What our trainees and apprentices say

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My time at Thomas Cooper started in May 2015, when I joined the firm as a Paralegal working mostly in the Finance and Litigation departments.  Since then,  I started my training contract in September 2017 and I am now approaching the end of my first seat in Shipping.

As a Trainee Solicitor, the work has been varied and interesting, with hands-on experience and client contact from the very start.  Already in my first seat I have worked on a range of shipping matters including collisions, groundings and various charterparty disputes, as well as attending closing meetings on a ship sale and purchase, and assisting the Piraeus office with a Court of Appeal hearing.  Many of the solicitors and partners undertook their own training contracts with the firm, and all are keen to share their knowledge and support which makes for a great working and learning environment.

It’s refreshing to work in a London law firm with such a welcoming atmosphere and diverse range of work, and still get to see some daylight when done for the day.  In addition to the work, the learning side of the training contract is given huge importance.  There are regular in-house and external talks from counsel, experts, and members of the firm, and however busy they may be at the time, my colleagues have always been more than happy to answer any questions and impart some wisdom.

My training contract at Thomas Cooper has certainly got off to a busy start, and I am looking forward to what the next seat brings.


Ellis Van der Vos

My time at Thomas Cooper started in May 2015, when I joined the firm as a Paralegal working mostly in the Finance and Litigation departments.  Since then,  I started my training contract in September 2017 and I am now approaching the end of my first seat in Shipping.

As a Trainee Solicitor, the work has been varied and interesting, with hands-on experience and client contact from the very start.  Already in my first seat I have worked on a range of shipping matters including collisions, groundings and various charterparty disputes, as well as attending closing meetings on a ship sale and purchase, and assisting the Piraeus office with a Court of Appeal hearing.  Many of the solicitors and partners undertook their own training contracts with the firm, and all are keen to share their knowledge and support which makes for a great working and learning environment.

It’s refreshing to work in a London law firm with such a welcoming atmosphere and diverse range of work, and still get to see some daylight when done for the day.  In addition to the work, the learning side of the training contract is given huge importance.  There are regular in-house and external talks from counsel, experts, and members of the firm, and however busy they may be at the time, my colleagues have always been more than happy to answer any questions and impart some wisdom.

My training contract at Thomas Cooper has certainly got off to a busy start, and I am looking forward to what the next seat brings.

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I applied to Thomas Cooper because of my interest in maritime and international work; therefore I was glad to be placed in the firm’s renowned shipping practice when I joined in September 2017. Despite my inexperience and lack of prior knowledge in shipping law, my first seat has been a thoroughly enjoyable introduction into the firm and the world of shipping. The work that I have been involved in has been challenging, varied and international in scope.

Thomas Cooper is a firm where you aware of what is happening in other departments and overseas offices, indeed I am often asked to assist with matters elsewhere. This has exposed me to different clients and areas of law. In addition to my shipping work, I have helped the review of a contract between a Premier League player and his club and conducted research on accidents on board a cruise ship. While it is a true that a staple of a trainee’s work includes preparing trial bundles and photocopying documents, others in the firm are invariably appreciative of my help on these important tasks.

Thomas Cooper is small enough for trainees to be supported individually and be given serious responsibilities from the onset of the training contract, yet also large enough to have an overseas presence and for trainees to be involved in truly international matters. I have enjoyed my training here so far and have found the firm to be a welcoming and supportive place.


Justin Cheuk

I applied to Thomas Cooper because of my interest in maritime and international work; therefore I was glad to be placed in the firm’s renowned shipping practice when I joined in September 2017. Despite my inexperience and lack of prior knowledge in shipping law, my first seat has been a thoroughly enjoyable introduction into the firm and the world of shipping. The work that I have been involved in has been challenging, varied and international in scope.

Thomas Cooper is a firm where you aware of what is happening in other departments and overseas offices, indeed I am often asked to assist with matters elsewhere. This has exposed me to different clients and areas of law. In addition to my shipping work, I have helped the review of a contract between a Premier League player and his club and conducted research on accidents on board a cruise ship. While it is a true that a staple of a trainee’s work includes preparing trial bundles and photocopying documents, others in the firm are invariably appreciative of my help on these important tasks.

Thomas Cooper is small enough for trainees to be supported individually and be given serious responsibilities from the onset of the training contract, yet also large enough to have an overseas presence and for trainees to be involved in truly international matters. I have enjoyed my training here so far and have found the firm to be a welcoming and supportive place.

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Having joined Thomas Cooper as a Trainee Solicitor in September 2017, I am now two-thirds of the way through my first seat in employment. The first four months at the firm have been thoroughly rewarding and enjoyable. It has been good to put into practise many of the skills learned on the GDL and LPC as well as developing new ones in a professional yet friendly environment.

I have particularly enjoyed my time in employment as this has allowed me to experience both litigious and non-litigious work first hand. In both fields, the range of corporate and individual clients provides for some fascinating case work. The litigious side of the practise has allowed me to develop skills in case analysis, trial preparation, time management and drafting. The non-litigious side has given me the opportunity to meet both clients and prospective clients. I have certainly learnt a great deal from my supervising partner when it comes to tailoring bespoke legal advice to our varied range of clients.

One of the advantages of training at a small firm such as Thomas Cooper is the opportunity to assist other departments and offices with their work. During my first four months I have assisted one of our foreign offices on a number of varied matters and this has also been particularly interesting and enjoyable work.

Thomas Cooper is a wonderful place to undertake a training contract. Partners, solicitors and support staff alike are always willing to assist trainees in developing our understanding of both legal and commercial issues. I have found the internal and external program of lectures that the firm arranges to be most useful in my development.


Daniel Jennings

Having joined Thomas Cooper as a Trainee Solicitor in September 2017, I am now two-thirds of the way through my first seat in employment. The first four months at the firm have been thoroughly rewarding and enjoyable. It has been good to put into practise many of the skills learned on the GDL and LPC as well as developing new ones in a professional yet friendly environment.

I have particularly enjoyed my time in employment as this has allowed me to experience both litigious and non-litigious work first hand. In both fields, the range of corporate and individual clients provides for some fascinating case work. The litigious side of the practise has allowed me to develop skills in case analysis, trial preparation, time management and drafting. The non-litigious side has given me the opportunity to meet both clients and prospective clients. I have certainly learnt a great deal from my supervising partner when it comes to tailoring bespoke legal advice to our varied range of clients.

One of the advantages of training at a small firm such as Thomas Cooper is the opportunity to assist other departments and offices with their work. During my first four months I have assisted one of our foreign offices on a number of varied matters and this has also been particularly interesting and enjoyable work.

Thomas Cooper is a wonderful place to undertake a training contract. Partners, solicitors and support staff alike are always willing to assist trainees in developing our understanding of both legal and commercial issues. I have found the internal and external program of lectures that the firm arranges to be most useful in my development.

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Jamie Cawthorn – Trainee Solicitor

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.


Jamie Cawthorn

Jamie Cawthorn – Trainee Solicitor

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.

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Emma Halton – Trainee Solicitor

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.


Emma Halton

Emma Halton – Trainee Solicitor

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.

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Catriona Boyd – Trainee Solicitor

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.

(more…)


Catriona Boyd

Catriona Boyd – Trainee Solicitor

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.

(more…)

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Thomas Cooper’s team gives practical and commercial and fast and efficient advice. Active in both wet and dry matters, the firm has also advised on a number of high-profile piracy cases…
Legal 500, 2012