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A day in the life of…
Jack Martin, Trainee Solicitor, Wedlake Bell LLP
Departments to date: Property Litigation, Private Client (current seat)
University: Queen Mary, University of London
Degree and class: History, 2:1
08.45am: I arrive at work, get changed into my suit and make a coffee. I review the emails that have come in overnight, update my to-do list for the day ahead and look over my calendar to remind myself whether there are any upcoming appointments or deadlines.
09.00am: I am currently preparing draft Wills for a couple based in the United Arab Emirates but domiciled in the UK. The clients have been advised to have Wills dealing with their assets in the UK but also separate Wills dealing with their assets in the United Arab Emirates. This is because the assets in the United Arab Emirates will usually be frozen whilst it is determined whether Sharia law applies or not. I therefore prepare four Wills for the clients, together with a covering letter explaining the contents of the Wills. I discuss the drafts with my supervisor and finalise the documents to send to the clients.
11.00am: The firm has a monthly chef’s table and this month’s theme is strawberries. I head up to the Hub with some of my fellow trainees to indulge in some of the treats.
11.15am: I am assisting a partner in preparing a note of advice for a client on whether there is an heirloom trust in place over a family portrait. I review the terms of the Will which originally settled the portrait and discuss with the partner whether the wording of the Will simply imposes a moral non-binding wish that the portrait be kept in the heirloom trust. I prepare an email to the client informing him that he may dispose of the portrait as he wishes.
12.00pm: An email comes in from a client confirming who he would like to appoint as his attorneys under his Lasting Powers of Attorney (“LPAs”) for financial and health and care decisions. I finalise the LPAs and prepare a letter sending the documents to the client to approve.
1.00pm: I head out for lunch with a few other trainees and paralegals. It’s a fairly sunny day so we sit on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral to eat lunch.
2.00pm: I have been asked to attend a client meeting with a partner to help with a contentious probate matter. The client would like advice on whether there is a basis for challenging his wife’s latest Will which makes inadequate financial provision for him. Before the meeting, I review the Will in question, make note of our client’s interest in the estate and carry out some brief research to determine the terms on which a life tenant under a Will trust has the right to occupy the trust property.
4.30pm: Our client, a wealthy businessman, needs advice on Principal Private Residence Relief. The client is considering whether to make his property in London his principal residence for Capital Gains Tax purposes. I undertake some research to determine how the relief applies where the taxpayer has more than one residence and prepare a draft advice note for the matter partner to review
5.30pm: My final task of the day involves me starting to prepare two deeds of retirement and appointment of trustees. There is a trustee meeting towards the end of the week which I am attending and both the retiring and new trustee will be present to sign the deeds.
6.30pm: Before I leave for the day, I update my to-do list and then head out of the office with some of the fellow trainees to grab an after work drink and discuss our respective days in the office.