I started at Morton Fraser as the first English trainee solicitor in September 2007 and from the very beginning I found it to be a friendly and welcoming firm.
My first seat was in Banking/Real Estate with the English team and this would be the department that I would qualify into 2 years later. It was also where I spent a year of my traineeship. The colleagues here were really supportive, inclusive and approachable. It made those first few weeks finding my feet in the firm, which can otherwise be daunting, a much more pleasant experience.
I also spent time in the Corporate department and my litigation seat was in Employment. My overriding memory of the traineeship is that we were able to get involved with the cases we were dealing with directly, rather than being stuck at the photocopier or filing all day. A great example of this is that trainees in the litigation seat were able to appear in the Sherriff court which, although slightly nerve-racking, was a really valuable introduction to advocacy at an early stage. It gave us some insight into what real court appearances (rather than those staged at law school) were like and allowed us to consider whether litigation might be a long term career prospect for us.
After 2 and half years at Morton Fraser, an opportunity to work in-house came up and I left the firm to work at Wolfson Microelectronics plc (now part of Cirrus Logic). Wolfson was a global microelectronics company which designed semi-conductors for the consumer electronics market with offices in Europe, Asia, the U.S. and Australia. One of the major differences I noticed between working in private practice and working in-house was the huge variety in terms of the work we covered at Wolfson. Some typical examples of the types of work would be commercial contracts, licensing, distribution agreements, consultancy agreements, employment matters, training, as well as some corporate work. I soon became familiar with contract reviews and was also lucky enough to be involved in some of the bigger deals and projects going on at the time including acquisitions and supply deals with major companies in the mobile industry.
After 3 ½ years I moved from Wolfson to Skyscanner Limited, an online travel metasearch site comparing third party offers for flights, hotels and car hire. Skyscanner has offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Barcelona, Budapest, Sofia, Singapore, Beijing, Shenzhen, Miami, London, Singapore and Tokyo. The job is really busy but really rewarding, and no two weeks are the same. We deal with lots of different aspects of legal work including commercial contracts, regulatory work, data protection, competition, corporate, and property amongst others and all on an international basis.
I’ve had the opportunity to visit our offices in Beijing, Shenzhen, Glasgow and London and I was lucky enough to be offered a secondment to the Singapore office for 8 months in 2014/15. This gave me an invaluable experience in working in the Asia Pacific region for the first time and I was also able to travel extensively throughout South East Asia while I was there.
I think my experience shows that there are lots of possibilities both in the legal profession and elsewhere. Indeed, one of my peers is now an MP!
Morton Fraser gave me an excellent foundation on which to build my legal career. It provided me with a great network of friends in my fellow trainees and it gave me some first-rate legal work experience. I’ll always be grateful for the time I spent at the firm and remember it with affection when I look back.