We caught up with Indy, Associate at BCLP in the Funds and Investment Management team. Here, Indy shares his experience as a trainee and his experience on International Secondment in Dubai.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey to where you are now
My journey might sound quite straight forward, but it didn’t necessarily play out that way. I studied Law at University and must admit I didn’t really enjoy it in my first and second year. However, once in my final year and able to study elective modules, I found that I was interested in modules relating to commercial law, such as company and tax law.
Having decided to pursue commercial law as a profession, I initially took up a paralegal position. In this role, I worked within a real estate litigation team for just over a year. Although I wasn’t particularly attracted to contentious work, this experience gave me exposure to other departments in a commercial law firm, in which I had greater interest.
Over that year, I applied for lots of training contracts and was accepted onto a vacation scheme at BCLP. I completed my 4 x 6 month seats at BCLP, finishing March 2020, and have now been qualified for almost a year.
When it came to my training contract interview, I found my paralegal role as a useful experience to draw upon. Given that I already had experienced the job that a trainee would be doing, I think it was clear that I would be making a more informed career decision, compared with students coming straight out of university.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities at BCLP?
I’m now an Associate in the Funds and Investment Management team. Within the team, we do a broad range of corporate and funds work. My day-to-day responsibilities involve working on various types of transactions, project management, negotiating sales/acquisition and fund documents, whilst also assisting senior members of the team.
As an Associate, I’ve found that you can take on as much responsibility as you’re comfortable with. The seniors in the team have been invariably good supervisors, they’ll let you get on with your work but will also step in whenever you feel like you need help. Although it can be a bit daunting at times, it’s one of the best parts of being a junior lawyer. Ultimately, the more experience you can get, the quicker you can develop as a lawyer.
Tell us about your experience whilst on International Secondment
My International Secondment was the last seat in my training contract, and I went to Dubai from September 2019 to March 2020. As well as enjoying the great weather for six months, I found it a useful experience for my professional development. This isn’t necessarily because I learnt various legal skills which I use in my job today, but more because I got to learn about a completely new jurisdiction, network with my peers and understand the firm’s business model from a new perspective. The UAE jurisdiction and legal system are completely different from what we have over here in England and Wales, so that was also really interesting to experience.
Ultimately, the more experience you can get, the quicker you can develop as a lawyer.
BCLP were great and took care of everything, from my return flights to visa and related processes. My accommodation was also taken care of, which was great as I was located close to work and my trainee peers. It was a pretty holistic package offered by the firm.
What does BCLP offer to trainees?
There’s a really wide range of seats you can do across a number of market-leading practice groups. You get given lots of responsibility and are allowed to run with things and draft as many documents as you feel comfortable doing. It’s also a very friendly and inclusive environment and there’s a very flat structure – all the partners I’ve worked with have been understanding and approachable.
We also have a bespoke LPC course at BCLP, so you have your core focus modules but also additional modules that are specific to the firm’s practice focus. It’s both a great opportunity to make early connections with your fellow pre-trainees, but it also sets you up for a successful career at the firm.
What motivates you in this role?
Being able to build a base of experience from working on as many varied projects as possible. Until I have a clearer indication of the areas in which I’d like to specialise, I think this is the right approach for the current stage of my career.
It’s also a very friendly and inclusive environment and there’s a very flat structure – all the partners I’ve worked with have been understanding and approachable.
Any advice for Bright Network members?
Don’t worry if you haven’t been offered a training contract by the time you’ve finished your degree. It’s better to choose your own path and avoid following the heard – you’ll be in better stead that way.
Interested in following Indy’s footsteps? Read more about BCLP and find all their opportunities right here.