I joined the firm in September 2016 and my first seat has been in the Corporate department. I have really enjoyed my first 4 months here and in that time have been involved in a wide range of corporate work, both transactional and restructuring based. With the former, I have worked on a matter involving an owner-managed foreign entity buying a British company and with the latter I have been fortunate enough to be involved in a debt restructuring and issue of a listed Eurobond. Other work I have completed in this department has involved advising a director on their powers and on the rights attaching to different share classes within their company, drafting written resolutions, minutes and, on one occasion, a waiver to be signed by holidaymakers before going scuba-diving – this took some imaginative drafting and was a really interesting task!
Having very little previous experience of Corporate life before starting at Thomas Cooper and knowing the reputation that this area of law has within some of the larger City firms, I had been slightly concerned that my first seat might turn out to be a baptism of fire. In fact it has been completely the opposite and I have found it to be a really enjoyable experience.
Thomas Cooper is a mid-sized firm with an open door approach and this means that as a trainee you are aware of, and often asked to assist with, work that is going on in other departments in the firm. So far, in addition to my corporate work, I have been involved in a variety of matters including: researching who has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute alleged criminal offences on cruise ships at sea, reviewing a French footballer’s contract with his agent, and preparing for and then attending a 3 day trial in the Commercial Court. There are certainly some more mundane tasks such as bundling and copying that need to be done, but that is just part of being a trainee and people in the firm are always appreciative once they are done.
I applied to Thomas Cooper because of my interest in shipping law and because of the firm’s reputation for giving trainees responsibility in a supportive environment. The work I have been given is often challenging, but sitting with a partner means that I have always felt very well supported and time has always been made to answer any questions I might have. The firm has a very welcoming feel which makes settling in very easy and the people are friendly and approachable. I have very much enjoyed my training contract thus far.
I chose to pursue a legal career at Thomas Cooper because of its renowned shipping law practice. I commenced my training contract in September 2016 and am currently sitting in the Shipping Department. Since I arrived, I have been heavily involved with a variety of matters. Most notably, I have followed a case to arbitration. In this regard, I worked alongside the Senior Partner and Associate in preparing for the arbitration and was allocated the responsibility of compiling the trial bundles. Having worked tirelessly in the preceding weeks, I was then able to attend the arbitration. Despite having no former shipping knowledge, being so actively engaged with the case enabled me to learn a great deal about the shipping industry and the intricacies of shipping law. Whilst I am thoroughly enjoying the work my training contract presents, I am also very appreciative of the supportive network of fellow colleagues fostered at Thomas Cooper.
My first seat at Thomas Cooper has been in the Employment department. At the time of writing this I am now four months in and have been lucky enough to already have been involved in a wide range of both contentious and non-contentious matters. In this department I have particularly enjoyed the variety of work as in one day I have found myself doing work on matters for premier league football clubs, ship owners and large airlines as well as for individuals. So far I have been involved in meetings with clients and counsel, preparing short advices for clients, liaising with the employment tribunal, preparing research notes and corresponding with the client and the other side as well as the more mundane, though important, tasks such as preparing trial bundles and photocopying.