News & Insights

Day in the life of a corporate trainee

Our corporate trainees provide an insight into the typical day of a trainee solicitor in our corporate team.

8:30am I arrive at the office, make myself a drink and settle at my desk. I update my to-do list at the end of each day and so I spend the first half an hour of my day reviewing this and diarising how my time is going to be spent throughout the day. I normally check my emails on my work mobile whilst I’m on the train to work so I am aware of any emails that need to be dealt with urgently when I arrive at the office.

9:00am We have a corporate team meeting once a month and this month’s meeting is scheduled for this morning. Our team meetings are a chance for the team to understand other team members’ work capacity levels and any points of interest. We have a know-how session every meeting which is run by the junior members of the team, this week the topic is directors’ conflicts of interest.

10:00am I notice that a client, whom we are acting for on a share sale, has emailed us some documents overnight which need to be disclosed to the buyer’s solicitors. As a trainee it is my job to maintain the data room, which is an online file sharing facility for both parties to access and review documents. I review the documents carefully with assistance from a senior team member to ensure that any sensitive information such as employee names is redacted.

10:30am One of our transactions is supposed to complete today. In readiness for completion I carry out an insolvency search against the company our client is purchasing, I also carry out bankruptcy searches against the shareholders whose shares our client is buying. The results have come back clear, this is very important as transactions can be unwound as the result of insolvency.

10:45am We have been instructed to draft a shareholders’ agreement which governs the relationship between the company and its shareholders. One of our associates asks me to prepare a first draft for their review. We asked our clients to complete a questionnaire setting out the key matters they would like to cover in the shareholders’ agreement and I will use this as the basis for my drafting. It is an interesting task as it involves some bespoke drafting on a range of matters such as put and call options and deadlock provisions. Whilst drafting I carry out research on any areas I am unsure of and ask members of the team for advice when I need it.

12:45pm A colleague emails me to carry out a urgent company search and requests that I pay particular attention to the directorship information.

1:00pm I have a break for lunch and catch up with some of my friends in other departments. Our firm is a very social place and so it’s nice to catch up with the other juniors.

2:00pm We have recently been instructed on a share purchase transaction which needs to move relatively quickly, my supervisor who is leading the deal gives me a copy of the heads of terms which set out the key terms of the transaction such as the shares being sold, the price, any deferred payment mechanisms etc. My supervisor asks me to produce a first draft of the share purchase agreement based on the heads of terms and she diarises a meeting to discuss my work.

3:30pm The receptionist informs me that our clients have arrived to sign the documents for the transaction which is due to complete today. I am accompanied by the partner who is running the transaction who explains that the share purchase agreement is almost agreed subject to some final negotiations. There are various ancillary documents involved with all corporation transactions such as board minutes and PSC notifications, I have helped draft most of these and so I am familiar with them. I lay them out ready for the clients to sign. I help the clients sign the documents making sure that everything has been signed correctly and that I have witnessed any documents needing to be signed as a deed. Following that the partner informs us that the share purchase agreement has been agreed and so the clients sign that too. With the help of a paralegal I get all of the signed documents scanned and sent to the sellers’ solicitors ready for completion.

5:30pm We have spoken to the solicitor on the other side of the transaction and agreed to complete and date the documents. We end our day by having a celebratory drink with the clients. Over the next few days I will need to take care of the post-completion aspects of the transaction, such as filing forms at Companies House, sending the stock transfer forms to HMRC for stamping and scanning all of the signed and dated documentation.

6:30pm At the end of the day, I ensure that my time recording is up-to-date and consider my to-do list for tomorrow.