Mark Child describes his typical day as a trainee. Before joining Russell-Cooke as a trainee, Mark worked in the house building and renewable energy sectors.

9.30 - 12.30

I tend to arrive at the office between 08.45 and 09.15, when I review any emails that have arrived overnight. After dealing with any urgent emails, I start working my way through my listed matters. If there is no requisite priority order, I usually let my mood dictate what I tackle first.

A reversionary lease and deed of variation that I have been working on is received early morning, so I consider the amendments made by the other side and what they have conceded from my previous draft. To keep the pressure on the other side I provide comments to my supervisor quickly and discuss my proposed response. Just after 11.00 a partner comes over to my desk and asks whether I have capacity to meet a new client this afternoon. After re-arranging my diary, I confirm my availability and prepare.

I am also asked to lead on a planning objection on behalf of a client who lives adjacent to a proposed site. I review the plans, elevations and Design and Access Statement and identify the relevant Local Plan policies.

Its almost lunchtime - I always try to take a proper lunch break, otherwise I find my levels of concentration can decline. I take a short and pleasant walk down to Putney Bridge where I catch up with a fellow trainee. 

13.30 – 17.00

I review emails that have come in over lunch and deal with those requiring immediate action. It’s then back to drafting my planning objection letter before putting my papers in order to meet my new client.

The new client is having problems with her co-freeholder in a building that comprises their two leasehold apartments. He has made a planning application to convert the building’s flat roof into a roof terrace, despite it being outside the extent of his lease. I review the documentation and ask her what her objectives are. After agreeing our strategy, I confirm that I will provide her with an engagement letter, which will set out our cost estimate and what we have agreed to do. She is happy that we have been able to meet her at such short notice and before her holiday. 


I de-brief my instructing partner and return to my emails and deal with any urgent messages. I find that the other side is ready to complete on a licence to underlet the following day, so I add that to my list of tasks and re-order their priority for the next day.