This blog was written and published pre-pandemic when social distancing was not required and pubs and social gatherings were permitted.
I joined BPE Solicitors in October 2019 and I cannot believe I am already half-way through my first seat. I am currently in the Commercial & Intellectual Property department and I’m literally enjoying every day here.
My typical day? I arrive at the office around 08:30 to prepare for the day ahead, and I firstly go through my emails and read the news from the world and the relevant commercial-related articles. We then have the team-round of teas and coffees and only after the coffee I’m ready to properly start the day. It’s a daily routine that works pretty well!
As a trainee solicitor in the Commercial & IP department I have been assigned – from day 1 – my own files. This allows me to get great client exposure and responsibilities, from billing my own files, to submitting trade mark applications, being responsible for the management of the key dates, to running conference calls with clients all by myself.
My main responsibility in the department is to manage the IP client portfolio, which means dealing with trademark renewals, oppositions and new submissions. For the nature of the work, as a trainee solicitor in this department, we have the opportunity to interact with people all around the world: China, Brazil, Australia, Canada, Middle East…even New Zealand.
I am also involved in legal research and drafting and advising on commercial agreements such as international franchising agreements and distribution agreements. Of course, as a trainee solicitor I am mindful to run all advice and decisions past my supervisor to ensure they are legally and commercially sound.
At the beginning I felt a bit lost, but after two weeks everything (no, not everything, almost everything!) started to make sense and everyone in the team is very helpful and supportive. The more I learn, the more I can help, it’s a win-win!
But it’s not all about work. We have a lot of fun too. No, it’s not a cliché. For our Christmas team party, we went to the Ninja Warriors adventure park. We are not great ninja warriors in all honesty, but still pretty cool, huh?
Firmwide, one of the best things at BPE is working in an open plan office as this enables us to form close ties to all the other departments and other colleagues at any level. I cannot stress enough how many things you can learn only by listening to senior colleagues discussing complicated matters.
The firm is very sociable, we have so many internal events: dress down day, First Thursday, social committee meetings, work council meetings, trainee meals, Christmas parties, Summer parties, random parties (why not!) and then, I can assure you, after 17:00 on Fridays you can meet at least ten BPE people at the Bottle of Sauce (the local pub) for a beer or two (or three).
I bet the beginning of your training contract seems very far away to you, but the time will fly by and without even realising it you will be a new BPE trainee solicitor. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. The firm is great, the level of work you will be dealing with is very high and the people are inclusive and supportive.
I look forward to meeting my new peers. If you have any questions, just drop me an email, I will be more than happy to help.