I am now a month into my fourth and final seat, Company Commercial in the Cambridge office. Starting again in a new location can feel daunting, so it was a relief to find that like each of the other offices, everyone has been extremely welcoming. This is certainly not something that should be overlooked during a time when you are concentrating on making a good impression. Having people around to show you how the coffee machine works or where the best place for lunch is can make the change that little bit easier, allowing you to focus on getting the most out of the seat.
I have completed two seats in the Company Commercial department. In both seats, I have covered a wide range of tasks ranging from drafting company Shareholders’ Agreements to amending charities’ Articles of Association. My contract drafting skills have therefore been put to the test. I have learnt the importance of paying attention to detail, how to adapt a precedent bearing in mind that ‘one size does not necessarily fit all’, which language is appropriate to use in order to avoid confusion and vagueness, and how to draft a document to reflect your client’s instructions.
Whilst all are important considerations, the latter is arguably the most fundamental. It is all very well having a well drafted document which promises your client protection, but unless it delivers the desired outcome then it is quite simply futile. To prevent such a situation evolving, it is important to ask as many questions at the initial meeting to form a comprehensive set of instructions. These should regularly be referred back to as the matter progresses.
Whilst there are of course many similarities between the Sandy and Cambridge offices, there are also a few substantial differences, their clientele being one of them. Woodfines pride themselves on their Agricultural services and with Sandy being located in the heart of a rural community, it is no surprise that I was given the opportunity to draft multiple farming Partnership Agreements as well as being involved in transactions such as the sale, purchase and incorporation of farming companies. Cambridge however, also caters for a broad spectrum of city businesses, whether they be new business start-ups or well established businesses looking to grow.
There is certainly a lot to be gained from completing my final seat in Cambridge and I look forward to making the most of the opportunity.