A talented new group of recruits have joined the ranks of Newcastle headquartered legal practice, Ward Hadaway.

The group of 11 trainee solicitors, who will be based across the firm’s Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester offices, gathered at Ward Hadaway’s Newcastle Quayside base to begin their training contracts under the guidance of Training Principal Julie Huntingdon.

The trainees will spend the next two years getting a flavour of various areas of law, including corporate, commercial, commercial dispute resolution, healthcare, litigation, property, employment and private client.

The 11 trainees beat over 500 applicants for a place at the award winning firm.

Dom Exton is originally from Melton Mowbray and studied law at Newcastle University. He’ll take up his first seat at the Newcastle office in the commercial dispute resolution team.

He said; “I’m looking forward to the practical side of applying the law, rather than purely studying. Also meeting clients and new people and putting everything I’ve learnt to date into practice. I’d advise anyone looking to secure a training contract to be themselves – it shows if you don’t. Put a lot of work into applying for a few contracts rather than spreading yourself too thin and focus on your strengths and the things you do well, rather than trying to make yourself fit in.”

Sam Walker, from Leeds, studied law at the University of Nottingham and will be based at the Leeds office, with his first seat in housing.

Sam said; “It’s great to be starting work and getting stuck into the job. I’m looking forward to putting into practice what I’ve learnt from an academic perspective. If you’re thinking of applying for a training contract make sure you do lots of research on the firm you’re applying to, tailor your applications and importantly, be yourself at interview.”

Katie Small is from Macclesfield and will take up her first seat in commercial litigation at the Manchester office, having studied law part time at the University of Leeds whilst working full time as a paralegal.

She said; “I’m looking forward to experiencing the various areas of law and figuring out where my skills are best suited. I’ve had a lot of commercial experience over the past 4 years, as I studied part time whilst working full time as a paralegal, including an in house role at Pets at Home. I’d advise anyone looking to secure a training contract to be resilient. It’s a competitive process and you’re unlikely to get the first contract you apply for, so be prepared for that and don’t let it stop you.”

Managing partner Martin Hulls, said; “Our teams across the north are growing and it’s great to add these recruits to our ranks. To get here they’ve already shown us their academic prowess, legal knowledge, people skills and a willingness to learn and I’m delighted to have them on board. I know they will bring a great deal to our team.”

Julie Huntingdon oversees the trainee solicitors. She said; “As ever it’s great to welcome a new group of trainees through our doors. At Ward Hadaway, we look for candidates who are very human, with lots of personality and who are real team players. They have to be able to work with clients from different disciplines, backgrounds and roles, so being able to deal with people is key.

“They ideally need to bring something different to their application to stand out from the crowd – perhaps having already undertaken work experience or coming from a career elsewhere, as some of this year’s trainees have. I’m looking forward to seeing where their journey with us over the next two years takes them and I’m sure they will all excel.”

Jamie Martin is Senior Partner at Ward Hadaway and met the trainees this week. He commented; “It’s always a pleasure to welcome our recruits. Securing a training contract is competitive and we know the trainees have already worked incredibly hard to reach this first stage in their career. They’ve demonstrated a real passion for the law and a willingness to learn, and that’s very important to us. I hope they enjoy their next two years at Ward Hadaway and look forward to watching their progress.”