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Trainee seat in private client & charities

22 March 2011

What does the team do?

The team carries out a variety of work including will drafting, setting up and managing powers of attorney, trust related work, probate, and advising and doing work for charities.

What type of work does a trainee do?

The work a trainee does reflects the variety within the department. It can be anything from helping with the general day to day running of a trust or power of attorney, to helping put a large estate through the probate process. Drafting wills, codicils and letters of wishes for high net worth individuals is a large part of the seat, and this can be straightforward, or it can involve a significant amount of tax planning. Another important part of the work I carry out is related to trusts; this can be a variety of things, from drafting trustee meeting minutes to drafting deeds of appointment, deeds of retirement and appointment of trustees and employee benefit trusts.

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

You do get a good level of responsibility in this seat, which can sometimes be quite daunting, but at the same time, there is a great support network in place, and everyone is very approachable and friendly if you have questions.

How much client contact does a trainee get?

I am in contact with clients on an almost daily basis, and have been along to plenty of meetings. The seat gives you plenty of opportunities to develop your communication skills, and means that you really feel part of the team.

What has been the highlight for you in this seat?

Seeing a client for whom we act as attorney going from strength to strength after we took over the management of her affairs. Having visited the client throughout the seat, I was able to get involved with the day to day running of the file, and see the difference that had been made to the client’s everyday life. I was also given the opportunity to manage the file whilst the fee earner involved was on holiday, which gave me a real sense of responsibility.