Conversation between colleagues

Exposure, experience and exciting projects: my training contract explained

TLT isn’t an old school firm – there’s a modern and refreshing approach to how things are done here

Who better to tell you what it’s really like to be a trainee at TLT than someone who’s experienced our training contract first-hand? We caught up with recently qualified Oliver Bell to talk seats, secondments and sitting next to partners

So, why TLT? What was it that first attracted you to the firm?

The growth was very appealing to me, and the opportunities that came with this. After going along to an open day at TLT’s London offices, it was clear from speaking to trainees that they were enjoying their training contracts – and that I wouldn’t just be stuck doing endless photocopying. I really liked that I’d be able to get out there and build relationships with clients.

What was the support and training you received like as a TLT trainee?

There are lots of training programmes throughout your training contract, so you learn how to conduct yourself, network and develop all the important softer skills you need.

TLT isn’t an old school firm – there’s a modern and refreshing approach to how things are done here. Yes, you can take on a lot of responsibility as a trainee, if you want to, but you’re always very well-supported.

I was sitting next to senior equity partners when I was training, which was great. The open plan nature of the office means that there’s no having to knock on people’s doors and ask for a few minutes of their time. Instead you can literally turn to partners next to you or pop over to chat through something, which makes for a very collegiate atmosphere.

Partners really appreciate that it’s a learning experience and they don’t just give you something and expect you to go off and do it without any guidance. They’ll take the time to explain things and help you to run matters on your own.

You completed a client secondment, how did that go?

Yes, after my first seat in professional negligence, I spent six months on a secondment with one of our large retail clients. It was an excellent learning curve and a great opportunity for me to really bolster the relationship and get a deep understanding of their business. I gained masses of experience as I was running my own negotiations and working closely with their in-house team.

The opportunities for secondment here are great as you’re able to experience things first hand and add value to client relationships. It gave me a really useful head start for my third seat in TLT’s commercial team too, where I took on projects for other retail clients and ended up going on a second secondment, this time to one of our public sector clients.

How did the training contract experience live up to your expectations?

As a trainee, I was keen to get as much exposure as possible. And the TLT training contract completely exceeded my expectations in that respect.

Supervisors and senior colleagues take the time to get to know you, and understand what you’re interested in; they want to understand what you’re looking to gain from your training contract so that you get the most out of it.

It’s certainly not a case of just being stuck doing the back office work. I was able to work closely with clients and get involved in exciting projects from the beginning, with excellent support.

You qualified in September. How have things been since?

I’m still really enjoying the close working relationships I have with clients – and developing these further. As I’m only newly qualified, at the moment I’m trying to keep my portfolio as wide as possible and learn as much as I can. One of the great things about TLT is that I feel supported and encouraged to do more of what I enjoy. My input is taken on board and my ideas are valued. We’re growing fast too, across the UK, so it’s an exciting time to be here.