A Higgs & Sons training contract aims to deliver a solid, all-round understanding of the business and is made up of 4 x 4-month seats with the final 8-month block usually spent in a preferred seat for qualification. CARLA LEE is a first year trainee and ELLIE NORTON a second year, and here they give an insight into trainee life.


A typical day for Carla Lee, first year trainee

Property Litigation in Bristol:

  • travelled to Bristol County Court with a senior litigation partner for a costs assessment hearing
  • first-hand experience in the court room working with our barrister and the barrister for the opponent
  • saw how a judge makes a decision in action and agreed to terms with both claimant and defendant as the hearing progressed

“This first-hand experience demonstrated the final stages of litigation and how a settlement is reached between the two parties.

“I continued to work on the file and was able to attend court again for the final hearing. This was an excellent practical example of the legal elements of a claim in trespass and mooring rights.”

Neighbour Boundary Dispute:

  • attended a client’s home with a senior partner for a settlement meeting
  • Senior partner explained to clients the process involved in making an offer to the opponents
  • met with defendants and tried to negotiate a settlement

“This was an invaluable experience as I learned from watching a senior colleague advise our clients on a contested issue how vitally important communication is in establishing a confident and trusting relationship between all parties.

“Actually seeing the law put into action in relation to easements and adverse possession brought the legal process to life, and proved extremely beneficial from a learning viewpoint.”


Ellie Norton, second year trainee 

1st seat: Family

  • within a week of starting my Training Contract I attended a significant Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) hearing in London with a client and senior counsel
  • regular face to face client meetings
  • drafting court documents, such as Form E’s, Questionnaires, Divorce Petitions and Consent Orders

 2nd seat: Private Client

  • drafting Wills, Letters of Wishes, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection applications
  • frequent face to face client meetings, with some attended by the client’s IFAs/accountants
  • trustee meetings

3rd seat: Dispute Resolution

  • initial telephone calls with clients to ascertain the material background to their claim
  • attending court hearings and mediations
  • preparing correspondence including initial letters of advice to clients and letters before action
  • proposing strategies and undertaking negotiations

4th seat: Commercial Property

  • drafting Contracts for Sale, Leases and Licences
  • reviewing lease renewals
  • finalising property transactions by undertaking the completion process
  • handling post-completion matters in terms of SDLT and Registration at the Land Registry

“I was surprised that as a trainee I was given responsibility straight away, which alongside the ‘open door’ policy of continuous support and supervision really built my confidence from the beginning. Trainees get a huge amount of exposure in each seat, both in terms of complex and varied legal work but also external events and networking opportunities

“Trainees are encouraged to fully immerse themselves in the trainee experience. Since October 2018, I have had the opportunity to mentor a University of Birmingham undergraduate, providing her with an insight into life as a Trainee Solicitor and advising her on vacation schemes/training contract applications, improving her CV and being there to answer any questions she has

“The ability to get involved in various committees within the firm such as the Social and Charity Committees has been fantastic and enables Trainees to strengthen their colleague relationships and raise their profile within the firm. Trainees are also encouraged to run their own charity events throughout the year, such as the Higgs’ Great British Bake Off and an afternoon tea for Mental Health Awareness week.

“Higgs is an extremely inclusive, supportive and friendly place to work, where trainees are valued and invested in. Higgs is proud of its structured training programme, and this results in trainees who upon qualification are totally prepared for life as a solicitor.”

Preparing for life as a solicitor

Contact us

3 Waterfront Business Park
Brierley Hill
West Midlands, DY5 1LX

Email: law@higgsandsons.co.uk
Call Us: 0345 111 5050


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