Trainee Blog: A Commercial Litigation Seat in London

A Training Contract at Michelmores is diverse both in terms of experience and location. Trainees have the opportunity to undertake seats across all three groups; Business, Real Estate and Private Client. Trainees are also encouraged to undertake seats across the main office locations; London, Bristol and Exeter, which is a great opportunity to gain firmwide exposure by meeting and collaborating with colleagues across the firm.

The first seat of my Training Contract was in the Commercial and Regulatory Disputes (CRD) team in the London office. I have summarised below some of the typical tasks undertaken as a CRD trainee irrespective of which office you are based in, as well as some of the standout experiences during my time in the London office.

Typical Tasks

  • Assisting with the drafting of application documents (e.g. application notices, claim forms and witness statements);
  • Preparing bundles;
  • Attending client meetings, conferences with Counsel, court hearings and mediations;
  • Advising clients on their legal position (e.g. reviewing contractual documentation, researching key legal issues and drafting summary advice notes); and
  • Liaising with clients, Counsel, opposing parties and third parties with a view to progressing matters.

My Experience

I have highlighted below four standout experiences during my time in CRD in the London office. However, it is important to note that these experiences are not exclusive to the London office and trainees who undertake the seat in a different office location will be afforded with similar experiences, with the availability of these opportunities being largely linked to the matters the team are dealing with at that time.

  1. Mediations

I was able to attend two mediations during my time in CRD; one in-person mediation at the opposing party’s London office and one virtual mediation via Zoom. I was tasked with taking a note throughout the mediations to ensure that we had an accurate record of the points raised by the opposing parties as well as any offers made during the course of the mediations. It was particularly interesting to analyse the dynamic between the parties during negotiations, as well as the basis for any offers made.

  1. Court of Appeal Hearing

I attended a hearing at the Court of Appeal in which we represented a defendant who was appealing the initial decision made by the Court that went against them. We attended the hearing alongside Counsel who presented our client’s case to the Judges. It was interesting to watch the parties present their respective cases with reference to the facts of the case and case law.

  1. Application Hearing

I attended an application hearing alongside Counsel on behalf of our client who was pursuing a claim against a litigant in person. I was the sole representative of Michelmores at the hearing and therefore it was rich experience from a personal development perspective as I maintained professionalism throughout whilst adhering to Court practices.

  1. Conferences with Counsel

Throughout my time in CRD I attended several conferences with Counsel, which are essentially meetings with Counsel either at their Chambers or held virtually. The conferences are often held with a view to progressing matters either by discussing issues in the case, identifying next steps, preparing for Court deadlines and liaising with third parties such as expert witnesses. These are a great opportunity to build your network with third parties and Counsel, both of whom could assist on future cases.

If you have any questions about life as a trainee in CRD or as a trainee at Michelmores more generally, please feel free to send me an email or connect with me on LinkedIn.