. Prior to drafting, I attended a disclosure meeting with the clients, in which we ran through all of the warranties contained in the Share Purchase Agreement. This is an essential part of a transaction. These warranties act as promises from the seller to the buyer as to the state of the business. If any of these promises subsequently turn out to be untrue, the buyer may pursue a breach of warranty claim. This is a relatively straight forward share sale so it is the ideal transaction for me to see how the process works from the beginning, without it being complicated by additional factors. We are nearly at the end of this, so I look forward to seeing how everything comes together.

I also assisted in the completion of a share sale. Again, we acted for this sellers. This was a large transaction and was relatively complex with there being a number of parties involved. Although I was not involved from the beginning so was unable to assist with the drafting, it was interesting to see how everything came together at the end. I also attended the completion call held after the transaction had concluded, and it was great to see everyone pleased with the outcome of the transaction, and thanking each other for their work.

Throughout the month I also assisted in the drafting of a number of corporate ancillary documents, some of which are becoming more familiar to me. I drafted a number of board minutes and resolutions required to effect a range of different decisions.

I have also done a number of research tasks, the majority of which have been employment-based.

Overall it has been a great month; I have been kept busy and am constantly learning new things.

I look forward to seeing what May brings.

March 2021: March marks the first month of my second seat in the Company Commercial Department. The month has flown by! It feels great to be back working in the Department, and my colleagues have been very supportive in getting me up to speed with everything.

It has been a very busy month and I have been involved in a wide range of matters. I drafted a number of corporate documents facilitating a group reorganisation. These documents included board minutes, written resolutions and agreements, amongst others. This was a share for share exchange, something quite complex which I have not worked on before, so it was great to be involved in something new.

Here at Rollits we also offer company secretarial services, and this is something I have been heavily involved in over the past few weeks. This has given me the opportunity to have more client contact, as well as facilitate changes within a company, including the change of directors and people of significant control.

I also attended the monthly board meeting of one of our clients and produced the minutes and action log for their approval.

In terms of employment work I have assisted on a number of research tasks.

Overall it has been a great first month and I am learning lots of new skills. I look forward to seeing what next month brings.

February 2021 - February marks my final month in the Private Capital Department. It’s hard to believe how quickly the last six months have passed. Despite predominantly working from home, I have had a varied workload whilst in the Department and I have had the opportunity to develop many skills, particularly drafting, which I know will benefit me greatly going forward.

Throughout February I continued to assist on the drafting of several wills. I found this extremely useful because every will is unique to the needs of the client, and this month I had the opportunity to be involved in some complex wills which dealt with a number of different assets, such as company shares. I also worked on a number of Lasting Powers of Attorney, from completing the necessary documentation to registering them with the Office of the Public Guardian. In addition to the preparation side of things, I also drafted a number of letters to clients explaining their wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney, an exercise I find extremely useful because in order to clearly explain something to the client, I need to have a thorough understanding myself.

I also assisted in updating some estate accounts. When dealing with the administration of an estate, it is important up-to-date accounts are maintained which detail the income and expenditure of the estate prior to being distributed to the beneficiaries.

I also attended a client meeting via Zoom. This was relating to the administration of an estate. I found it very beneficial to sit in on this meeting because it was a relatively large estate, therefore there were many issues to be dealt with, including a Legacy Trust Fund, a non-UK Grant of Probate, the transfer and sale of shares and lifetime planning.

I also assisted in researching and writing an article for the Rollits website; this related to a very interesting case which came up as a result of COVID-19. This month I also completed my Business and Financial Skills module as part of my Practical Skills Course, which all trainees must complete during their training contract.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Private Capital Department; I have worked with some great people and have developed many skills which I am confident will benefit me in the future. I am very grateful for the support I have received over the past six months and would like to say a big thank you to those who have helped me during my time in the team.

I am now looking forward to re-joining the Company Commercial Department for my final ‘seat’ before qualifying.

January 2021 - January has flown by here in Private Capital. I have had a varied workload and have enjoyed gaining new skills and experience as my responsibility has increased.

My work this month has predominantly been drafting. I had the opportunity to draft another will. This client had an existing will, however due to a change in personal circumstances, it was necessary for them to have a new one drafted. We always advise clients to review their wills and any related codicils regularly. If circumstances change i.e. in light of marriage, divorce, dissolution of a civil partnership etc. their will may not be valid so it can be necessary to have a new one drawn up. This will in particular also gave me the chance to draft clauses I hadn’t previously dealt with, so this involved a bit of research and looking at previous wills of a similar nature. In addition to drafting wills, I drafted codicils, which are appended to wills.

I have also been working with Lasting Powers of Attorney (“LPA”), both for financial decisions and health and welfare decisions. I drafted a Deed of Revocation to revoke an existing LPA, and also drafted a new one. I also assisted in the registration process, which is done via the Office of the Public Guardian.

I drafted a Deed of Retirement and Appointment of Trustees. This is where one trustee is stepping down from their role, and another is being appointed. This has to be inline with the existing Trust Deed, and generally includes an indemnity to protect the exiting trustee from any future claims against the trust.

I also drafted two Declarations of Trust; one for a property and one for a bank account. This stated that although these were in the name of one person, they were being held for the benefit of another absolutely.

I also developed my knowledge of Inheritance Tax and completing the relevant applications when dealing with the administration of an estate.

It has been another great month here in the department, I am grateful to my supervisor for the increase in responsibility and I’m looking forward to seeing what February brings.

December 2020 - December has flown by and this marks the half-way point of my time in the Private Capital Department, as well as the end of 2020; a year which for many, did not turn out as planned.

I have enjoyed the varied work which I have been assisting on over the past few weeks. This has involved more valuable drafting experience, including wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney, as well as interacting with clients. For example, I have drafted a number of cover letters to clients explaining the terms of their will or Lasting Powers of Attorney, something which I found this extremely useful because in order to effectively explain something to a client, I also have to have a detailed understanding of what it is they have asked us to do for them. I also assisted in a number of research tasks, one of which was whether certain gifts can be made under Lasting Powers of Attorney.

It has also been a month of festivities in the approach to Christmas and New Year. Usually there would be department Christmas meals and an end of year conference in which we would all get together to celebrate another year here at Rollits. However, things were a little different this year and our conference was held remotely, but it was still great to celebrate our successes over 2020, and to look ahead to what we hope is a positive 2021, and of course, a quiz! This year has highlighted the strength of the Firm in the face of adversity and I am looking forward to 2021 here at Rollits.

November 2020 - November has flown by and it has been another great month in Private Capital.

Last month we were extremely busy drafting new wills, and this has continued throughout November. This has been a great opportunity to further develop my drafting skills. Each will is different in some way and unique to the client which means I am constantly learning. In addition to drafting wills I also produced a number of deeds of authority which were used to give permission for documents to be released to Rollits.

We have also been dealing with a number of estates which means I have had quite a bit of client contact this month, an aspect of the role I really enjoy.

This month we also had a GDPR briefing delivered via Zoom by one of our partners, James Peel. This was a very useful update of the data protection regulations along with real life examples of dealing with personal data.

I have enjoyed another month in Private Capital and I look forward to seeing what December will bring.

October 2020 - After a period of working from home it has been great re-joining my colleagues in the office. We have had a busy few weeks in Private Capital and I have had the opportunity to be involved in a wide range of tasks.

This month Rollits has taken part in the Dove House Make a Will Fortnight; this is a fantastic scheme which involves organisations across Hull and East Yorkshire waiving their usual fees for drafting wills in return for a discretionary donation to Dove House Hospice. As anticipated, this has been extremely popular and as a result I have had a lot of experience drafting, something which I really enjoy and am keen to improve. I found it useful to first refresh my memory and understand the basic structure of a will. The wills I have drafted varied depending on the circumstances of the client. For example, some clients require relatively straight forward wills i.e. no specific gifts to be dealt with, nothing to be appended to the will i.e. a letter of wishes, and with the residue being left to one beneficiary, such as a spouse. On the other hand, some wills are more complex, with specific gifts, several clauses dealing with different assets and matters, and the residue being left to a number of beneficiaries, and in some instances held on trust.

I have also assisted in dealing with the administration of a number of estates. This has involved corresponding with third parties as well as considering the estate accounts. I found it useful seeing how this process works and look forward to being further involved in this in coming months.

In addition, I applied for copies of wills and grants of probate and submitted an application to register a lasting power of attorney.

It has been a great second month in Private Capital; I am enjoying the work and am expanding my knowledge daily; I look forward to seeing what November brings.

April 2020 - After what has been a strange and unforeseen few months for everyone, it was great to return to work at the start of September. I am now in the Private Capital department. Although the department is predominantly based in our York office, I have been working from home; despite this, everyone has been extremely welcoming and supportive.

So far I have had the opportunity to practice my drafting skills. This included drafting a will, in addition to an accompanying cover letter which explained the main terms of the will to the client. I found this a very useful task from which I received helpful feedback, so I look forward to doing this again in the future and further improving my skills. In addition to drafting a new will, I drafted some amendments to existing wills. I also drafted a Deed of Retirement and Appointment, a Deed of Advancement and Indemnity, a Deed of Revocation in order to end a Lasting Power of Attorney, as well as a Notice of Revocation to be sent to the existing Attorneys.

In addition to drafting, I reviewed some estate accounts. I also did some research on different types of trusts. In this particular case, a Bare Trust was not appropriate, so it was a case of finding out what  other types of trust could offer the Trustees flexibility over the fund, without incurring unnecessary administration and expense. I enjoyed this task because it put theory into practice; rather than taking all of the trusts at face value, I had to be pragmatic and consider which type of trust would best suit the client’s circumstances.

So far I am enjoying my time in this department and I look forward to seeing what October has to offer.

March 2020 - March marks my first month in the Property Department. Everyone has been extremely welcoming and I have felt supported whilst settling in to my second seat.

In terms of work, it is a busy department and I was immediately given a variety tasks to be getting on with. There is also a lot of client contact and liaising with other solicitors, which is something that I have enjoyed.

I assisted in the voluntary first registration of plots of land. This involved going through boxes of deeds relating to the land, in order to establish the root of title. When applying to register land at the Land Registry, we have to be able to demonstrate ownership dating back to 1925. This was a time-consuming task, particularly since this was my first time looking at deeds, some of which dated back to the 19th century, but this was a great learning exercise to familiarise myself with these sorts of documents. Also, being involved in the registration process from the outset also helped me to understand how and why land is registered. The applications have now been sent off, so it will be interesting to see the response from the Land Registry.

I also reviewed a lease in light of its termination provisions. Many commercial leases contain a break clause, which is the ability to terminate the lease at an early stage. This usually involves serving a break notice at a specified date. Everything must be done correctly and in accordance with the lease, or else the tenant will not be able to terminate. My task was to review the break clause and see what our client, the tenant, had to do in order to terminate the lease. I drafted a break notice, and also liaised with our Dispute Resolution Department to ensure compliance with the break provision.

The review of the break notice also came in useful when I was tasked with drafting a break provision for a different lease. It was interesting to consider the same provision, but from the landlord’s perspective.

I was also tasked with reviewing a reversion plan in light of the powers of sale. A reversion plan is an equity release scheme, and these are not commonly used. My job was to consider the company’s ability to sell the property after the death of the inhabitant.

I also conducted a review of a call option agreement. These are commonly used where developers of land want the option to purchase additional land at a later date. This offers flexibility and generally allows developers time to gain planning permission prior to purchasing land. The purpose of my review was to see if this was fair from the landowner’s perspective and whether there were any provisions which ought to be included, or removed.

I also considered research on stamp duty land tax and drafted a letter to HMRC applying for multiple dwelling relief.

At the start of March I also attended the Hull Collegiate Careers Fair. This event was organised for students looking to choose their GCSEs and A-Levels. It was a successful event and we spoke to many students and parents and answered their questions about a career in law.

I have enjoyed my first month in the Property Department and am grateful to my colleagues for making me feel so welcome and for taking the time to assist me when learning new things. Clearly with the Covid-19 pandemic, it has also been an unusual month. We are now all working from home. However, I think that this has highlighted our ability as a firm to adapt and to continue to provide an excellent service to ouor clients. Despite not being in the office with my colleagues, there is still a strong feeling of team-spirit and I am looking forward to learning more in April.

February 2020 - It is hard to believe that the first seat of my period of recognised training has come to an end. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here in the Company Commercial Department; my workload and responsibility has increased overtime, but I have felt supported and encouraged by my colleagues throughout the last six months, for which I am grateful.

In terms of charities work, I assisted in drafting an application for a Community Amateur Sports Club converting to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (“CIO). I also drafted some minutes dealing with an asset transfer from an unincorporated charity to a CIO and a limited company. I also did some research on whether the erection of a statue can be classed as a charitable purpose.

In terms of corporate work, I researched whether a private company limited by guarantee could convert to a private company limited by shares, the answer to this was no, a new company would have to be set up, and then there would need to be an asset transfer from the old company. A couple of tasks involved me investigating the group structure of a couple of companies. This involved looking through the filing history on Companies House in order to establish shareholders. Over the past couple of months I worked on a loan agreement and this month the deal completed. The broker letter required by the banks was made a condition subsequent, and I was tasked with comparing the draft received from the banks, with that received from the broker. I did a further research task in which I considered whether the terms of a share purchase agreement could be renegotiated after the deal has concluded. Specifically, I considered how any renegotiation would be dealt with i.e. whether this would be an amendment to the original agreement or whether there would need to be a new agreement. I also considered this in relation to stamp duty. I was also able to draft a number of documents to effect a share reorganisation; these were a shareholders’ written resolution, board minutes and new Articles of Association.

For the employment team I calculated statutory redundancy for a number of employees. I also analysed a consultancy agreement, as well as investigating the group structure of a company in relation to a potential claim for unfair dismissal.

In terms of commercial work, I was able to assist in drafting a couple of EU trade mark specifications for a brand looking to expand their protection in other countries. I conducted several research tasks in relation to data protection; I considered the subject access request exemptions in response to a number of client queries. I also attended an initial meeting which related to the drafting of a service agreement.

I am now looking forward to joining the Property Department for my second seat.

January 2020 - As usual this month has passed so quickly in the Company Commercial Department, and after all of the festivities it has been good to get back into a normal routine.

Throughout January I worked on a variety of corporate tasks, including drafting a loan agreement. This agreement was originally drafted by the other side, but needing amending. This was a great learning exercise because I was able to adapt some precedent clauses, as well as having a go at drafting parts myself. I have also assisted in finalising a loan agreement; this involved establishing which condition precedents had been satisfied and which were still outstanding. I was also involved in a couple of due diligence tasks. I considered the responses to a due diligence questionnaire and highlighted any that I deemed insufficient, or which had not been answered. I was also asked to draft a letter to confirm a share sale.

In terms of employment work I researched the redundancy process in relation to offering a ‘suitable alternative role’ and produced a memo summarising my findings.

This month has also offered a lot of commercial work. At the start of January I attended a client meeting which involved extending the scope of the service that the client is currently providing; this involved altering the existing service agreement to reflect this. Also, due to the nature of the service, this also involved considering whether authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority was required. I conducted several research tasks including the winding up procedure of a further education statutory corporation, the purpose and effect of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012, and GDPR-related research. A piece of work I found particularly interesting was on partnership law in relation to a commercial agency agreement. This involved considering whether a retired partner would be entitled to an indemnity payment upon termination of an agency agreement to which he was party when it was formed.

I was also involved in considering the assignment of US patents to a UK company. During my time in the Commercial Department I have enjoyed the intellectual property work so it was interesting to see how the US system differs to ours.

We also had our Rollits 2020 vision event at The Deep. This was a great success and an opportunity to meet with clients and remind them of our ethos. I also attended the Beverley High School careers fair, it was great to return to my secondary school and speak with students about pursuing a career in law.

It has been another great month and I am excited to see what my final month in the Company Commercial Department will bring.

December 2019 - December has been a busy and exciting month here at Rollits, both from a work perspective and with all of the festive events in the run up to Christmas and New Year.

In terms of work for the Corporate Team, I have continued to conduct searches, predominantly company searches. I have found that as my experience has developed, I can locate the relevant information quicker. I also reviewed the responses to a due diligence questionnaire which was sent to the other side. The purpose of this task was to identify any responses which I thought were unclear or insufficient. I also produced several documents to be sent to clients, such as a summary of the share transfer procedure under the relevant articles of association, in addition to a table summarising the restrictive covenants under a share purchase agreement. I found these tasks very beneficial because in order to explain the process without overcomplicating it, I had to have a good understanding myself.

For the Charities Team I have sourced reports in preparation for grants being awarded. I have also conducted several research tasks, one of which was whether a charity was under an obligation to register a deed of novation at Companies House.

In terms of commercial work I have researched the process of applying for an international trade mark. I then drafted a helpful guide which is to be sent to clients. I found this task very useful because not only did I develop my understanding of the international trade mark process, I also had the opportunity to develop my skills of producing a document to be accessible by clients. I also assisted in producing a due diligence report. This involved reviewing contracts for the key information, such as the value, duration and key provisions.

For the Employment Team I conducted some research on maternity leave and then produced a note detailing what I had found.

There has also been a lot of excitement in the office in the run up to Christmas. At the start of the month I attended the Humber Business Week Christmas event at the Hilton in Hull. This was a great opportunity to network with local professionals. We also had the Rollits Christmas conference at The Deep in Hull. This was a fantastic event in which we celebrated the success of the year and also found out about exciting things to come in 2020. I also attended the Company Commercial Department Christmas meal in Beverley; it was great to socialise with colleagues outside of work. I also had the opportunity to watch a motivational speaker at Beverley High School which I found very interesting.

It has been another great month and I am excited to see what 2020 holds.

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!

Want to apply?

If you would like to apply to be a trainee at Rollits, please visit our Training Contracts page.

Choose another blog

Sign up to email news

Sign up to receive email updates and regular legal news from Rollits LLP.

Sign up