Trainee diary

The firm teaches you key skills: attention to detail and how to work alongside partners in a commercial setting.

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William Azuh

Second year trainee
Departments to date: Employment, Construction, Corporate, Shipping
University: University of Surrey
Degree: Law with International Studies

 I login and get settled for the day by checking emails that have come through overnight and updating my to-do list.

9.30am: Every Wednesday, the employment team hosts a ‘knowhow’ session where our lawyers present on the latest key employment cases and outline practical takeaways. Additionally, there are presentations on the latest employment-related news. Trainees are responsible for assigning presenting roles to members of the team, based on their availability. The news this week is particularly plentiful due to the numerous Government updates to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). 

11.30am: A client has just confirmed the specific amount of unlawful deduction of commission made by their employer for this month. I update the supervising partner on this latest underpayment and begin to draft the Grounds of Complaint and ET1 form, which I will then issue to the employment tribunal. 

12.45pm: I receive instructions from a senior associate to draft a large-scale redundancy toolkit, which will be sold externally. The toolkit will include a basic overview of the legislation regarding large-scale redundancies and outline the legal process for employers to follow if they are planning to make redundancies. It will also include template forms of letters to be sent to employees.

1.30pm: A partner has asked me to update the CJRS guidance document for employers, in light of the latest amendments from HMRC. 

2.30pm: Yesterday, I conducted an initial meeting with a Police Federation member regarding a potential employment claim against their employer. During the meeting I gathered pertinent information and completed any gaps in the timeline of events relating to the potential claim. Today, the partner supervising my work has asked me to draft a merits assessment of the member’s case which is to be sent to the Police Federation and will provide both an overview of the claim and a legal assessment of its prospects of success. 

4.00pm: I call the employment tribunal in order to receive an update on a recent application to postpone a preliminary hearing.

4.20pm: I check my to-do list again and begin to draft instructions to counsel regarding an unfair dismissal claim. I also start the process of setting up the extranet site to upload the necessary documents on the claim, which counsel will need to review in order to draft the Grounds of Complaint and ET1 form.

5.00pm: I receive an email from a member of the race and faith committee which is part of the firm’s diversity and inclusion group - I am a co-head of the committee. We are to draft an educational piece which covers the topic of racial inequality, to be published internally. This initiative stemmed from the Black Lives Matter movement that began with the death of George Floyd this summer. This is just one of the initiatives that the firm, spearheaded by the race and faith committee, is set to carry out in line with this social justice movement.

5.30pm: After researching the latest coronavirus-related employment news, I collate the relevant news updates and circulate these to the entire employment team, which includes the regional offices. 

6.00pm: I update my to-do list and plan my tasks for tomorrow.


Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP