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Leo Jones-Rowe

Solicitor - Commercial Litigation

I really enjoyed my time reading Law at DMU.  I secured a training contract with DLA Piper in Sheffield in the summer between second and third year of the degree, after undertaking a two-week vacation scheme with the firm.  After graduation, I completed the LPC, before commencing the training contract.

I completed four 6-month seats during the training contract.  This gave me extensive and varied exposure to the Commercial Litigation, Real Estate, Corporate and Insolvency departments. 

On qualifying as a solicitor, I moved to the Commercial Litigation team at DWF in Leeds and have been with the firm for five years.  The work varies hugely and often includes contract disputes, professional negligence, defamation, intellectual property, and tax and pensions disputes.  This has offered me the chance to represent a range of different clients in High Court and, occasionally, Court of Appeal proceedings.  Alternative Dispute Resolution - particularly mediation - is an important and regular aspect of my work, so it is crucial that I continuously improve my negotiating skills.

All-in-all, being a commercial litigator is a great job and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in developing their legal knowledge and skills, and an appetite for a (legal) fight.

My tops tips for obtaining a training contract are to:

  • Gain first-hand experience outside of university of advising clients and applying the law, for example by becoming a voluntary adviser at the Citizens Advice Bureau or other law centres;
  • Make full use of legal activities offered by the University – for example, mooting and client interviewing – as these provide an excellent opportunity to hone your skills;
  • Thoroughly read the latest Chambers Student Guide and the Training Contract & Pupillage Handbook… and then read them again; and
  • Attempt to complete as many vacation schemes as possible, as they are a great way to get the foot in the door at a law firm.
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