Thomas Gibby, Thomas Eggar

Lawyer 2B launches some quick-fire questions at Thomas Eggar trainee Thomas Gibby

Name: Thomas Gibby

Firm: Thomas Eggar

Position: Trainee

Degree: History

University: York

Hobbies: Sports, travelling, reading, blogging

Current department: Commercial contracts/IP (currently on secondment)

Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 50+/20+

Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?

Work experience opened my eyes to the intellectually challenging, varying and stimulating nature of legal work. Something that tests me each day is important as it focuses, motivates and applies pressure. Also, the fact that you need to show so much more than just academics made me realise that a lot of lawyers are actually very well rounded people.

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

The hardest thing to do is to repeatedly pick yourself up from rejection (sometimes without feedback). This requires you to persevere, learn from your mistakes and to develop thick skin. Revising for my law school exams without the security of a training contract placed added pressure. As long as you don’t give up, you’ll get there in the end.

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

Thomas Gibby, Thomas Eggar
Thomas Gibby, Thomas Eggar

A partner at an American law firm in London asked me what my favourite shade of grey was. I stalled: I thought grey WAS a shade…

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

I have been seconded to one of the firm’s biggest clients working in their sales division. Their work involves the sale of high-tech medical equipment to distributors and hospitals worldwide, and the legal team operates as a support function to monitor sales, logistics and insurance contracts in addition to tax and regulatory compliance.

A lot of my work involves reviewing and drafting distribution, purchase and licence agreements and sales contracts which really puts into practice what you learned at law school.

What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?

The variety of work makes each day different. Each piece of work challenges you in different ways as each case has something different about it.

Also the chance to discuss issues outside of the law (sport, politics, current affairs, travel etc) with colleagues provides good opportunities to integrate, contribute and have a laugh.

The office cakes (which seem to appear weekly) are no good for the waist but they make slow mornings go faster.

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

The variety of characters you meet in different teams in a law firm – there is no such thing as a stereotypical lawyer where I work (which is a good thing).

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

Our Kurdistan distributor has responded to the purchase and licence agreement I drafted three days ago – unsurprisingly we are (or will be) chiefly arguing over which Incoterm should apply.

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

The basement.

Describe your training partner in three words.

Dynamic; quick-witted; helpful

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

  • I know the capital city to every country in the world
  • I have never broken a bone (mine or another person’s)
  • I am sole shareholder of a BVI company

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

F1 Racing Driver (that probably isn’t a choice…)

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

I think the key to staying motivated, committed, and ultimately being happy during your training contract is finding the firm with the right cultural fit for you. Working with people you get along with and can relate to makes such a difference; along with actually doing the areas of law that you find interesting. So, research the firms thoroughly (you will be asked these questions on your application form, at assessment centres and at interview) and don’t just apply to the firm that pays the most.