Lucy is a second year trainee at Rollits in Hull. Her current seat is in the Dispute Resolution department.
June 2020 - June has been an incredibly busy month as the country slowly starts to reopen and businesses look for guidance in relation to issues that have arisen during the pandemic.
I have continued to undertake work for each department of the firm and this has meant my time utilisation has been a lot higher than in recent months. This increase is also perhaps in part due to less distractions whilst homeworking and staying logged on until later in the evenings to ensure all work is completed.
I have carried out a lot of legal research on varying topics including Business Tenancies under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, GDPR exemptions and TUPE transfers. I have also drafted a number of documents, including Deeds of Variation for the property department and Settlement Agreements for the Employment Department.
I have really enjoyed the challenge of working across the many different areas of law and adapting to the differing needs of each department. I might even miss the variety when I return to a single department!
April 2020 - I am continuing to work from home and although it was hard to adjust at first, it is beginning to feel like the new normal.
I have now issued the claim in the matter that I mentioned in my March blog, which I am running under a partner’s supervision. Ordinarily we would issue a claim at the Court using a hard copy claim form, however due to the current pandemic I issued the claim online. It was useful to gain experience of this method of issue so that I am prepared should I ever have to use it again in the future. Following issuing the claim, I received the Claim Form and was able to serve the Particulars of Claim once the Court served the Claim Form on the Defendant. I have ensured to diarise important deadlines for the Claim so that I am always prepared for the next stage.
In addition to my Dispute Resolution work, it has also been necessary for me to assist other departments due to the current atypical working set up. Therefore, I have assisted the Property Department by drafting Deeds of Variation and undertaking research in relation to recently implemented Energy Performance Regulations. I have enjoyed revisiting areas of law which I haven’t experienced since my first seat of my training contract.
March 2020 - This has been my first month in the Dispute Resolution department, however with the current Covid-19 pandemic it has been an unusual start to my seat.
I have spent the past week working from home which has been an adjustment but has been made so much easier by the hard work and assistance of the Rollits IT team. I have had contact with my colleagues in the department every day and have still been receiving a lot of work to get stuck into. Everyone is very responsive via email to any questions I have.
At the beginning of the month, whilst still in the office, I conducted a number of interesting pieces of research including in relation to limitation periods, breach of contract, online defamation and misrepresentation.
I have also been given a matter to run myself under a partner’s supervision. So far, It has involved researching the grounds under which to bring the claim, drafting a chronology of events and drafting the particulars of claim and a witness statement. I have had to liaise directly with the client to take instructions and it has been incredibly useful in allowing me to gain experience in the Dispute Resolution department.
I am looking forward to returning to the office when this uncertain time is finally over!
February 2020 - I can’t believe my 6 months in the Corporate Commercial Department have passed so quickly and that I am about to go into my final seat of my training contract. Everyone in this department has made me feel so welcome and my legal skills have definitely improved due to all of the help and guidance they have provided.
I have compiled a number of employment tribunal bundles this month. This involves assessing the documents provided by the client, deciding which are relevant to their case and summarising each document by means of a clear and concise description in a document index list.
I have also undertaken a number of detailed research tasks including what reasonable adjustments will be reasonable and appropriate for a specific disability and whether certain employee grievances would be deemed an assertion of a statutory right. Following one research task I drafted submissions to present to the Employment Tribunal at a preliminary hearing where specific issues in the case were to be determined.
I will miss working with the Corporate, Commercial and Employment teams but I am looking forward to experiencing a new area of law in the Dispute Resolution department.
January 2020 - It has been a busy start to 2020 and this has meant that there have been plenty of matters to get involved with alongside each team in the Corporate and Commercial department.
I was tasked with drafting the necessary documentation for a share acquisition, including board minutes, stock transfer forms, director resignation notices and new share certificates. I also had to carry out numerous company searches for the Corporate Team in conjunction with this work.
Alongside this, I undertook a number of detailed research tasks for the Employment Team, one of which involved ascertaining the level of compensation which was likely to be awarded for certain claims and then comparing these figures to the claimant’s schedule of loss to assess whether the amount claimed was a realistic sum.
In addition to this, I also assisted in drafting an Agreement for the Supply of Services with the Commercial Team. This was a useful task as I was able to go through my work with a partner which helped me to learn how I could develop my drafting skills in the future.
I intend to make the most of my final month in the department before I move to my final seat of my training contract!
December 2019 - This month has been incredibly busy, with a number of festive events taking place including department meals, a whole firm Christmas meal at the Deep, an employment team lunch, secret santa and even a festive sing off accompanying the Christmas Elevenses. I was also able to make use of the “Birthday Day off” for the first time since the introduction of the scheme last year!
Alongside the fun, I have also been busy with a lot of legal work. I drafted a number of lengthy advice notes to clients, including a note on the Agency Worker Regulations and the right to receive equal remuneration. Preparing these advice notes allowed me to understand a number of employment principles in greater depth and gain a greater understanding of employment law in general.
I have also undertaken more commercial work this month and one of these matters involved liaising with my colleagues in the property department. This was interesting as it demonstrated how one area of law links and crosses over with another.
After a much needed break over Christmas, I am excited to get back to work to make the most of my last two months in the Corporate and Commercial department.
November 2019 - This month I assisted the Charities Team in drafting an application to incorporate a charity as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. This allowed me to see the contrast between this process and the process of incorporating a regular company.
I have also been able to sit in on a number of Settlement Agreement meetings with clients. It has been useful to see how these meetings are conducted as employment lawyers have to give this advice on a regular basis. It is also interesting to see how different each meeting can be, depending on whether the employee is happy with what is being offered or whether they want to negotiate.
I recently joined the board of the Hull Young Professionals, which Rollits sponsors, and this month I had my first meeting. I am excited to get involved with the organisation and I am looking forward to their upcoming events.
Rollits held their annual quiz at the end of this month which featured a delicious Hull pie meal and mulled wine! There are a lot of festive activities planned at Rollits for next month too, including our annual Christmas conference, Secret Santa and department Christmas meals. I am looking forward to these and all of the nice food they will entail…
October 2019 - October has been a busy month in the Corporate Commercial department and there has been plenty to get involved with.
I have drafted a number of different legal documents including contract assignment notices, asset transfer agreements, board minutes and written resolutions. I was also tasked with redacting a number of evidential documents in preparation for an employment tribunal.
I have also been able to get involved with a few new employment matters, one of which involved undertaking in depth research in relation to the Working Time Regulations and required rest breaks.
There have been a number of interesting events which have taken place this month, including a Bondholders’ Young Talent Network Leadership Seminar delivered by Lloyd Atkin at the Rollits Hull office. This was a really worthwhile event and it also provided a good networking opportunity to meet other young professionals in the area.
September 2019 - I am now sitting with the Employment Team in the Corporate and Commercial department. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the York office, it has been nice to return to the Hull office where I began my training contract!
I am thoroughly enjoying all the work I have been undertaking so far. This has included taking instructions from clients in order to respond to allegations made against them, compiling Employment Tribunal document bundles and researching the correct disciplinary procedures that should be followed prior to a dismissal.
Due to the nature of the Corporate and Commercial department, I have also been able to get involved with a variety of matters covering a wide range of legal areas including Charity Law and Company Law. I have enjoyed this diversity of work and I believe it will be helpful in the future when I am deciding which area of Law to qualify into.
There are a number of exciting events coming up next month and I am looking forward to attending the Hull Law Society Annual Ball at the end of this week .
August 2019 - I can’t believe it is the end of my seat in the Private Capital department. Everyone at the York office has been extremely helpful and they have always taken the time to help me with any questions or problems that have arisen.
In my final month I have drafted and submitted an application for a Grant of Probate and I have drafted inheritance tax forms in order to utilise a deceased spouse’s unused nil rate band. Although I had come across this type of transferable inheritance tax allowance previously, I had not completed the relevant form before and so it was interesting to see what information was required by HMRC.
I also drafted a Deed of Appointment of an additional Trustee this month. This involved looking through a variety of old deeds and trust documents and ensuring that the correct formalities were followed in order to effectively appoint a new trustee.
I was able to take a week of annual leave to go on holiday this month. It was nice to escape the rain for a while and come back to work feeling refreshed.
Although I am sad to leave the Private Capital department and everyone at the York office, I am excited to experience new challenges in my next seat in the Corporate and Commercial department.
July 2019 - This month has been extremely busy with lots of events taking place.
Rollits had their annual Charity Golf day at Brough Golf Club where I assisted with collecting scorecards and calculating the final results. I also helped at Driffield show where Rollits had a very busy stand due to their well known and well respected agricultural team.
I attended the Hull Young Professionals annual Summer Barbecue on the rooftop of nearby Essex House in Hull. This fell on the hottest day of the year and it was a great way to meet other young professionals from the local area whilst also enjoying good food and views.
I have also been very busy with some interesting work this month, including winding up and distributing an estate. I was able to see all the small technical steps and checks that have to be undertaken before proper distributions can be made and it was satisfying to see a matter I’d worked on for so long come to a close.
Next month will be my final month in the Private Capital department and I hope to be able to conclude more of the matters I’ve been working on before the next incoming trainee arrives
June 2019 - This month I completed my Finance and Business Skills Professional Skills Course Module which involved three days spent in Leeds, followed up by an exam. This was an intense few days but I am glad to have finally completed my mandatory modules. I aim to complete my three elective modules next year.
I have drafted a large amount of Trust Deeds this month, including Deeds of Appointment and Indemnity and Deeds of Retirement. This repetition has allowed me to feel more confident in this area of law; particularly with the specialist language and format required in these types of documents.
I am now used to the process of drafting and registering Lasting Powers of Attorney, however this month I was able to assist in the process of registering an Enduring Power of Attorney. This was very interesting as these documents were replaced by LPAs in October 2007 and although EPAs made before this date are still valid, many people have replaced them with an updated LPA. This means that dealing with EPAs has become increasingly rare.
I am looking forward to the upcoming summer networking events and hopefully less rain!
May 2019 - I am now halfway through my Private Capital seat and halfway through my time at the York office.
The Firm took part in a “Make a Will week” in support of St Leonard’s Hospice this month, whereby a limited number of appointments were available for clients to make a Will for no fee in return for them making a donation to the Hospice. This meant I had a very busy week of attending client meetings and drafting multiple Wills!
I have also been able to assist in the process of applying for a Deputyship Order which was very interesting and not something I’d ever heard about before. It was useful to see the differences between Deputyship and Lasting Powers of Attorney in practice.
Last week I attended a home visit with my colleague to an elderly client in order to witness a signature on a Codicil. This showed me how much solicitors’ roles can vary in each different department.
I am excited to see what the summer months bring!
April 2019 - This month has been busy with lots of events to attend such as Charity partner meet-ups, a Hull and Humber 30 under 30 dinner and even an Easter Bake Off judged by Great British Bake off winner Nancy Birtwhistle!
I have been involved with more complicated matters in the department this month, such as compiling income analysis schedules for estate tax returns. This was a challenging task but a very satisfying one once completed.
I have also been able to assist in the winding up of Trusts and appointing out assets from under a Trust. This is not something I had come across in much detail at University or on the LPC, so it provided an interesting insight into a new area of law for me.
I hope to gain more knowledge of the Trusts and Private Client terminology in the coming months.
March 2019 - March has been my first month in my second trainee seat in the Private Capital department at the York office.
I am enjoying experiencing a new area of law and I have already been able to assist in some interesting matters!
I have been able to draft Wills for both couples and individuals of varying ages. I have also drafted Lasting Powers of Attorneys and deeds of revocation. It is interesting to see how widely these documents can vary depending on the wishes of the individual.
There is much more client contact in this department as face to face meetings are necessary to take instructions for Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney and to ensure that the makers of these documents have the required capacity. I have enjoyed getting the chance to speak to clients directly and see the legal process progress from engagement to completion.
The process of assisting in the administration of a deceased’s estate has required me to rediscover my mathematical abilities in the compilation of capital accounts. This has taught me the wide ranging requirements of a qualified solicitor!
February 2019 - This month has been my final month in the Property department. The last 6 months have flown by and I can’t believe it is already time to move seats.
I have dealt with more leasehold matters this month which has allowed me to gain experience in dealing with all areas of commercial property. I have also been progressing a number of complicated first registration applications with the aim of getting them ready for submission before I leave the department.
Outside of the office I attended a useful seminar on time management by local businessman Paul Sewell and met some interesting people at a networking event ran by Hull Young Professionals. I also completed my first Professional Skills Course on Client Care at the BPP Law School in Leeds.
I am looking forward to experiencing both a new area of law and a new office location when I move to the Private Capital department in the York office.
January 2019 - January has been an interesting month with plenty to get involved with. I have been able to attend more meetings this month which has allowed me to meet a wide variety of clients and put faces to the names that I have been working for.
I have also been dealing with unregistered land this month. This involved tracing the ownership of land back to our client when deeds have been lost over the years. It was interesting to learn that East Yorkshire is one of the few places in the country which holds a central register of deeds, making it easier to locate any missing documents.
I am now becoming more confident in undertaking completions without direct supervision. I was able to complete a number of transactions that I have been working on and undertake the necessary follow up steps such as completing the SDLT returns and dealing with the accounts process.
Next month will be the final month of my first seat, so I will be making the most of my remaining time in the property department.
December 2018 - I have thoroughly enjoyed my first Christmas at Rollits. There were many festive activities such as a Christmas jumper day, a department Christmas meal and a Secret Santa. It was also nice to have a short break to recharge before the new year!
This month I moved desks from the Planning side of the property floor to the Commercial side. This has allowed me to work alongside partners who I hadn’t had the chance to work with before and to take on a wider variety of work. I have also been able to undertake more independent work involving working on property transactions from engagement to completion, whilst still having the help available when needed.
I attended my first Hull Young Professionals event and it was interesting to meet people my age working in similar professions in the local area. It also gives a great opportunity for networking.
I am looking forward to getting more involved with the commercial property transactions in the New Year!
November 2018 - I cannot believe I am almost halfway through my first seat as a trainee at Rollits!
This month has been very busy and I have undertaken a greater variety of work including drafting contracts and agreements, completing two first registrations and dealing with a lease extension. I also attended the Northumbria University Careers Fair where I was able to pass on advice to students about applying for training contracts and working in a law firm. The set up of the event meant that I was able to meet a lot of interesting people from a variety of professions.
I have been more involved with residential matters this month which I found particularly interesting as it meant dealing with individuals purchasing their family homes rather than large companies buying development land.
I am able to work more independently on matters now that I am settled in the department and more confident in the work I am doing. This has allowed me to take on more responsibility and made me feel more integrated within the firm.
There are lots of events planned for the next month and I am looking forward to the upcoming festive period!
October 2018 - My second month at Rollits has gone extremely quickly! Everyone in the property department has been extremely welcoming and they do not hesitate in offering assistance with any problems I encounter.
I have been able to undertake a wider range of tasks this month such as drafting lease reports, completing SDLT returns and the voluntary first registration of a property. I feel like I have learnt a lot this month and I no longer have to ask as many questions when completing pieces of work.
I have also had exciting opportunities outside of the office. I was able to attend networking events which allowed me to meet a variety of interesting people from many different industries and I also had the opportunity to go back to my old school for a careers convention and talk to sixth formers about life as a trainee solicitor.
I was able to attend a site visit with the planning department and see a completed development. I thoroughly enjoyed this as I was able to see the finished result after only previously seeing plans and drawings.
I am looking forward to my next month in the property department and all of the exciting events that are coming up in the calendar.
I’ve just completed my first two weeks as a trainee at Rollits. Before starting at Rollits I studied law at Newcastle University and completed my LPC at the University of Law in Leeds.
In my first week there were lots of inductions and online courses to complete, however by my second week I felt fully integrated into the Property Department.
I have undertaken tasks such as obtaining land and company searches, completing land registry forms and even going on a development site visit.
Everyone has been incredibly welcoming and I am looking forward to the next six months in this department.