Louise Bonnici, Trainee in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, private client team.

Split seats and double learning opportunity for Russell-Cooke trainee

Louise Bonnici, Trainee in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, private client team.
Louise Bonnici
2 min Read

First-seat trainee Louise Bonnici shares her experience in both the private client and trusts and estate disputes teams at Russell-Cooke, highlighting the supportive environment and diverse range of responsibilities that have made her first office job a rewarding learning experience.

I am a first-seat trainee in the private client and trusts and estate disputes team. I was very nervous ahead of my first day at Russell-Cooke, especially with this being my first office job. This feeling was heightened when in our introductory meeting I discovered that I was the only trainee to be doing a split seat! However, I quickly discovered that this anxiety was held in vain. I was warmly welcomed into both departments and feel lucky to work alongside such encouraging colleagues. 

From trusts and estate disputes to private client 

I sat in the trusts and estates disputes team during the vacation scheme in April 2022, and therefore it felt somewhat familiar. Private client law, however, is completely new to me. Whilst at times the work of each department is complementary, there are also stark differences, with there being contentious and non-contentious work. However, it is very interesting to see how the entire process unfolds, from estate administration when someone dies to how to deal with disputes that can arise from this. 

Why Russell-Cooke?

One thing that drew me to Russell-Cooke whilst I was applying for training contracts was the level of responsibility that trainees are given. Despite having only just started my training contract, this is definitely proving to be true. From drafting Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) to instructing counsel, the work I have been involved in has been engaging, enjoyable and challenging. Both teams are relatively small and sit on the same floor in the Bedford Row office, and it has been incredibly beneficial to work closely with partners and associates and learn the importance of tailoring advice to the particular needs of the client, depending on the size and nature of their estate. This is important in private client work when advising a client on their will or what sort of trust to establish, and equally in trust and estate disputes when considering the pros and cons of pursuing some sort of mediation versus litigation in order to settle the dispute. 

I am confident that the next six months will be incredibly beneficial in adapting my skillset by being given the opportunity to take an active role in cases. 

Applications for the 2026 Russell-Cooke graduate training are open until 16 February 2024

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