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Abdul Mutallib - Trainee Solicitor (April 2015 - October 2016)

Abdul Mutallib qualified as a Solicitor in October 2016 and was very impressed with the Training contract provided by Martin Tolhurst Solicitors.

Abdul discusses his time as a trainee and what interesting challenges he faced whilst on his solicitor training contract.

Where and what did you study at University before you were accepted for a Training Contract with Martin Tolhurst Solicitors?

I studied Law at the University of Kent (Canterbury Campus).

What work had you done before you started your training, including work placements and voluntary work? Did your work experience prove useful?

Prior to starting my training contract with Martin Tolhurst Solicitors I worked for a Personal Injury Firm based in London. Having worked there I was able to gain valuable experience in handling a wide range of Personal Injury cases including accidents at work, occupier’s liability, foreign objects in food, product liability and highways claims. 

When and why did you decide to become a solicitor with Martin Tolhurst Solicitors?

I qualified as a Solicitor with Martin Tolhurst Solicitors in October 2016. I decided to join the firm due to it being one of the biggest regional firms in Kent. I knew Martin Tolhurst Solicitors was well known for its reputation as having one of the largest Conveyancing departments in Kent and this was a deciding factor when I decided to relocate to Kent and join Martin Tolhurst Solicitors.

How did you get a place at Martin Tolhurst Solicitors and what did you do before? 

I initially worked as a Conveyancing Assistant to Jane Williams, a Partner of the firm. Having impressed and worked for a period of 6 months and upon successfully passing my probation period, to my delight I was offered a Training Contract.

What does a typical day as a trainee solicitor look like?

My work as a Trainee varied enormously. It also depended on the area of practice that I was working in. A typical day as a Trainee Solicitor in the Conveyancing department involve preparing detailed report to clients on title documents, search results, mortgage offers, liaising with clients, agents, mortgage lenders and solicitors on the other side to progress the sale/purchase transaction from instruction to completion. 

Whereas a typical day in the Wills & Probate department involved meeting clients in person to take instructions, provide advice on Inheritance tax, advise on the most suitable type of Will for the client i.e. standard Will, Life Trusts, Discretionary Trust etc. In this seat the majority of the dealing is mainly directly with the client rather than with businesses or third parties. 

What training and support did you receive whilst being a trainee solicitor?

There was so much training and support in all the seats. Whilst working as a Trainee I was assigned to a Fee Earner who was responsible for training me. This was in addition to being monitored and supervised by the Managing Partner, Richard Carter. 

There was also a training programme, Training Tracker, which all members of staff especially Fee Earners must take part in. Topics of importance are carefully selected by the Partners and are made available for Fee Earners to read and then take a test on each of the topic to check their knowledge and understanding of the topic. 

Depending on the area of practice there was also often Training Sessions held for all Fee Earners to provide an update of recent changes to law.

What were the best bits about being a trainee at Martin Tolhurst Solicitors?

Trainees were encouraged to attend all the training sessions offered by the firm. In this way, I learned about developments in all areas of practice, regardless of whether that was my current area of practice or not.  

As a Trainee I mainly worked in the Ashford and Longfield Office, but I also visited our other offices as and when required. The atmosphere throughout the firm was very friendly. Everyone, including the Partners were approachable and are at all times available and are happy to answer any questions and assist on any matters.

What interesting challenges did you face whilst on your solicitor training contract?

As a Trainee Solicitor working on a wide variety of cases and tasks I was constantly challenged. It’s really varied and you are given ownership of the work you are doing.  

Working in Conveyancing was probably particularly challenging because every transaction is different. There were also regular changes to law. I was constantly learning on-the-job. I had to pick things up quicker too, simply because you have to.

What skills have you developed since being with Martin Tolhurst Solicitors and what are you doing now?

Working with Martin Tolhurst Solicitors enabled me to enhance my written skill, communications skills and increased my confidence in dealing with various types of cases.

I am currently working in the Conveyancing department as I've thoroughly enjoyed my seat in Conveyancing. The exposure to clients is impressive and I have been entrusted to handle various different transactions.