Mason Hayes Solicitors

May 2014

I began working at Mason Hayes as a fee earner within the Debt Recovery Department. I moved to the firm from a large regional firm where I worked as a Graduate Clerk. I joined Mason Hayes for career progression. In addition to applying for a Training Contract in the ordinary way, I was keen to gain more commercial experience and gain further responsibility.  Shortly after joining the firm, I was offered a Training Contract.

Unlike a traditional Training Contract consisting of four six months seats, the Training Contract at Mason Hayes is much more flexible. I carry out work in different practice areas on an ad hoc basis.  I am therefore required to switch between practice areas to meet the business needs of the firm.

Commercial Litigation

I have been fortunate enough to assist the Managing Director, Marcus Hayes, in a number of high value complex Commercial Litigation matters during my Training Contract so far.  In doing so I have frequently attended conferences and consultations with both junior and leading Counsel.  The discussion of both legal and commercial issues and the subsequent formulation of a strategy is what I found to be one of the most interesting and exciting aspects of Commercial Litigation.

In addition, I have attended a number of Mediations and Without Prejudice Meetings which have provided me with fantastic exposure to the realities of dispute resolution.  To be able to see different negotiation strategies and tactics in practice, and how those tactics evolve as the cases progress, has been an invaluable experience.

I have also been involved in the drafting of pleadings and pre-action correspondence in a number of cases.  In order to be able to draft or provide input in pleadings and correspondence, I was required to consider a substantial amount of documentation and correspondence in order to be fully appraised of the factual position.  There is a great sense of satisfaction when you are able to get to the bottom of what has occurred. This I found however could be quite a challenge.

My experiences have ranged from bringing and defending multi-million pound claims in respect of breach of contract to defending small claims brought by both companies and individuals.  In addition to assisting in defending small claims, I have assisted in advising our clients as to the overall strategy to be adopted.

I was recently placed on site in one of our client’s office in London. I was given the responsibility of supervising a complex and lengthy disclosure exercise.  This gave me a unique insight in to the client’s business and how the in-house legal department operated.  It of course afforded me lots of client contact which I enjoyed.


I have assisted one of the firms Consultant Solicitors, Karen Houghton, with a number of corporate deals within the telecommunications industry and found corporate work a very different experience to litigation.  Whilst some of the skills which I had developed earlier in my Training Contract were transferrable, the most challenging part for me was negotiating and drafting the contractual documentation, such as the Sale Purchase Agreement.  In drafting the contract, a whole different skill set is required which is the ability to consider the potential scenarios that may arise and to cater for those.  I therefore began to look at contractual documentation from a different perspective which has only enhanced my understanding of contractual principles.

Initially I began drafting ancillary documents and preparing bundles.  I have however had the opportunity to be involved in conference calls and very recently I attended at a completion meeting.  The meeting was a totally different experience to the meetings which I had attended in respect of litigation matters.  Both parties worked towards the same goal, that of completion, and there was a real sense of momentum and willingness from both sides to work together to achieve it. Of course once completion has taken place it is generally still practice for both parties and their solicitors to celebrate the completion over dinner and a glass (or two) of champagne!

Debt Recovery

The firm acts for many public company clients across a number of industry sectors.  Prior to beginning my Training Contract, I worked as a Fee Earner within the Debt Recovery team which provided me with a good foundation.  As my Training Contract has progressed I have been allocated more complex disputed Debt Recovery matters being both fast and multi-track cases.  This has enabled me to gain an in-depth knowledge of legal issues and litigation both procedurally and tactically.


As a Trainee Solicitor at Mason Hayes I have been involved in the Mason Hayes Charitable Trust Scheme that the firm operates with the University of Sussex.  I have prepared seminars in respect of the Work Placement Scheme at Mason Hayes and acted as the main point of contact for students who attend placements with us.

In addition, I have prepared seminars and lectures and presented them at the University of Sussex for the University’s Law Society and Commercial Awareness Society.  I also offer ongoing support to those students whom I have met from the University such as  providing assistance in relation to obtaining a Training Contract by checking and giving feedback on applications and CV’s and providing students with an insight to the Training Contract process from my own experiences.


I have been invited to attend various networking events organised by the firm, clients and other third party providers.  I have attended at various events including drinks receptions, dinners, awards ceremonies and sporting events such as the Rugby League World Cup.  Mason Hayes actively encourages involvement in networking for Trainee Solicitors.  I have enjoyed the networking experiences and they have been a fantastic introduction to business development and marketing.


I am now in the second year of my Training Contract and already I have gained extensive and valuable commercial experience.  I hope to continue to make the most of the opportunities available to me during the remainder of my Training Contract and thereafter make the transition from Trainee Solicitor to Assistant Solicitor within the firm’s Commercial Litigation department.

Twitter Facebook

Mason Hayes Limited is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under registration number 537318. The professional rules relating to our services can be accessed on the Solicitors Regulation Authority website at Mason Hayes Solicitors and Mason Hayes are trading styles of Mason Hayes Limited which is a company registered in England and Wales under company number: 3401175. Our registered office is Siviter House, No 1 The Grange, Altrincham Road, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5ND. Our VAT number is 803 032 486. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions. Privacy Policy
Mason Hayes