Iris Bajraktari – Joined September 2018

I applied to Thomas Cooper because of its international presence in the Commercial and Maritime world. I commenced my training contract in September 2018 and am currently in my first seat in the Shipping Department. My time at Thomas Cooper so far has been extremely enjoyable and intellectually stimulating; working both cross-departmentally and with the overseas offices has given me great exposure to both Thomas Cooper’s international presence and its clients.

I was initially worried that not having studied Shipping law in my educational career would put me at a disadvantage but, to my relief, this has not been the case – it has not prevented me from getting thoroughly involved in a variety of different cases in the slightest. The partners in the department are appreciative of the fact that Shipping law is a niche and intricate area of law and therefore take the time to explain the Shipping law concepts underpinning the particular task given. I believe this illustrates the co-operative and friendly working environment Thomas Cooper seeks to encourage. This has provided me with the opportunity of learning different things from each of the cases I’m involved in and employing this knowledge in subsequent cases.

One of the reasons I chose to pursue a legal career at Thomas Cooper was because of its belief in a practical approach to learning. This has definitely rung true so far. I have been entrusted with a large degree of responsibility as a trainee; most notably, appearing before a Master in the High Court of Justice to endorse several Charging Order Applications. Whilst this was something I had absolutely no previous practice in doing and was incredibly nervous, it was an experience which taught me a huge amount – above all, how to effectively think on the spot and how to adapt quickly to what is being asked of you – and one which I look back on fondly as being an achievement of mine. Whilst, of course, bundling and photocopying is an inherent part of life as a trainee solicitor, at Thomas Cooper this does not consume your everyday working life and the partners and associates are very appreciative when you complete these tasks.

With the first 4 months here being so wide-ranging, I am certainly looking forward to what the rest of my training contract at Thomas Cooper will hold!

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