A day in the life
Commercial Team / Property Team – called to the Bar July 2014
Being a junior tenant at Five Paper means that your working days are busy, varied, sometimes unpredictable, but never dull. I am normally in court at least three or four times a week and the high turnover of cases means that no sooner have I finished one attendance note than I am turning over a new page in my blue book to prepare for the next matter. The hearings I attend range from short possession hearings, interim applications and appearances in the Companies Court winding-up list to fast-track trials and appeals lasting an entire day. Most often I appear in courts in an around London and the South East, but do occasionally travel a little further afield. Sometimes I am called on to attend urgent injunction hearings, which means I am out of the door and looking up train times as soon as papers come off the printer!
When I am not in court I am back in chambers preparing for hearings or doing paperwork, such as drafting advices and pleadings. I also always take the opportunity to catch up with other members of chambers to hear about their cases and to sound out any tricky problems in my own work. One of the best features of tenancy at Five Paper is knowing that my colleagues, however senior, are always around to give advice and guidance whenever I need it.
In between work on cases, it is important for me to set aside time to developing my practice and meeting clients. I try to attend as many conferences and networking events as possible and am heavily involved in delivering lectures to clients. For example, junior members of the Property Team regularly deliver breakfast seminars to pass on our expertise and get to know more solicitors.
Junior tenants sometimes spend time away from chambers on secondments with clients. I spent two months working in-house with a firm of instructing solicitors and, more recently, spent three months abroad as a Pegasus Scholar. Both experiences were invaluable and I learned a great deal which I was able to apply to my work when I came back to chambers.
The variety of opportunities available to junior tenants at Five Paper means that your typical day is whatever you make of it! No matter what I am doing, I always feel challenged and look forward to whatever the next day might bring.
Commercial Team / Property Team – called to the Bar in 2015
Since completing pupillage and becoming a tenant in October 2018, I have enjoyed a busy court practice. That, however, is the only thing I have found typical about life as a junior at Five Paper.
My day normally starts with a journey to one of the many London county courts for a morning hearing. My cases regularly take me further afield, however. I arrive about 30 minutes prior to the time my hearing is listed for. Those minutes provide a useful buffer against unexpected delays in my journey. They also allow me to catch my breath once I get to court, which I often find necessary whenever I have travelled during rush hour.
I find the robing room, if the court has one, drop off my coat, and go hunting for the court usher – who can sometimes prove elusive – to sign in. Once signed in, I wait for my client to arrive. I use the time to review my papers for the hearing, which could relate to anything from a bankruptcy petition or a strike out application in a commercial dispute to possession of land or enforcement of a judgment or order. This variety is a benefit of being a member of two of chambers’ busiest practice teams.
When my client arrives, they provide relevant updates on the case, I raise any important issues, and explain the procedure the hearing will follow. Where possible and potentially beneficial, I will discuss the case with my opponent. At the end of the hearing, I have a debrief with the client and discuss next steps.
On my journey back to chambers, I pick up some lunch. I also use the travel time to answer emails. When I get back to chambers, I send a note of the outcome of the hearing to my instructing solicitors. I then begin to prepare my next cases. This could mean preparing submissions for my next hearing, drafting pleadings or researching an opinion.
Around 5:30pm, things wind down. Often, there are a few juniors going for drinks at a local bar. Occasionally, I tag along for one or two. When I do not, I continue working until about 7:30pm, when I call it quits. I spend these last hours dealing with any pressing emails that cannot wait until the morning, ensuring I have got everything I need for my hearings the next day, and planning my journey to the court.
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