A day in the life of a Corporate trainee

Melenik Forde has recently joined the firm as a trainee solicitor and is in his first seat in our Corporate team in Bath. Let’s find out what a typical day involves.

“Starting a training contract at Royds Withy King, in particular a corporate seat, I felt about the usual ratio of excited to nervous. Although I have some legal experience under my belt, I knew my responsibilities as a trainee solicitor would be different and require me to learn a new and diverse set of skills.

No two days are the same

I am now about halfway through my seat and can honestly say that no two days have been the same. About the only constant is the rumbling in my stomach telling me that another morning has flown by and it’s time for lunch! I have decided to pick out a few of my experiences so far to try and give a flavour of what to expect from a corporate seat at Royds Withy King.

Work officially begins at 9am (9:30am in the London office) although most of the team get to the office a little earlier to get a head start on the day’s tasks. We operate a company secretarial service for various clients and are signed up to receive notifications from Companies House when a particular form needs filing. The reminders arrive in the morning and I like to clear them as quickly as possible so I know I have the rest of the day to focus on other tasks. Today’s reminder is regarding a confirmation statement for a private limited company- essentially a form that allows companies to tell Companies House whether they have made any changes during the last year.

Once I have drafted the form and cross checked it with the information we have on file for that client, I ask the associate sitting across from me to have a second look. The office environment is really collaborative so it is easy to ask for guidance or even to bounce ideas off more senior fee earners. The associate has made a few comments on my first attempt. I make sure I understand why, make the changes and submit the form. On to the next!

A quick look at my inbox reveals a new client enquiry received from the switchboard. It’s important to respond quickly to new enquiries so I get straight to it. I am halfway through drafting an email detailing our fees and arranging a phone call when all tasks are put on hold…

All hands to the deck

We have been instructed by a client to change the names of a number of its companies within a relatively short timescale. Our team has spotted a potentially serious issue – one of the names the client wants is ‘protected’, meaning that we will have to apply to the Cabinet Office for written permission to use the name before Companies House accepts the change. I am tasked with trying to get through to the Cabinet Office to explain the urgency of the situation and hopefully expedite the process. After a few hours of holding and leaving messages, I am almost ready to admit defeat. The deadline for submitting the name change is fast approaching and we are no closer to making initial contact with the Cabinet Office, let alone putting a case for expedited approval. I wonder at what point we will call it quits and advise the client it can’t be done.

The team is determined to deliver for the client, however, and we hold a short brainstorming session. We come up with the idea of asking a colleague from our London office to go down to the Cabinet Office in person. There is a tense hour-long stretch while we await news. Finally the message is passed on from London that the Cabinet Office has, against all odds, provided us with written permission for our client. I finalise and send off the paper work to Companies House, making extra sure to include the all-important permission! We can now advise the client that the name changes will come into effect on the specified date.

With the urgent tasks over, I can return to drafting the new enquiry email, holding my head a little higher at the small role I have played in an inspiring team effort to deliver a quality service to one of our many clients.

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