Sebastian Forbes, DAC Beachcroft

Name: Sebastian Forbes

Firm: DAC Beachcroft

Position: Trainee solicitor

Degree: Biology, GDL, LPC (LLB)

University: Newcastle University, The College of Law Manchester

Hobbies: Politics, travel, gaming

Current department: Real Estate

Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 10/5

Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?

In my second year of university my housemates and I received a letter saying that we were going to be evicted in two weeks. It turned out our landlord had stopped paying his mortgage and the mortgage company were repossessing the house. Luckily we got help from the local council, and attended a hearing. The judge took our side and let us stay until the end of our term as long as we paid rent directly to the mortgage company. Whilst it was stressful, it was also interesting and exciting, and since then I’ve wanted to become a solicitor.

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

My A-Level results were not great as I lost focus during my last year at school when I found good friends and alcohol. My results were still haunting me even five years later after I achieved good grades in my degree, GDL and LPC.

I was also not very confident in my first two interviews, but that is why it is important to get as many interviews as you can because even if you don’t succeed, you will be much more prepared for the next time.

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

Tell me about a time you made a mistake and what you did to rectify it.

I always hated these types of questions as you can really fall into a trap, but luckily I had researched tricky interview questions beforehand and so had already thought of an answer.

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

I work in the commercial investment and development department and we mainly handle dispositions of commercial real estate, which generally involve leasehold estates. However, the projects can differ immensely from basic lease renewals at one end to complicated, interrelated dispositions at the other.

What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?

I love the variety of work and solving problems for people. My colleagues are friendly, knowledgeable and approachable. Everyone is always more than happy to help you, and everyone wants to see you succeed. My current department also organises some great socials.

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

I have definitely been struck by the level of support and insight I’ve received as a trainee here. When you are given a task, colleagues explain the background of the matter and why a specific course of action has been chosen.

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

It’s from one of my colleagues about our fundraising in support of World AIDS day.

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

The kitchen.

Describe your training partner in three words.

Knowledgeable, practical, approachable.

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

  • I love cats.
  • I came second in a national advocacy competition.
  • I speak Norwegian.

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

Teacher

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

Get as much practical experience as you can as early as you can to make sure you know what you are getting into.