Trainee Blog: Client Exposure as a Michelmores Trainee

When applying for training contracts, one of the main criteria for me was 'client exposure'. As someone who likes to socialise, inside and outside of the office, I hoped to find a firm that would let me interact with clients rather than simply doing the work behind the scenes. Michelmores has not disappointed.

Michelmores is an all-round law firm dealing with a variety of clients, from large corporate organisations, to academies and private individuals. Michelmores is a well-known firm in the South West, but has a growing London presence, which brings with it a number of international clients. An estimated 15% of Michelmores' yearly turnover is made up of international work, which is distributed between the firm's three offices.

Below are some examples from my different training contract seats of where I have had direct contact with clients and built a professional relationship with them:

  • Corporate: During my first month as a trainee in the London Corporate team, I spent three intense weeks verifying a prospectus for a standard listing on the Main Market. This involved regular meetings with our African based client, including daily emails and/or phone calls and bi-weekly meetings in the firm's office.
  • Arbitration: Some clients will be accustomed to receiving legal advice and may even have an in-house legal team who liaises directly with the firm. I experienced this whilst representing a global technology company with respect to a cross border arbitration case worth over £4m. I attended a number of videoconference and teleconference calls with our client's General Counsel to discuss our client's strategy going forward as well as the contents of our procedural documents.
  • Commercial and Regulatory Disputes: During my time in the firm's Commercial and Regulatory Disputes team, my supervisor introduced me as the main point of contact on our Client Engagement Letter for our client. I was given the opportunity to run a matter, relating to the recovery of debts from solvent and insolvent companies on behalf of an Italian client, from start to finish.
  • Planning: I am currently working for the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime in relation to a Compulsory Purchase Order ("CPO"). I have assisted with the preparation of documents for the public Inquiry, which involves attending meetings and taking evidence from witnesses. Most of these meetings have been virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions; however I recently had the opportunity to conduct a site visit at the land subject to the CPO. I am very much looking forward to attending the public Inquiry where I will again be able to meet our client in person (respecting COVID-19 restrictions of course!)
  • General: As a trainee you will also be tasked with taking initial enquiry calls from potential clients. These calls are always interesting, as you do not know what to expect. It is important to be aware of the wide variety of work Michelmores does and to gain as much information about the enquiry as possible from the potential client so that they can be redirected to a colleague best placed to assist.

Although direct contact with a client can be daunting at first, especially when you start a new seat in an area of law that you are not familiar with, Michelmores offers its trainees the support needed to excel in building client relationships. With a lot more client exposure than I expected to have as a trainee, I have been able to develop my communication skills through my experience of working closely with the firm's clients.

If you would like to learn more about some of the Michelmores trainee seats, more information can be found in our Trainee Blog articles: