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Lucy Stephenson

Lucy is a second year trainee at Rollits in Hull. Her current seat is in the Company and Commercial department.

April 2020 - April has been an extremely busy month working from home, but also very exciting! I have mainly been involved in employment matters over the past few weeks and this has predominantly been research tasks, many of which relate in some way to the employment implications of the coronavirus pandemic and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Research tasks have included looking into how the collective consultation obligations under Section 188 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 apply to separate legal entities that operate from the same site, within the same company group. I have also been asked to consider Section 145A of the Act which concerns inducements relating to collective bargaining. I was also asked to find any case law that specifically considers that section. Other tasks have been to look into an employees protection under health and safety employment law and how this relates to the situation where an employee refuses to return to work e.g. from furlough leave, due to concerns about their health and the possibility of contracting coronavirus at work (e.g. automatic unfair dismissal and the right not to be subjected to a detriment).

I have also undertaken work on ongoing matters that began prior to the announcement of “lockdown” and the CJRS. This has included researching whether the costs attributable to preparing for and attending a costs hearing are recoverable in an Employment Tribunal claim, looking into the signature requirements for a Settlement Agreement (and specifically, the witnessing requirements) and assisting with preparing a bundle for an upcoming hearing.

The corporate team have also involved me in a number of matters which has included research into the claims that a shareholder may have against a company where the shareholder has notified the company of a change in bank account details for the payment of dividends, which has been ignored by the company. This has involved looking into the implications where a company breaches its Articles of Association. I have also been asked to look into how a charge on a property which relates to a personal guarantee can be removed without the consent of the individual in who’s favour the charge is. Other work has involved looking at a company’s charges on Companies House for any negative pledges and carrying out various company searches of which I am now much more familiar with and much quicker at!

March 2020 - This month has been very usual (since we have all had to be set up to work remotely from home as a result of COVID-19) but very busy and interesting! I think I am lucky to be in the employment team at a time when various unprecedented measures are being brought in by government to help protect workers and the self-employed. This past couple of weeks have involved keeping up to date on the various guidance announced in relation to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and how employers can place employees on “furlough leave”.

Earlier this month, before the country was placed in “lockdown”, I was able to attend a preliminary hearing with one of the partners in the department which was an invaluable experience. Since the hearing I have continued to be involved in the matter and this week I have contacted various chambers to obtain quotes for various barristers to attend the second preliminary hearing which will be in June. In light of the coronavirus and an announcement from the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals that all “in person” hearings due to take place before 29 June will be postponed or adjourned, I was able to update the client as to how this will impact upon their matter.

I have also been tasked with various employment research which has included how TUPE applies to charities, and I have also drafted various documents including dismissal letters and an application to the Employment Tribunal for a costs order.

I have also undertaken various work for the corporate team. This has included research into whether a capital account in a partnership can be classified as a “chose in action”. I hadn’t had to consider choses in action since the Graduate Diploma in Law and so it was good to remind myself what they were! Other tasks have included looking into Family Investment Companies and how their Articles of Association differ from other companies. In response to the increase in remote working as a result of the social-distancing requirements announced by government, I was also asked to consider the legality of electronic signatures. Other corporate tasks have included arranging for the notarisation of a certificate of good standing and undertaking various company searches.

February 2020 - This month I have enjoyed two weeks of annual leave for a holiday in South Africa with my family. The first week of February, running up to the holiday, was very busy and I was again involved in lots of different matters.

I was given a number of research tasks, one of which included looking into whether it is possible to obtain an injunction against a minor under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Other research has included looking on the Planning Portal to obtain an outline planning permission for a particular property and updating a client as to how this permission may impact his property. I really enjoy how diverse the matters in this department are.

Other work has included drafting various “without prejudice” offers and forms including a Claim Form, Acknowledgement of Service and Form EX 107 to obtain a transcript of a court judgement.

Upon returning from my holiday, I learned that a matter I have worked on since joining the department had settled. It was interesting reading the Settlement Agreement that had been agreed between the parties.

My time in the Dispute Resolution department has gone by very quickly and next week I move to the Company Commercial department for the final seat of my training!

January 2020 - It has been another busy and exciting month in the Dispute Resolution department.

Last week I was able to attend a hearing at Hull County Court with a colleague in order to obtain a Bankruptcy Order. Next week I will independently be undertaking a hearing relating to a Third Party Debt Order. It will be a great opportunity to have a go at some advocacy again. I have found that I enjoy advocacy much more now, in real life situations, than I did on the LPC in a classroom!

This month I have been asked to undertake numerous research tasks which has included looking at the effects of a Company Voluntary Arrangement, particularly in relation to existing contractual terms. I have also looked at contract terms and conditions and considered the reasonability of contractual exclusion clauses. Other research has involved looking into the Hague Convention and making an application for a Child Arrangement Order out of jurisdiction. On this same matter, I was able to sit in on a conference call with counsel to discuss options for the client, and it was really interesting to see the international aspects of family law. Following the call I was tasked with writing up a comprehensive file note.

I have also drafted Instructions to Counsel, and also had the opportunity to draft without prejudice correspondence and offers to the solicitors acting for the party on the other side on various matters. I have also ordered a transcript of a previous judgement using Form EX107. 

This week a Rollits “2020 Vision” client event was held in both Hull and York. It is always nice to attend these events to socialise with both colleagues, and clients. I can’t believe that I only have one month left in the department before I move to corporate and commercial for my final seat. I hope to make the most of the last four weeks in the department!

December 2019 - December has been a busy month as I have continued to work on new matters whilst also working to progress existing matters. There have also been various festivities at the office which has been great to get involved in. This has included a Christmas Jumper Day for Dove House Hospice, Christmas elevenses and a Christmas lunch and quiz at our annual Conference. This year the conference took place at The Deep and similar to last year, our managing partner gave a round up of the year and things to look forward to in 2020.

Alongside the festivities I have been tasked with locating an appropriate expert witness to deal with a dispute concerning a particular piece of faulty machinery. I have also drafted a Witness Statement for both a Claimant, and a Claimant’s surveyor for a dilapidations claim. It was good to be given the opportunity to draft the documents and collate the necessary exhibits and hopefully the next time I draft statements there are less amendments to make. Once the witness statements had been checked and amended, I then met with both witnesses to get the documents signed.

This month I also attended an all day mediation at our offices, which again related to a dilapidations claim. Throughout the meeting I was tasked with drafting detailed file notes.  I enjoyed meeting the mediator and seeing how the process works. Luckily the matter settled and so I also had the opportunity to look at the information that a Settlement Agreement must include.

I have also undertaken a number of research tasks, one of which was to look into circumstances when an expert determination in respect of the valuation of a shareholding in a private limited company, can be overturned. I enjoy being asked to look into areas of law I haven’t considered before!

I look forward to seeing what the New Year will bring!

November 2019 - I have had a good month in the Dispute Resolution department, and once again, it has flown by!

This month I have been involved with more family matters. One of my tasks was to prepare a Form E for our client. A Form E is the document which divorcing couples must complete if they apply to the court in relation to financial matters. The form sets out each individuals financial position. It took a while to collate all the necessary information in relation to both income and capital.

I have also continued to be involved with various property dispute matters. This morning I attended court with one of my colleagues to take notes of a hearing. The hearing was in relation to a possession order for a residential property and we were successful in getting the order granted. It was interesting to see the process of when a witness is called by a judge to swear the oath which I hadn’t seen before! I also attended a meeting with a client on a dilapidations matter I am working on. The meeting was to discuss the next stage in proceedings now that a date for the hearing has been listed. It is great to work on matters from start to finish and gain understanding as to how the Civil Procedure Rules work in practice. Following the meeting I typed up a comprehensive file note and next week I will commence drafting the necessary witness statements.

Last night I attended our annual Rollits quiz. It was nice to socialise with colleagues and the night also featured a delicious pie and mulled wine! I am looking forward to the festivities of next month…

October 2019 - It has been an interesting month in the Dispute Resolution department. Over the past few weeks I have been involved with various new matters, whilst continuing to work on those matters I had started to look at in September.

At the start of the month I attended a hearing at York County Court. I was successful in obtaining a final third party debt order for our client, and it was a great opportunity to do some advocacy. 

Last week I attended a client meeting with one of the partners in the department. The meeting concerned a contentious probate matter relating to an Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 claim in addition to a challenge being made to the validity of a Will. Following the meeting I was asked to draft a thorough file note of the meeting, draft a letter to the client documenting what had been discussed during the meeting and the steps going forward, and draft a letter to the solicitors acting on the other side of the matter. I look forward to seeing how this matter progresses.

Another exciting task I have been involved in was to sit in on a conference call with a client relating to a disputed debt. The purpose of the call was to discuss the history of the ongoing dispute with a member of head office, and discuss the options going forward. Our client decided that they wished to obtain counsels opinion on the dispute and accordingly I was then tasked with drafting the instructions. In order to do this, I undertook a thorough review of the matter and documented the happenings of the dispute and our client’s position in a logical manner. I also collated the relevant documents to send to counsel with the instructions. 

I was also able to sit in on another conference call which thereafter involved drafted Particulars of Claim. It was good to then go through my draft with a partner to determine where I can improve me drafting skills. I look forward to another month in the department!

September 2019 - I have thoroughly enjoyed my first month in the Dispute Resolution department.

At the moment I am sat with colleagues in the family team, which has meant I have been able to get involved in some interesting discussions! I have been involved in numerous family matters which has included submitting an application to the Land Registry to register a matrimonial home rights notice against the title to the matrimonial home, and also preparing instructions to counsel. This afternoon I will be attending my first client meeting with a colleague in the department to provide the client initial advice in relation to a divorce. I look forward to being involved with the matter from the start.

I have also been involved in other matters within the department which has included obtaining case law in relation to section 216 Insolvency Act 1986 to assist with the preparation for a hearing requesting permission under the Act to reuse a prohibited name. I was also able to attend the hearing and it was good to get familiar with hearings in judges chambers in advance of a hearing I have been asked to do in relation to a third party debt order next month.  Other work has included considering a letter before action and drafting a response to the solicitors for the claimant, drafting a directions questionnaire and undertaking numerous research tasks. The latter has included research in relation to section 27 Trustee Act 1925 advertisements in relation to a debt claim by our client.

I am looking forward to attending the annual Hull Law Society Law Ball at the Hilton with colleagues tonight.

August 2019 - Today is my last day in the property department and on Monday I move to Dispute Resolution for my third seat. I look forward to getting familiar with a new area of law and to get to know better my colleagues in the department.

This month I have continued to draft various documents and more Land Registry applications. Throughout my seat I have become increasingly familiar with a number of application forms and so I am now able to work more independently on these. I have also been involved with various agricultural matters which has introduced me to the Basic Payment Scheme entitlements and how these are dealt with on the sale/purchase of farming land.

I have also been tasked with various research tasks again this month. This has included research into the SDLT liability when a partnership transfers a property out of the partnership to one of the partners. SDLT liability for partnerships is a notoriously complex area of law and it takes a while to get to grips with the principles!

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the property department and will miss my colleagues in the department. It is hard to believe that I am already half way through my training contract!

July 2019 - It’s my second to last month in the Property department and I can’t believe where the time has gone!

This month I have had the opportunity to draft some documents I have not looked at before. This has included a rent deposit deed, a transfer of part containing provisions in relation to a planning permission and a statutory declaration to support an application for adverse possession.

I have also completed on a number of matters including lease extensions, a Deferred Fees Agreement and the transfer of a property between a company and its wholly owned subsidiary. In addition to this I have undertaken research in relation to rentcharges, old rates of SDLT and a ‘Tithe Redemption Annuity’ which was contained in an old conveyance. I look forward to undertaking more research in my last month with the department.

It has also been a sociable month, with the annual Rollits Charity Golf Day in the first week of July, and Driffield Show later in the month. I also attended a Hull Young Professional summer bbq at the end of the month.

June 2019 - This month started with two weeks annual leave where I travelled around France and Italy. It was a nice way to start the month and was a great break from work! When I returned I started my three months in the Planning and Development department, whilst also finishing off matters that I was involved with in the commercial property department.

This month I have been asked to research numerous topics including the SDLT consequences of transferring a property out of a partnership, and the statutory time periods imposed on landlords and tenants under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987. I have also looked into the succession rights for an Assured Tenancy.

Once again this month has also involved drafting Land Registry applications, I am now much more familiar with the array of different application forms! I have also drafted various SDLT returns upon the completion of a number of matters, and assisted with a number of lease extension matters.

The work experience students joined us for the last two weeks of this month.  I have enjoyed talking to them about a training contract at Rollits and watching their presentations at the end of their two weeks vacation scheme. I look forward to meeting the second cohort of trainees starting next month!

May 2019 - This month has once again been very busy in the commercial property department. I have been involved in a couple of matters this month involving the purchase of properties which I have been able to assist with from start to completion. This has meant that I have had the opportunity to draft Reports on Title which involves collating information about a property, and reporting any issues with the property the client is proposing to purchase, to the client. This is with the aim to confirm to a client that they are purchasing good and marketable title. The information is obtained by looking through the title to the property, answers to pre-contract enquiries and search results including the local authority, environmental and chancel searches. It has been great to see these matters through to completion. I was also able to meet with a client and talk him through the Report on Title, with the help and supervision of one of the partners in this department which was great experience.

I really feel as though my knowledge of property law has developed significantly this month and I continue to gain confidence when interacting with clients directly. I look forward to developing these skills further next month!

April 2019 - April has been another interesting month with plenty to get involved with.

Again this month I have had the opportunity to simultaneously exchange and complete on a couple of matters I have been working on, one of which was an urgent Deed of Variation to vary an existing legal charge.

I have also been tasked with making various Land Registry applications which has included drafting numerous AP1’s and RX1’s amongst others and drafting Reports on Title.

Once again I have been involved in some residential matters which has including submitting a UN1 and C(iv) Land Charge to the Land Registry to protect a contract between exchange and completion.

This month I was also able to attend the Hull and Humber Top 30 Under 30 event at the KCOM Stadium to support Gareth Orriss,a senior solicitor in the department who was one of the 30 winners!

I am now able to work more independently on matters and am really enjoying the range of work within the department.

March 2019 - My first month in the Property Department in the Hull office has been fast pace and very interesting.

So far I have exchanged contracts and completed on three different matters, something which I remember rehearsing on the LPC with my fellow students! I have also had the opportunity to draft numerous Land Registry applications including an AP1, CN1, DS3 and FR1.

Although the majority of work I have been involved in has been on commercial matters, I have also been involved with drafting an Assured Shorthold Tenancy for our residential team.

Other work I have been involved with has included research into the complex SDLT rules which apply when a property is transferred into a Partnership.

All my colleagues in the property department have been very welcoming and I look forward to what April brings!

February 2019 - Tomorrow will be my last day in the Private Client department. I am excited to move to the Hull Office and join the commercial property team but will miss everyone in York and especially the private client team who have been so helpful and patient with me throughout my first seat!

February has been an interesting month as I continue to drafts Wills, Codicils and Trust documents. This has included a Deed terminating part of a life interest in a Will trust, a document which I hadn’t drafted before. 

I have also been involved in a number of probate matters, arranging standing searches with the Probate Registry and undertaking numerous research tasks. The latter has included researching tax reliefs for Venture Capital Trusts during the administration period (something I had never heard of before) and the rights of trust beneficiaries to trust information. It often seems that the more I learn, the more I realise how much I don’t know!

On Friday I attended the Goole and Howdenshire Business Excellence Awards with my colleague Sue Brad. It was good to meet other professionals and hear about all the upcoming businesses in the local area. I’m looking forward to a young professionals event in York this evening.

January 2019 - Throughout January I have become increasingly involved in a wider range of matters as my responsibility within the department continues to grow.

Once again this month I have drafted Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and various trust documents, including a Deed of Appointment to appoint the assets within an estate to the beneficiaries of a discretionary Will Trust. I have also been involved with numerous probate matters. Following a client meeting last week I have drafted the initial letters to the executors, banks, council and utility and pension providers. On another probate matter I have been involved in the process of realising the assets within the estate, liaising with stockbrokers to sell shares and other investments. In doing so I have gained experience with dealing with intermediaries 

Last week I was able to join Emma Fawke on a home visit to an elderly client where I was a witness to the execution of her Will. We also took instructions for an LPA for health and welfare and property and financial affairs and it was good to experience this side of private client work.

I am looking forward to what my final month in the Private Capital department will bring!

December 2018 - With a festive buzz in the office and having taken some annual leave this month, December has flown by!

Once again I have had a busy month of drafting Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney’s and trust Deeds. Each client and their circumstances is always so different which makes this area of law really interesting. I have also drafted a number of new documents this month which has included a Deed of Revocation to revoke an Enduring Power of Attorney. Moreover I have been heavily involved with a number of probate matters. A particularly interesting estate has been one with numerous investment properties which may end up an insolvent estate as this has meant I have had to liaise with creditors including mortgage lenders on many occasions.

Again I have attended a number of networking events this month which has included the Chamber of Commerce carol service and a York Professionals event named ‘the story of Christmas’ where I learnt how important the Christmas period is for the economy of York. I also attended a number of internal events including the ‘Rollits 2018 Conference’ where our managing partner looked back on the past year of the firm, as well as looking forward to the future. I look forward to what this year brings!

November 2018 - November has been a busy month in the Private Client department.

This month I have been able to further my skills by drafting more Wills, Trust Deeds and Letters of Wishes for both Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney. I have also had the opportunity to undertake a wider range of tasks such as drafting Codicils, an Affidavit of Identity and Letters of Authority. I also completed Stock Transfer Forms to transfer shares from the trustees of a settlement to the entitled beneficiary. Last week I also drafted a Deed of Appointment and Indemnity to appoint trust property to the beneficiaries of a trust, and an accompanying Direction from the beneficiaries to direct the Trustees to sell the property on their behalf.

In early November I also attended Northumbria Careers Fair. It was great to give advice to students about applying for training contracts, and to speak to many who were interested in applying to Rollits. York Business Week also took place this month and I attended a workshop ‘Owning Your Own Career’ which provided insight into how to proactively manage your career development and take control of your career goals.

I’m looking forward to what December brings!

October 2018 - I have really enjoyed my first couple of months as a trainee at Rollits and don’t know where the time has gone! . The Private Client department has been incredibly welcoming and involved me in their various matters. I have been trusted with a broad range of drafting tasks including the drafting of numerous Wills and an accompanying Letter of Wishes, a Notice of Severance and a Deed of Variation. I have also drafted various probate forms including an IHT 205. In addition I have had the opportunity to get involved in the administration of trusts and have drafted a Deed of Revocation relating to a life interest in respect of Trust land. It has been great to get to know my colleagues in the York office and the Private Client department particularly have been great at giving me feedback on all my work, enabling me to advance my understanding and meaning each time I draft a document there are less amendments needed to be made!

Throughout my training contract so far I have also enjoyed attending various client meetings which have discussed creating or amending Wills and the administration of estates. Each meeting is very different and I enjoy writing up the attendance note following the meeting.

I have also had the opportunity to attend a couple of networking events. In September I went to The Business Network event and this month, the Chamber of Commerce Business Lunch. It’s great to get out of the office and meet other professionals from other industries in the area.

I am looking forward to gaining more responsibility as I become more familiar with the work in the department over the next couple of months.


After completing my Geography degree at Newcastle University I moved to the University of Law in Leeds where I studied for both the GDL and LPC with LLM in professional legal practice.

Two weeks into my Training Contract everyone at Rollits is as welcoming as I’d remembered from my interview two years ago with lots of talk of upcoming Christmas parties!

My first week was in the Hull office and was filled with training inductions, events including the Heritage Open Day and welcome meetings, all of which provided the opportunity to settle into the Rollits team.

I moved to the York office in my second week for my first seat in the Private Capital department. The department has involved me in their work and this week has involved drafting Wills, a Deed of Appointment of a trustee and numerous letters and emails to clients. I have also been given various research tasks and attended three client meetings. I’m looking forward to developing my skills further in the next six months as I learn how theory is put into practice.

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