Posted on 1 Apr 2014

From Bristol to Exeter

Having spent a very happy first six months in the Agricultural Property Litigation Department of the firm’s Bristol office, I moved to Exeter three weeks ago to begin the next chapter. My time in my new seat is split between the Family and Contentious Probate departments, which is proving to be a really varied and interesting mix.On the Contentious Probate side, I have attended a number of client meetings, for example in relation to the administration of a Will trust, a property dispute relating to trust property and a client seeking resolution in relation to a contested Will. I am enjoying getting involved in drafting letters, reviewing the papers on a new file and making an initial assessment of the client’s case and undertaking research in order to broaden my knowledge of what is otherwise a new area of law for me.

I have had a really interesting first few weeks with the Family team. I have already attended a really interesting conference with Counsel in relation to maintenance issues following divorce, taken notes at an interim hearing concerning Occupation and Non-Molestation Orders and interim accommodation issues, attended a client meeting and taken the clients through their obligations in relation to the Court’s financial Form E. Everyone in the team is very friendly and it is great to get experience of a completely different area of law.

As you may be aware, the Exeter office is much larger than the Bristol office, with around 300 people working here as opposed to around 30, so the atmosphere is different, if similarly friendly. I am enjoying meeting lots of new people and learning how it works and it is nice spending more time with the other trainees. As you may know, Michelmores puts on a series of conferences, talks and other networking events throughout the year and I attended my first Michelmores’ conference last week. I assisted in setting up the Planning Conference held at nearby Sandy Park, helping to prepare the room and greeting the attendees. It was a really good opportunity to meet other members of the firm in different departments, members of the local business community and get a feel for how these events operate.

While it seemed pretty daunting moving seat and beginning in two new departments, it is great to have the opportunity to experience new areas of law and to become part of two new teams. As Kieran said in his post nearly a month ago, I can confirm that it is definitely less scary starting second time round with the skills you developed during your first seat. I am also very much enjoying living in Exeter. I cannot see that the novelty of living in such beautiful surroundings will wear off any time soon – my new colleagues are still rather amused at how excited I am about popping to the coast or to Dartmoor at the weekends! – and I am beginning to get a little less lost in Exeter’s rather confusing one-way system which can only be a good thing!