Current trainee solicitor, James Lapham, in his final seat within our Corporate and Commercial team gives an overview of his training contract with Morrisons Solicitors, including why he applied, his experiences and memorable moments. You can find out more about our training contracts here.
When did you start your training contact with Morrisons Solicitors?
I commenced my period of recognised training (also known as a ‘training contract’) with Morrisons in September 2019. The training contract is an opportunity for individuals to undertake supervised experience in legal practice and is the final compulsory stage in the process of qualifying as a solicitor in England and Wales. It is during this period that trainee solicitors refine and develop the professional skills that are needed for practising law.
Why did you choose to apply to Morrisons Solicitors for your training contract?
I chose to apply for a training contract at Morrisons for two main reasons: firstly, the firm offers a wide variety of practice areas including: Corporate & Commercial, Dispute Resolution, Family, Commercial Property, Residential Conveyancing, Employment and Private Client; and many of these departments have received favourable ratings from Chambers & Partners for both the quality of the work and the high level of expertise within each team.
Secondly, the breadth of clients within the firm range from individuals to large public companies, so there is the opportunity to advise a variety of people and corporate entities on a day-to-day basis. Morrisons enable you to choose between a commercially focused selection of seats or a private client-based route.
Tell us about the seats you have undertaken so far as a trainee and your experiences
My first seat was in the Family department where I worked closely with a Senior Associate on a range of matters including: divorce and financial remedy proceedings; enforcement of judgment orders; collaborative law; domestic violence injunctive work; providing initial advice to clients on marital breakdown; and assisting with the drawing up of a number of complex consent orders for high-net worth individuals. I had the opportunity to liaise with barristers and managed to attend Court on multiple occasions, which provides a valuable opportunity to see the law ‘in action’.
My second seat was in the Dispute Resolution department where I continued exploring the contentious side of legal work. In simple terms, ‘contentious’ work involves a dispute between parties and the SRA stipulate that one seat within a training contract must provide trainee solicitors with this kind of exposure. The Dispute Resolution team within Morrisons deals with a large spread of litigation matters including Professional Negligence, Contested Probate, Property and Boundary Disputes and Tax.
I was lucky to work with multiple Partners on a diverse number of cases and helped with the following: making an application for relief from sanction on behalf of a client in the construction industry; drafting a witness statement for a Defendant client who had been accused of breaching his duties as an Executor of an estate; making an application for enforcement of a judgment debt; providing advice to trustees of a high value, complex Will Trust; and acting in a claim involving twelve defendants under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Did I also mention that I lodged an appeal bundle at the Court of Appeal?
How is the final seat of your training contract going?
My final seat is in the Corporate and Commercial team, where I am working with the Head of Department and assisting with the following types of work: domestic and cross-border M&A; the establishment of Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) share schemes for employers; corporate finance work for both lenders and borrowers; Employee Ownership Trusts (EOTs) and a number of commercial matters. I am due to qualify as a solicitor in September 2021.
Find out more about our training contracts, the application process and other trainees experiences here. Our application process for our training contracts closes on 30th April 2021.