We caught up with Katie Whelan, who talks us through a day in the life of a Trainee Solicitor in Fieldfisher's Manchester office.
8.15am: I arrive at the office early to review emails and plan my action list for the day.
9.15am: The Employment, Pensions, Immigration and Compliance (EPIC) team, across Manchester, Birmingham and London, has a team meeting via video conference. Each location provides an update on current workload, ongoing initiatives and business development opportunities. The EPIC team has grown significantly, particularly in Manchester, over the past year, so team meetings provide a great opportunity to get an idea of what everyone is working on and encourage collaboration between the offices.
10.30am: I draft a board paper for a pension trustee client who is looking to apportion the shares of an insolvent shareholder between the remaining shareholders. This involves reviewing the company articles, liaising with the corporate team and considering the practicalities of transferring shares from an insolvent shareholder. We sit in an open plan office, which is great for learning and asking questions.
1.30pm: After lunch, I carry out some research in relation to a specific pensions tax query regarding the treatment of the growth in the value of a pension fund between the date of a member's death and the date of payment of a lump sum benefit. I discuss my findings with my supervisor and prepare a summary note which forms the basis of our advice to the client.
2.30pm: A partner in London asks if I can review a number of draft documents which form part of a wider transaction relating to funding a large pension scheme deficit. I've been working closely with fee earners based in other offices during the course of my seat, which reflects the team's goal of being function centric rather than location-centric. Fee earners from different offices regularly attend the Manchester office and I've also travelled to London and Birmingham to work with fee earners in those offices.
4.00pm: I have a meeting with the charity committee to plan upcoming charity events, including our participation in the Manchester Sleep Out to raise awareness and funds for a local charity which supports people facing homelessness.
4.30pm: A director asks if I can help with putting together a pitch document for a prospective client, with a particular focus on the food and drink industry. I carry out some research in relation to the prospective client and prepare a one-page placemat, which will be given to the prospective client in advance of the meeting.
6.00pm: Before I log off, I update my action list and ensure that my time recording for the day is complete.