Inside the world of film with Accutrainee

Katie FitzGerald Frazer is currently in her second seat with Accutrainee, a company that enables graduates to complete a training contract by seconding them out to different firms and organisations for their various seats. 

Accutrainee helped me to finally sign on the notoriously-hard-to-find dotted line of a training contract and, as you can imagine, I was over the moon, particularly given the unique and bespoke training contract on offer. 

Before starting their work in arranging my training contract I was asked what areas of law I was particularly interested in, what types of law firms and companies I would like to work for and what was important to me as a trainee.

My first seat was in-house with the leading completion guarantor in the film industry – Film Finances Inc. (FFI). I worked as part of a small team dedicated to running the London office’s legal department which monitors films that are shooting and a number of films in post-production at any one time in various locations in the UK and around the world.

The position that FFI holds in the framework of a film’s development gave me a unique experience as a trainee. I was working on drafting the legal documents required for the completion guaranty – but I also liaised with producers, directors, agents and distributors as part of a wider group of solicitors from top-tier media and entertainment law firms working on projects.

The early responsibility of this seat meant that there was a steep learning curve in relation to my knowledge of a film’s development and what made this seat particularly important was the commercial experience I gained during my time there. By working in-house I had access to experts in the fields of production and post-production and by simply walking to the other end of the office was able to have tutorials on how for example a film budget is put together.

I am currently undergoing my contentious seat at US litigation firm Hausfeld & Co. Having studied competition law as part of my degree at university this was something I was really excited to get stuck into. Since arriving, I’ve been able to work on multimillion-pound claims representing big-name clients.

So far during this seat I have been exposed to the more procedural side of the legal system by drafting statements of case and engagement letters, filing applications at court, attending application notice hearings and most recently attending a Court of Appeal hearing with our representing QC at the Royal Courts of Justice.

My training at Hausfeld has been more traditional in nature in that I form part of a partner, associate and trainee lead team on the cases I am assigned to. I am also now working alongside other trainees and interns who have provided me with a fantastic support network and also given me an excuse to join in their hunt for London’s best burger on the last Friday of every month! 

So far my training contract has been everything that I hoped for. I enjoy going into work each day and have no concerns about this being the status quo for the remainder of my two years.