Charlie Reed, Berwin Leighton Paisner

Name: Charlie Reed

Firm: Berwin Leighton Paisner

Position: Trainee solicitor

Degree: History

University: Bristol

Hobbies: Sport, travelling

Current department: Real estate

Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 6/4

Charlie Reed, BLP

Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?

It’s a well-respected and challenging profession and the skills required seemed to overlap with my degree – the ability to write coherently, defend a point persuasively and analyse various documents.

What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to secure a training contract?

It’s renowned as being a very competitive graduate market and I think the biggest challenge is not doing yourself a disservice by underplaying your achievements but ‘talking yourself up’ in a way that retains a sense of modesty and roundedness.

What was the toughest training contract interview question you were asked (at any firm) and how did you answer?

How would you explain music to a deaf person? I can’t actually remember what I waffled on about but it was useless. I’ve since heard a friend was asked the same question and drew an analogy to colours which apparently worked quite well.

Tell us a bit about the type of work handled by the department you’re in at the moment…

BLP has a vast real estate practice divided into five teams. The team I’m in handle a variety of work ranging from investment acquisitions/disposals involving foreign multi nationals, to large regional development work as well as granting occupational leases in landmark buildings in the City. As well as supporting on the big ticket acquisitions, disposals and developments, trainees are able to lead on asset management work such as licences to alter, underlet, assign and short term leases.

What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?

As well as high quality work, I think people are a really important part of a job and fortunately the culture at BLP is very inclusive, collegiate and friendly. There is a strong trainee network with regular drinks etc and a positive attitude towards life outside the office.

What about your job didn’t you expect before you started?

After two years of law school to prepare and a number of GDL/LPC bridging workshops run by BLP, nothing major has come as a surprise. Perhaps the amount of thought that goes into (1) seat choices and (2) planning holidays.

Who’s the most recent email in your inbox from, and what’s it about?

An email from my rugby club informing me of the start time and details for a summer drinks social tonight.

Where’s the best place to go to get your office’s gossip?

Alibi (which is the firm’s café/canteen)

Describe your training partner in three words.

Affable, bright, leader

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).

  • I can break an apple in half with my bare hands
  • I’ve had a few cups of chai with the Dalai Lama
  • I’m on track to compete in the Rio Olympics

If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?

Teacher or civil servant

What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in law?

Keep persisting and stay on top of things.