‘One of the highlights of my training contract was during a Corporate seat.’ James Taylor
Associate Bristol

Why did you want to pursue a career in Law?

I was attracted to Law for a number of reasons.  Having completed an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, a career in law presented an opportunity to apply the skills of critical and analytical thought to real-world problems in a practical environment.  The prospect of dealing with complex issues and arguments with a view to finding creative solutions was an attractive one for me.  I also liked the idea of doing a job where I would be challenged and learn something new every day and that wouldn’t become repetitive or stale, which the job of a solicitor definitely provides.

Why OC in Bristol?

Having grown up in Bristol, I was extremely attracted to the opportunity of working in OC’s Bristol office.  This has offered me the unique ability to work at a multinational law firm whilst remaining in my home city with my family and friends nearby.  OC’s Bristol office is in a great location, near to the city centre and Cabot Circus’ shops and restaurants, meaning that there’s always something going on nearby.  At weekends, being in Bristol means I can get to the countryside or the seafront by train or car in less than half an hour.  Choosing OC in Bristol has given me the best of both worlds: the opportunity to do the same top quality commercial work as you would in London, whilst being based in a fantastic city where you can live within walking distance from work.

How has your training contract at OC aided your transition to qualified lawyer?

Completing my training contract at OC assisted with making my transition to being an NQ as smooth as possible.  Throughout my training contract I was given a really high level of responsibility and involvement, which speaking to peers at other firms doesn’t seem to always be the case.  My work as a trainee was not confined to behind-the-scenes drafting of ancillary documents: I was provided with the opportunity for client contact from day one and was trusted to run a client meeting.

One of the highlights of my training contract was during a Corporate seat, where I had the opportunity to fly out to the Isle of Man to meet the clients and help run the completion of a multi-million pound equity investment deal.  Whilst in an Insolvency seat, I was responsible for liaising directly with barristers and attended a case management conference at the local courts.  Being part of a team and working alongside the rest of the fee earners during my training contract at OC allowed me learn a lot about what it takes to be a successful solicitor and provide dedicated client service.  This exposure and experience meant that when I qualified it felt like a natural progression with new challenges to tackle, rather than a sudden ‘jump’.

What drew you to qualify into Corporate?

I was drawn to qualify into Corporate following my experiences of working in the team during my training contract.  My work in the corporate team involves dealing with businesses of all sizes, from early stage start-ups to large, publicly listed companies, and across a range of industries, from financial services to cake factories!  Each transaction you work on is different and brings its own challenges which need to be analysed and dealt with.  The run up to the completion of a deal can be an adrenaline fuelled period, so I feel a great sense of achievement when we finally get a deal through to completion.  It’s exciting to then see the results of your work reported in the press and to watch the relevant parties move forward and develop.

Most significant deal that you’ve worked on to date?

My role in the Funding Circle deal involved working within an OC team made up of a Partner, a Senior Associate and myself, so as a result I was able to take responsibility for project managing a lot of the work on the deal which was a really enjoyable experience – certainly one of the most exciting deals I’ve been able to work on so far in my career.

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