Congratulations are in order after both Nadia Hussain and Reece Trammer completed their training contracts recently with Winn Solicitors.
A notable achievement for any solicitor early in their career, the news was met with congratulations from Winns’ Training Principal Jo Amos.
She said: “Nadia and Reece have worked very hard during their training contracts. Unfortunately for them, the Covid epidemic interrupted their period of recognised training and their contracts were extended by three months.
“I am very pleased, as I am sure they are, that they have now completed all the training and have qualified as solicitors – a well-deserved result!”
Their team leader, Catherine Walker, was equally happy to see Nadia and Reece confirm their qualified solicitor status.
She said: “Nadia has embraced her training contract and is confident to conduct her own advocacy in relation to application hearings.
“She gained a wealth of experience during her seat in litigation team. Nadia has the attributes to be a fantastic solicitor.
“Reece has really developed while completing his training contract and has gained a wide range of experience during his seats in costs and Part 7.
“He has now moved into Part 7 and will be a real asset to the business as a solicitor.”
The pair, who will now be admitted to the roll of solicitors, took a moment to reflect on their journey and enjoy a milestone moment in their careers.
What was your reaction to finishing your training contracts?
Nadia: I felt a sense of relief and achievement.
Reece: It was definitely a relief and felt a little surreal, I didn’t believe I’d done it until I could see my name on the roll of solicitors.
How did you celebrate this achievement?
Nadia: I had a long and well-deserved nap that evening but prior to that my friends and lovely colleagues got presents and cakes for me.
Reece: Me and a few people went out on the Friday night after work for a few (too many) drinks.
What did your training contracts involve doing?
Nadia: My training contract involved me continuing with the work I did as a Paralegal but expanding on this with more exposure to other areas of the business outside of my department. I carried out work within the Costs Department, Litigation Team, the previous Part 7 team as well as exposure to work within the Wills & Probate team.
Reece: I spent half a day a week working in the Litigation Team for three months. During this time, I reviewed queries sent in by different parts of the firm, such as seeking advice on whether to appeal decisions or queries in relation to comments from defendants.
I then spent seven months working one day a week in Part 7 where I learned the entire Part 7 process. I ran my own caseload alongside helping other members of the department with various tasks to ensure I got the most exposure during my time there.
I spent the final 10 weeks in Costs and Debt Recovery. This really helped me understand an area of the business which I hadn’t really thought much about before.
Throughout our contract we were also assigned tasks to assist the firm, such as opinions on quantum for Part 7, attending Infant Approval hearings, and Application hearings on behalf of the firm. With the opening of the Wills, Probate & Trusts department, there were also opportunities to assist in this new area of the firm.
What did you find the most challenging and what did you really enjoy within the training contract time period?
Nadia: It was sometimes a challenge to manage my own caseload in addition to the extra work required from me as a trainee. It was difficult to always feel like I was in control of my workload as well as balancing everything else.
Reece: It was difficult working from home through Covid, which naturally meant the extension of my contract. I couldn’t wait to get back into the office and really start my seats. It was difficult to manage my time between the different departments, but it was also really helpful to learn how each different part of the firm operates.
What support helped you through the training contracts?
Nadia: I would say that a lot of the other trainees were always supportive of one another, and we did try to provide each other with as much advice and support as possible. I also received support from my supervisors and team whenever it was needed.
Reece: I know it’s a cliché but everyone was really supportive throughout my training contract and there was always someone to go to if I was unsure or needed guidance.
All the previous trainees were really helpful, for example assisting me in how to apply to the PSC. All the department heads were really helpful when doing my seats and would always make time to help wherever possible.
Does this feel like a big milestone achievement in your career?
Nadia: I feel like I have achieved a lot, both personally and professionally. I have managed to balance a very busy lifestyle with home commitments as well as work and ensure that I always give my best to every role. Whilst developing my career, there are many skills that have helped me grow as a person too. When I look back at my growth, I feel proud and know that there is so much more to do.
Reece: It’s a bit strange to come to the end now after four years of university, two years working as a legal clerk, and then just over two years doing my training contract. It’s a satisfying feeling knowing I set out at 17 with a goal in mind and saw that through to completion almost nine years later.
What is next for you in your career?
Nadia: The next step for me is to just build on my experience and become a better solicitor; there is no end to learning and every day is a school day.
Reece: I’ve just switched over from a Portal file handler to a Part 7 file handler, so it will take a few months to adjust to the different processes day in day out. The immediate future is to settle into the new role.
I always enjoy challenging myself and pushing myself to do more technical things, and get out of my comfort zone, so I’m sure I’ll find something to push me further in the future.
Nadia: I would like to say thank you to Amy Graham and Catherine Walker for their help and support with my career development, Jo Amos for believing in me during my application and interview process, and finally Dula Miah for his help throughout the duration of my training contract.
Reece: There are so many people that have helped me throughout my time at Winns that it’s impossible for me to name everyone!
All I can say is to everyone who has answered my stupid questions, listened to me whinge, and generally put up with me on a daily basis; it’s all very much appreciated and you’ve all helped me get to where I am today!