Harry Brown's Diary

One of the reasons I chose to train at Winckworth Sherwood was because I wanted a firm which had numerous practice areas and acted for a range of different clients. My first two seats did not disappoint.

My first seat was with the Institutional Property team. The prospect was daunting at first – ‘Institutional Property’ isn’t something they teach you on the LPC! However I quickly learned that their work was a prime example of what I was looking for when I chose to train at Winckworth. The Institutional Property team act for large land-owing institutions such as the Crown, port authorities and train companies. The work often involved standard commercial property work such as leases; rent review; 1954 Act matters and easements. However, because of the nature of the bodies we were working for, the work always involved an extra layer of regulation which separates the Institutional Property team from their Commercial Real Estate colleagues. As a result, I quickly became acquainted with a number of laws and statutes which I would otherwise have never had the chance to read in my whole career – the Armed Forces Act 1996 being one of them!

My second seat was in the Property Dispute Resolution department. Like Institutional Property, the PDR team act for loads of different clients on a whole range of property matters, but the key difference being these matters are contentious in nature rather than transactional. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Courts were unable to hear any claims from landlords seeking possession of properties from tenants. This is a key part of the work the PDR team do, and usually a great opportunity for trainees to attend court. However my time with PDR was by no means quiet. During my seat I prepared court forms and statements of case for commercial clients; made without notice injunction applications against tenants of social housing providers; advised clients on their liability when faced with disrepair claims and provided general advice to clients on their positions with regards to the terms of their leases and contracts. It was a challenging and busy seat, but a great experience that I would recommend to all trainees if they have the opportunity. It will certainly allow you to hone your time management skills!

My third seat will be with the Employment team. This is an area I have long been interested in and so is a seat I have always looked forward to. The Employment department at Winckworth is also particularly unique as it is one of a handful in the City that acts on both contentious and non-contentious matters for both employer and employee clients.

There’s a reason a large number of the firm’s Partners have trained here. The work is interesting, the clients are varied, and the staff – be it Partners or support staff – are all amazing in their efforts to help trainees as much as they can. Importantly, the age-old tale of trainees becoming very well acquainted with the photocopier isn’t true here. One year in and I’m pleased to report that I have learnt a great deal more about the law than I have the printer!

Trainee Diaries