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A Day in the Life of an HFW Trainee

Adela Valkova


I log on to my work laptop as I am working from home today. HFW provided me with the IT equipment so I can work comfortably from my flat. I open my email and check my inbox. I read an email prepared by our Knowledge Management team on the recent cases and developments in Commodities.


I start working on preparing electronic bundles for a case that is soon going to trial. Some of the emails and meeting notes we rely on are in French and I am responsible for arranging for a certified translation. Yesterday, I received the first batch of translated documents. I draft an email to the solicitors on the other side, asking them to agree the translations or suggest amendments. The associate goes over my draft and I then send it.


I have an informal catch up call with my supervisor. We discuss the principle of open justice as one of the cases we are working on involves a lot of confidential information and the other side requested that parts of the trial hearing are held in private. We also chat about how we are doing and my supervisor checks that I am happy with my workload.


I take a break and go out to get some coffee.


The monthly Commodities Group Lunch is taking place today. This is a session for the whole department where people share what they are currently working on. I eat my lunch and listen to an associate explain the details of her case. The case concerns contractual provisions for ensuring sustainability throughout the supply chain of cocoa beans.


I found the case on sustainable supply of cocoa really interesting. I give the associate a call and ask if can get involved. We end up chatting about the case and she sets a research task for me, which I should complete by the end of next week.


I join a call with my supervisor and an employee of our client. The call concern a claim our client is pursuing because a shipment of crude oil that was delivered to it contained high level of sulphur. We claim that the cargo was off-spec. The employee will provide a witness statement to describe the mitigation steps that our client undertook, and my supervisor therefore interviews him. I take a detailed note of the call as this will help my supervisor to draft the statement in the witness' own words.


I receive and email asking me to assist with a disclosure review exercise in the upcoming weeks. This will involve me going through documents, determining whether they are relevant for the case and flagging them up in case they are privileged. I go on the HFW internal website and I watch a lecture recording on disclosure to remind myself of the various rules of legal professional privilege.


Our weekly 'Trainee Virtual Drinks' event begins. A few of the other trainees join as well and we catch up about how our days are going. I stay for about an hour and then log off to enjoy the rest of my evening.

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