Name: George Kaye
Firm: Ince & Co
Position: Trainee solicitor
University: University of York
Hobbies: Travel, Reading, Water sports, cricket, TV/Films
Current department: Shipping and International Trade – Secondment to Monaco office
Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 15/5
Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?
I did a History degree – which can pretty much take you anywhere in terms of career. I wanted to do something commercial that utilised the same skills – where I could continue to write, analyse and critique. I also didn’t want to do something that was the same role day-in day-out. So I hit on law.
What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to secure a training contract?
Every firm is different, so you have to really shape your applications to individual firms which can take a lot of time. The fact that in most cases you have to wait two years before the start of your training contracts increases the time pressure. There was always the thought in the back of my mind that if I failed in this year I would have even more ‘time to kill’ before I started. Although this did come with a small benefit – I got to go travelling.
What was the toughest training contract interview question you were asked (at any firm) and how did you answer?
I was once asked, If I was given a super tanker, what would I do with it? I was also not allowed to just say ‘use it to trade oil’. I think I said something along the lines of turning it into a giant floating hotel and pool complex. This went down well at the time – although in hindsight I wasn’t asked back for another interview so perhaps should have said something more serious.
Tell us a bit about the type of work handled by the department you’re in at the moment…
I’m currently on secondment to our Monaco office. Which is great! I’m the only trainee in the office so get to do a bit of everything although we focus mainly on shipping and trade work. I do most of the larger pieces of drafting here – contracts, settlement agreements etc. And, of course, a lot of marketing.
What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?
The sun in the South of France!
What about your job didn’t you expect before you started?
I always thought as a trainee I would effectively be sitting in a corner and keeping quiet – but you really get thrown in at the deep end and have to learn on the job. In London I was going to Court with barristers, attending meetings with clients and having WP chats with opponents. Not what I expected!
Who’s the most recent email in your inbox from, and what’s it about?
It’s from the senior associate I share an office with in Monaco. It’s part of a long debate we’re having about whether you should make cups of tea for other people in the office ‘on principle’.
Where’s the best place to go to get your office’s gossip?
Our admin team – they know everything!
Describe your training partner in three words.
Zany, unconventional, genius!
Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).
I bungeed off a bridge in South Africa and waved my arms in an attempt to fly. I’ve ridden an ostrich. I’m a big fan of pool inflatables.
If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in law?
Make sure they really want it. It is incredibly competitive now days and you can’t just coast into it. It is a full time commitment!