During my second year at DMU, I secured a summer placement at Denton Wilde Sapte LLP and, following that, was offered a training contract. After graduating and completing the LPC, I commenced my training with seats in corporate and commercial; commercial dispute resolution; commercial property; and property litigation. Shortly after qualifying as a solicitor, I worked in a small city firm before joining the in-house legal team at Shanks Waste Management Limited, a leading sustainable waste management business.
I deal with all aspects of corporate, commercial, construction and property issues. I act on corporately financed projects, and multi-million pound PFI projects, including the £750 million Wakefield energy-efficient residual waste treatment facility at South Kirby. I liaise closely with my Project Managers, local authorities, lenders and sub-contractors and have experience across all aspects of the business. I am involved during the bidding stage; award stage to financial close; and post-close and am gaining invaluable experience at Shanks on a daily basis.
My work places particular emphasis on environmental and waste regulatory projects and matters, along with drafting contracts for shipping and storage of materials; supply of food waste and recyclable materials and "offtake" contracts; as well as goods and services contracts related to the business. My duties also include litigation/dispute resolution on behalf of the business and advising on risk assessment.
I am leading the development of a legal suite of documents for Shanks' supply of Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF), and Shanks' intake of food waste supply for our Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facilities, similar to the arrangement I worked on following Shanks securing the collection of 100% of M&S food waste within the UK. Power Purchase Agreements are an important part of AD and I am involved in putting these in place, as required.
Moving in-house was a good move for me, as I like the fact I am a business person as well as a lawyer. Rather than having to deal with hundreds of clients, I am able to work closely with just one business, meaning I have a better understanding about what I am doing and how it adds value to my employer. I work with some of the best lawyers in the field, on deals that I wouldn’t be doing until partner level if I had stayed in private practice. It’s also a bonus not to have to record all of my time, or bill clients at the end of the month!