Ellen is an Associate in our tax team and qualified at the Firm in 2018.
What attracted you to and keeps you at Boodle Hatfield?
As a law student I recall feeling inundated with presentations and marketing collateral from innumerate law firms, each professing to be profoundly unique and progressive, but which all failed in fostering any real sense of originality or distinctiveness. On the other hand, Boodle Hatfield immediately stood out as a firm with an impressive heritage and a refined niche. For me, the attraction lay in the opportunity to carry out high quality work for an established client base, in an unpretentious and welcoming working environment. I would say that these hallmarks ring true, in particular in relation to the work calibre and the firm’s (deservedly) friendly reputation.
How much client contact and responsibility did you have as a trainee?
I had heard from previous trainees at the firm that trainees (particularly in property seats) will manage some of their own files pretty much from the word go. Initially I found that prospect daunting but in fact it meant that I hit the ground running. The culture is very much that you learn by doing, which pushes you outside of your comfort zone at times, but you always feel that help is there when you need it. In my first seat, I worked predominantly with a large estate client and was in contact with the client on a day-to-day basis. Naturally you will acquire more responsibility and client exposure towards the end of your seats, but the firm recognises that an ability to communicate effectively and naturally with clients is an extremely important aspect of the job, and so is encouraged from the start.
How has your role changed since qualifying?
I have qualified into the role in which I took my last seat so for me the change has felt quite gradual and natural; there certainly wasn’t an overnight change when I was suddenly expected to know everything! I do think that is testament to the calibre of work and responsibility I had as a trainee, and the continued support I receive as an NQ. The main change in my role has been in knowing that I do not have to move into a new department in 6 months’, which allows you to invest more time into managing and developing your own practice.
What was your experience of the qualification process?
My experience was atypical but certainly a positive one nonetheless. It became clear relatively early on in the process that the role which I wanted to qualify into, in the corporate tax team, would be vacating sooner than my qualification date. Everyone was very flexible and it meant that I started working in the role as a trainee in my last seat. It was a little daunting to feel the need to fill the boots of a qualified solicitor straightaway, but I felt entirely supported throughout the process.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
This is a difficult question to answer because there have been many (countless!) high value or high profile, or complicated or interesting transactions or pieces of advice to which I have contributed over my time at Boodle Hatfield to date – most of which cannot be named. My proudest achievement, though, would have to be winning the firm’s annual talent show with my fellow trainees.