Skip to main content

Open Menu

A Day in the Life of an HFW Trainee

Annabel Elliott

Energy & Resources


I arrive at work early as we have a hearing this morning in the Commercial Court and I want to make sure that all our bundles are in order. Our client is on the receiving side of an injunction concerning the sale of a crude oil cargo and this hearing is our application for fortification of the security provided by the applicant. As a trainee, I am responsible for ensuring any last minute evidence in the form of witness statements or affidavits, exhibits to go along with them, and recent correspondence between the parties are included in our copy of the bundles and the copy that goes to our counsel. This case has been very fast moving and there has been a flurry of last minute evidence from both sides. I make extra copies of documents that were too late to make it into the bundles previously sent to counsel and the judge to bring to Court. I book a taxi and check the Commercial Court listing for which courtroom the application is being heard in. I forward on these details to my team.


My team and I leave for Court with the bundles. We meet counsel at the Rolls Building (where the Commercial Court sits) and get set up in the courtroom. I hand up any additional inserts to the usher to give to the judge. I also make sure that counsel's bundles are all up to date and give him the most recent inserts.


The hearing begins. Even during the submissions a trainee can play an active role: as I have been closest to the documents, I can find relevant material in the bundles quickly to assist counsel in responding to the judge or formulating responses to the other side. I take notes of counsels' submissions and the questions put forward by the judge. There are moments when I can sit and listen and I find it very enjoyable to hear counsel skilfully argue our client's case.


After an exciting morning, the Court takes a break for lunch. The team and counsel go to grab lunch nearby.


The hearing resumes with each sides' reply submissions. As it is an urgent application and requires judgment as soon as possible, the judge directs that the parties return tomorrow morning for the judgment to be handed down.


The hearing comes to an end and we head back to the office with the bundles. After the rush of the hearing, I make sure that the bundles are all in order again. I type up my notes from the hearing and circulate them to the team.


Now that I have a bit of time, I do some research for the firm's Renewables Bulletin. This is a monthly bulletin on legal and industry updates in the renewable energy industry and this month I am on the rota for compiling it. I flag articles on any relevant legal developments and find some interesting updates from our existing clients in the energy sector. I also make note of any renewables-related work that is currently going on in the firm. I have found this initiative very helpful in developing my knowledge and understanding of the sector, its key players and the role the firm plays in it.


Before leaving the office after a busy day, I prepare for our trip to Court tomorrow morning. This time we will need costs schedules of the work done by our team for making submissions on the costs of the hearing. I print off copies for counsel and the Court. I record my time for the day and leave to do a yoga class nearby.

Follow Us