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trainee seat in healthcare

22 March 2011

What does the team do?

The team’s main work is medical negligence litigation on behalf of NHS Resolution and the Medical Protection Society (MPS). We defend hospital trusts and doctors who are accused of negligence. The department also carries out Inquest work, representing the interests of hospital trusts when the Coroner for the given region feels further investigation is required. The other main area of work the department does is advisory work focussing mainly on mental capacity and deprivation of liberty orders.

What type of work does a trainee do?

As a trainee on the department your work really varies. During my time with the team I have drafted defences, instructed experts to produce medical reports, attended Inquests and witness meetings, organised and attended conferences with counsel and everything in between. I have been out of the office a lot attending meetings and getting real experience in the litigation process from start to finish. There is never a dull moment on the department!

What level of responsibility/hands on experience (i.e. manage your own files etc) does a trainee receive?

I have been given a high level of responsibility on the department, always knowing, however that I have the support of the qualified fee earners around me. I have run my own cases and attended witness meetings as the sole fee earner present. I was even able to do some hands on advocacy on my own at a Case Management Conference. The great thing about the healthcare team is that they really get the balance right, I am able to get on with tasks independently, knowing that if I ever need any help all I have to do is ask. If you’re interested in any type of litigation work it really is a seat I’d highly recommend.

How much client contact does a trainee get?

You get a great level of client contact when in the Healthcare team. I have attended countless witness meetings and liaised with NHS Resolution and MPS case handlers on a regular basis. Not only that, but I also get to liaise with expert witnesses and barristers very regularly. It’s a great department to brush up on your communication skills, you’ll need them!

What has been the highlight for you in this seat?

I have had so many great experiences during my seat in the department, but two spring to mind as the highlights. Firstly was doing the case management conference where I was able to represent the needs of our client myself and make submissions to the district judge as to why we needed specific expert evidence. Secondly was the week I spent at a high profile inquest. I was able to watch experienced barristers interview witnesses in court and see witnesses give evidence from behind a screen in order to protect their identities. It was a great week, and I learnt a lot.