Megan Knowles takes readers through a 'typical day in the life of a trainee sitting in the professional regulation team.
9.30am I arrive in the office. Since the beginning of September, I’ve been working in the professional regulation team. Although formally based in the Bedford Row office, the team tends to split its time between both Bedford Row and Putney, which adds some variety to my week and means that I can catch up with friends in both offices. I make a coffee and check my emails.
9.45am: I have a catch-up with the senior associate in the team. We discuss upcoming deadlines and the work that needs to be done on each file this week. This provides a good opportunity for me to discuss my capacity and ask for more work if I need it, and to ask questions about files I’ve been working on.
10am: We have our weekly professional regulation team meeting. Any significant news and updates can be shared, and each member of the team provides an overview of their current matters. It’s nice to have a regular opportunity to check in with the team and hear about the variety of work that everyone is doing.
10.30am: I review a client’s medical records for the purposes of drafting a disability impact statement. This is for an employment matter – the team frequently acts for clients who work in regulated professions in relation to their employment disputes as well as any on-going regulatory investigations. I haven’t come across a disability impact statement before, so it’s an interesting task and a good opportunity to practice my drafting skills.
12pm: I sit in on a Teams meeting with a client, and take an attendance note. It’s interesting to see how different fee earners approach conducting client meetings (it’s also a test of my typing speed!).
1pm: I meet up with friends for lunch. Despite always intending to make lunch at home, I usually find myself in Leon, Pret or Wasabi.
2pm: At a recent preliminary hearing on another employment matter, the judge gave a number of directions in respect of various deadlines (for example, for the filing of bundles). I diarise these deadlines along with multiple reminders to ensure that nothing is missed. I’m getting used to the diary management element of this seat after having spent a year working in Russell-Cooke’s real estate team.
It’s been fascinating to have the opportunity to compare transactional work with litigation. As mentioned, in litigation there are constant court deadlines over the lifespan of a case.
This is very different to real estate, where we were working mainly to a client’s desired timescale rather than to that of the court.
Other differences I’ve noticed so far are the collaborative element of litigation – working with the barristers that we instruct on a case and the client base.
In real estate, at least in my experience at Russell-Cooke, we tended to do most of our work for a few established clients. In professional regulation we get many more new enquiries and are more frequently instructed by new clients.
2.15pm: I’m asked to research the position in relation to damages in cases involving a breach of data protection legislation. This isn’t an area I’ve come across in either an academic or a professional context before, so it’s interesting to read into the relevant legislation and case law.
This is another element of the work in professional regulation that I enjoy – there’s a huge variety. The partner and senior associate in the team deal with regulatory issues, employment disputes, reputation management, breach of copyright, data protection and much more.
The cases often involve novel issues, and no two files are the same. The clients also come from a huge range of sectors and backgrounds.
3.30pm: On another employment matter, I prepare a bundle of additional documents that we recently received from the client, which is to be sent to Counsel for her opinion on the client’s employment status.
I also make a start on the case management agenda for an upcoming preliminary hearing.
4pm: I return a call from a potential new client, to get some more information about his situation and see whether it might be something the team can assist with. I pass the attendance note on to my supervisor and we discuss the issues raised.
4.15pm: Another new client has sent us a large volume of documents – including letters, medical records and email chains. I review the documents and draw up a brief chronology and make a note of any further documents we might need from the client.
5.30pm: I stop off in the pub with a few friends from the office for a quick drink before braving rush hour on the Jubilee line to head home.