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A Day in the Life of an In-house Trainee Solicitor
I am halfway through my two-year training contract with the Legal & Regulatory team at the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA). The LMA is located in the historic Lloyd’s building, which is where I get to spend the majority of my week. The Lloyd’s building is home to the iconic underwriting floors, the main location of the Lloyd’s managing agents that manage the Lloyd’s syndicates. Working in this building daily has been an exciting start to my career in insurance and enabled me to get to know the Lloyd’s market better.
My day begins with a meeting with the Legal & Regulatory team, where we discuss the week ahead and any urgent tasks we are working on. It is a great environment to learn and to understand what the rest of the team is working on and to volunteer to support if needed. This is followed by a check-in with our supervisor. The latter is an opportunity for us to ask questions about topics we did not understand, discuss how our tasks are progressing and raise any other issues we might have. We find this to be really useful to consolidate our learning.
The rest of our day consists of committee meetings, working on several internal projects and a networking event in the evening. The LMA is a trade association which represents the interests of its members – Lloyd’s managing agents. We therefore have regular committee meetings across various classes of business and with members of the different managing agents, to gain an insight into the issues the market is facing and to assist with preparing guidance and offering possible solutions.
The committee meeting scheduled for today is being held by the Wordings Committee, which consists of heads of wordings from our member organisations. Part of the purpose of our training scheme is to equip us with the skills appropriate for a wordings professional. A wordings professional is a skilled employee who drafts clauses and products – insurance policies – for use by underwriters. We therefore take an active role within the wordings team and their committees. For today’s meeting, I was asked to provide an update on one of the workstreams I have been working on, involving homeowners insurance in the US. Although I still find speaking at committee meetings daunting, the abundance of opportunities to contribute has meant I am getting a lot of experience with public speaking and feel more confident in doing so.
Following this meeting, the other trainee and I take the escalators down to the café at the bottom of the Lloyd’s building, where we have a coffee and catch up with a member from one of the “Next Generation” Committees that we are a part of. One of our objectives as trainees is to identify ways we can increase engagement with emerging legal and compliance professionals in the insurance industry. We are pursuing this objective through a Next Generation Legal Committee which we have helped to set up and play a large part in running. This provides a space for junior lawyers, the next generation of General Counsel, to network, get support and discuss hot topics in the sector. As this is a new project, it is really exciting to be involved.
After the catch-up, I spend the rest of the afternoon at my desk, finalising a few ongoing tasks. We are often tasked with summarising key and emerging issues in the format of a memo, for our team to discuss and circulate to the various committees. Today, I finish preparing a memo in relation to the Prudential Regulation Authority’s (PRA) latest consultation paper on its review of Solvency II. This paper is circulated to the Regulatory Committee to provide members with a digestible summary of the changes to consider under the consultation. The members find our summaries helpful as it allows them to distribute information easily internally and, therefore, it is an important part of our work at the LMA.
Finally, I spend the last 10 minutes of my day completing the entries in my training record. Part of the requirement to qualify as a solicitor includes keeping an accurate record of the work undertaken and the skills acquired, to demonstrate that we have met the competencies required to qualify as a solicitor. This record is evidence required by the SRA, the regulatory board for solicitors, that we are fit to practise as solicitors.
As I mentioned, given the push to engage emerging professionals in the sector, many organisations are keen to create networking events to provide a space for us to get to know one another. After work, we are invited to the All-Star bowling alley on Brick Lane, where one of the emerging professional networking groups has organised an event to be held in a private area at the back of the venue. This is a fun and beneficial opportunity to network with other emerging professionals in the industry.
The most rewarding part of my day is our level of involvement at the LMA. Our opinion is valued and due to the size of the team, we are always asked to contribute to every matter that the team deals with, meaning we get a wide breadth of experience on issues that impact the insurance market. In addition to this, we are also taking part in individual placements at various Lloyd’s managing agencies and a law firm, where we will be able to develop further as insurance professionals.
The LMA's Wordings Trainee Scheme is designed to produce qualified and technically trained solicitors for the London insurance market. We take on new legal trainees every year. To find out more about the two-year scheme, visit the dedicated page on our website.