Skip to main content

A day in the life of a private client and charities trainee

Gavin Lock gives a view into working for Browne Jacobson's private clients and charities team.

17 January 2020

I started my trainee journey in Browne Jacobson’s Private Client & Charities team. As the name suggests, the team specialises in advisory work for private clients and charities. The ‘Private Client’ team members advise individuals and families on matters ranging from tax and succession planning to the administration of estates (and to any other questions that a private client may have). The Charities’ team members’ work with a huge number of national charities, advising on formation, structure and governance to support many great causes. The team are spread across the firm’s London and Nottingham offices, but we serve a national client base, meaning there is always an opportunity to work from different locations.

I am about halfway through my time in this seat and can say that I’ve already been given great responsibility and client contact as a trainee. Naturally, the clients are probably the best feature of this seat. The team introduced me to clients from an early stage and a lot of my time is spent attending client meetings or directly contacting clients via email and telephone as their matters progress. As a result, I’ve become the main point of contact within the firm for many of the team’s clients. At first, this level of responsibility felt quite daunting, but it has been great for my personal development. For example, I travelled to our Nottingham office (from my home office in London) to take the lead in the initial face-to-face meeting with a potential client! I was the only lawyer physically present in the meeting, although my supervisor was present by video conference.

There have been many opportunities to attend networking events and seminars hosted by other professionals in the sector, which has helped me build my own contacts and network. These events have included rooftop bars, breakfast seminars and celebrity guest speakers!

The work in the Private Client & Charities team can be very technical and requires strong attention to detail. The relevant law and guidance is regularly updated, so you can find me at my desk reading textbooks or legal updates to ensure my advice and drafting is up-to-date. I’ve also produced my own legal updates which have been shared on the firm’s website and social media pages.

Each day in this seat is unpredictable and when I arrive in the office I may need to draft complex wills, register a new charity with the Charity Commission or even search through government publications for the legal requirements for burying a body in the garden of a private residence (true story!).

I’m definitely being kept on my toes and I’m looking forward to the next 3 months!



Mark Hickson

Head of Business Development

+44 (0)370 270 6000

View profile
Can we help you? Contact Mark

You may be interested in...