Become a Trainee

What do our trainees say?

Find out more about what our trainees think of working at Foot Anstey including their work highlights so far and what they found most valuable about our trainee programme

Work highlights

I have been exposed to great work from the outset of my training contract and had the ability to get stuck in with the team on projects. I really feel like part of the team and am positively contributing to the progression of their matters.

Rosie Lepper

It’s difficult to pick one highlight as there are a number of standout moments. In my first seat in Employment I was able to attend an Employment Tribunal Hearing on a case I had worked on during my seat. It was great to see the case unfold especially as the decision was in favour of our client. Another highlight was my virtual secondment with a key Energy and Infrastructure client. In this role I worked closely with the client’s in-house legal team which was a fantastic opportunity to gain insights into their business as well as gain further experience of contract procurement, drafting and negotiation in the context of a complex energy project.

Liam Henderson

I was involved in a landmark High Court case where we were acting for the Defendant in a construction dispute. Throughout the case, I had lots of contact with the client and was involved with a range of work such as helping draft witness statements, compiling evidence and liaising with the court and the expert assisting with the case. It was great to work closely with senior lawyers within the firm and I felt supported and guided throughout. When the High Court judgment was issued, I was elated as our client was found to be successful in staying the enforcement of the adjudication award. Ultimately, it has been very rewarding to be able to help our client in a challenging situation and see them attain such a successful outcome which has also further developed this particular area of law.

Catherine Owlett

During my commercial seat, I worked on a variety of commercial and data related matters, which involved drafting and negotiating commercial contracts, supporting on international data transfers, drafting privacy policies and reviewing businesses’ data protection compliance for legal due diligence reports on several corporate deals. Although I was based in the Exeter office, I had the opportunity to work across offices and subject areas within the wider commercial team. It was great to work closely with and learn from a number of lawyers in the firm.

Lucie Wickens
Working at Foot Anstey - Enjoying a coffee outside our offices

What do you value most about working at Foot Anstey?

Lowenna Carlson

The opportunity to interact with people at all levels and learn from them has helped me to broaden my legal knowledge and my understanding of how to apply the law to business challenges. It never felt like there was a hierarchy and partners were really approachable.

Ross Sellman-Leava

For me it has always been the cultural fit – this was clear from my assessment day and throughout the training contract. I am yet to meet a colleague who is not willing to have a friendly conversation in the kitchen (or more likely on Zoom these days!) or offer some support be it work based or otherwise. Foot Anstey really does deliver on its friendly, approachable and supportive ethos for the trainees and it means we have access to great training from senior lawyers, legal support staff and the training team.

Liam Henderson

The firm has a genuinely supportive culture and every team that I have worked in has taken a keen interest in my development as a junior lawyer, which I really appreciated. I felt supported both in terms of contact points, regular feedback on work and catch-ups on a day-to-day basis as well as support from a career perspective in terms of my ambitions and the qualification process. There were many senior lawyers who would take time out of their busy days to invest in my development as a trainee. I think the combination of a genuinely supportive culture and great-quality work is not necessarily available at many other law firms.

Lucie Wickens

For me, it is the opportunity to work directly with client businesses. I undertook a part-time secondment to a client in the travel sector for the first eight months of my training contract. During my secondment, I provided legal and business support to the general counsel at the client’s offices and remotely. I am also a ‘virtual trainee’ for a large wealth management company, assisting their in-house legal team with a broad range of work. Both of these experiences have given me a better understanding of the challenges faced by our clients and enabled me to deliver more commercially focused advice.


The Culture

It sounds simple to say but I get ‘time’. I often try to use it on a Friday afternoon to start the weekend early. It means I can spend a little extra time with my wife or if we are visiting friends/family head off and be there a bit earlier. It is surprising how much an extra hour can feel like such an extension to the weekend. A lifestyle hour also gives me freedom to go to appointments which you might otherwise have to arrange in your free-time (hair-cut, shopping …) so it also gives me my free-time back.

Ross Sellman-Leava

The culture at Foot Anstey is very friendly and we are actively encouraged to get involved in various projects and share our thoughts on how the firm can grow and adapt.

Catherine Owlett

The firm’s culture is great. I have found that it is very easy to connect with members of the business up to Partner level. You get exposure to great work whilst maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Rosie Lepper
Discussion of junior lawyers by the Bristol waterfront

What have you gained from a client secondment?

Rose Lepper

I went on secondment to a retail and consumer client during the first seat of my training contract. This experience allowed me to have direct client contact and develop a deeper understanding of what clients want from their legal advisors.

Chloe Phare

The Virtual Trainee programme has been an invaluable experience for me as a trainee. It has allowed me to build my skills in developing significant, long term relationships with clients. I have learnt the importance of how understanding their business, is at the forefront of delivering high-end legal advice.

The tasks that I have performed for the client I was placed with as part of the Virtual Trainee Programme have been so varied, from employment queries to commercial, commercial litigation and property. This has enabled me to experience areas of law where I had not completed a seat as part of my training contract, providing me with a broader overall experience. The level of support and supervision you receive is exceptional – you never feel out of your depth due to the support you receive internally from your colleagues. The supervision has allowed me to build internal relationships with my colleagues from different teams.

I would highly recommend being involved with the Virtual Trainee Programme. The experience has allowed me to grow in confidence and tailor legal advice to a client, taking into account their approach to business.

Ross Sellman-Leava

I spent 8 months working with the in-house legal team of one of the firms’ Projects, Infrastructure and Construction clients who are undertaking a major power project. Day to day I assisted with the drafting and negotiation of various commercial contracts between the client and contractors. I also supported the senior lawyers with an ongoing adjudication and several other contractual disputes. It was an incredible learning experience and gave me great insight as to what is important to a client’s business and how decisions are made.

Seeing how the in-house legal team interacts with the different teams within the business and all the different pieces of the puzzle coming together has made me a more commercially minded lawyer and will stand me in good stead on the work I continue to do for the client and the firm generally.


What advice would you give to applicants?

It’s ok to fail. Just learn from it, take on feedback, and keep trying. Also, just be yourself, if it isn’t a good fit then it is not meant to be, so better to find a firm that suits you.

Lowenna Carslon Solicitor

Be yourself and don’t try to fit into the ‘perfect mould’ of a solicitor because at Foot Anstey you will be valued for your individual potential, ability and personality. Think about the qualities that you have which will equip you to be an excellent solicitor. It’s also really important to think ‘why Foot Anstey’ – what is it about the firm that really interests you (e.g. if you have a particular focus in an area we have sector expertise in).

Liam Henderson Solicitor

Learn more about the trainee programme at Foot Anstey and why we could be the right fit for you