The final seat of my training contract; looking back at the last year and a half

Last week marked the start of my fourth and final seat of my Training Contract (TC) at BLM which seems like a good time to look back at the last 18 months and the three seats that I have sat in.

Motor and Casualty

I started my TC in the motor and casualty team straight from the LPC. Feeling like I had very little legal experience, fortunately this seat gave me the ideal opportunity to jump in and get as involved as possible. I was quickly working on a large range of files, from small claims motor files to large loss casualty files. I was also given the opportunity to gain hands on experience with my own files; allowing me to get up to speed pretty quickly!


Feeling slightly more like I knew what was going on; my second seat in Disease followed. As mentioned in a previous blog entry, this is a seat that some may never have heard of. I was lucky to have had six months to discover the existence of this area of law and decided to give it a crack.

I probably underestimated this seat when I applied though I got what I expected – high value, historic claims and other technically interesting claim such as carbon monoxide poisoning. And then what I had definitely had not expected – helping to advise a multi-billion pound turnover company on their position following Court of Appeal decisions and complex enquiries into the corporate history of companies. This was a great seat to gain experience on larger claims in terms of both the value and the amount of information involved.

Local Authority

Moving into the second year of my training contract felt like quite a big deal. I started my third seat in Local Authority – another great opportunity to experience exposure to a wide range of work. This consisted of assisting inquiries into historic abuse to running my own caseload of small claims matters. When I started this seat I had wanted to get as involved as possible with the team’s abuse work but I didn’t have a full appreciation of the other work that they undertake. From highways to occupiers’ liability to property damage, there was a great range of really interesting and technical work to get immersed in.

Professional Indemnity and looking forward

My fourth and final seat is in Professional Indemnity and Financial Lines. With only six months until qualification, the time has absolutely flown by and I have learnt a huge amount. I wonder what looking back in two years’ time will be like!

Written by Peter Ribbins, trainee Solicitor at BLM

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