A day in the life of...
Ben Arrowsmith: first-year trainee, Blake Lapthorn
Departments to date: Risk and compliance, charities
University: The University of Law
Degree: Law 2(1)
8.30am: I arrive at the office having walked from home. When I get to my desk, I log on and go and make a cup of Redbush tea (battling with giving up caffeine). I check my emails and have a quick read through any updates.
9.00am: As it is Monday, I scan various e-alerts from the Third Sector, Charity Commission and other relevant websites in order to provide an update to the team at our weekly teleconference at 10.00am on changes/developments in legislation, significant case law news, new guidance from the Charity Commission and initiatives from the Government. It is important to keep the team briefed on key issues.
10.30am: I meet with my supervising partner to go through work for the day. Given the breadth of the field of law, there is never a dull day!
11.00am: My supervisor and I attend a meeting with a couple of accountants from a local firm to discuss mutual work and to see where each can help the other out. It is great for the client if they know that the lawyers and accountants are all working together for the client's good and not in silos on their own.
11.30am: I start work on registering a college with the Charity Commission in order that it might attain charitable status. With the advent of the Charities Act 2006, there are a lot of compulsory registrations, where many bodies must register with the Commission in order to maintain their charitable status.
11.45am: I have an email from my supervisor asking me to write to the Probate Registry applying for a copy of the grant of probate and the will of a deceased legatee of a charity that is a client of ours. This is pressured as I need to raise the cheque and get it authorised by 12 noon!
12.00pm: More work on the Charity Commission Application.
12.30pm: Lunch! I go up to the deli for lunch. There is a group of us who usually lunch together comprising trainees, junior and senior solicitors. What is great about this firm is that partners will happily come and sit with us: there are no barriers, which makes for a really inclusive and friendly firm.
1.30pm: An email from the head of the team has arrived asking me to research what changes the new Education Bill will have on schools converting to academies. Given the pace of change with the whole area of academies, it is crucial to ensure that our research is as up-to-date as possible.
3.30pm: I need a break from the research! I review a list of bodies to which grants have been made from a sports foundation. I am liaising with the bodies to arrange dates for the trustees of the foundation to visit the various projects.
4.00pm: I discuss with my supervisor some work for a charity client where we are trying to get money released from a deceased's bank account in order that our client can receive that which was promised in the deceased's will.
4.30pm: I attend an internal cross-working committee. This committee discusses what each department has coming up in the way of work so that cross-referrals can be made to different departments. For example, a corporate client might be interested in providing a will-writing service for its staff: this presents an opportunity for our private client department to pitch for the work.
6.15pm: Meeting finished and I hot-foot it down to Haywards Heath to stay the night with a friend as I have a PSC module the following day at the University of Sussex which means I will miss our fortnightly office drinks - again!
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