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How the graduate got the job – why they chose Bristows:

I was offered a training contract after attending the two-day workshop at Bristows. The workshop offered a snapshot of life at Bristows and highlighted the firm’s friendly and inclusive culture. With a strong interest in IP law, I felt that with the firm’s client base and reputation as a leading IP firm Bristows was the ideal for an aspiring IP lawyer. For me it was the combination of the firm’s culture and high quality technical work that made Bristows stand out from the crowd. 

What the graduate’s role involves: typical activities and responsibilities 

The role of a trainee is very diverse, no two days are ever the same. I am on secondment at the moment and much of my work involves litigation support and assisting with the coordination of international litigation. One day I am reviewing authorities for a piece of litigation in Ghana, the next day I am drafting an advice note on the key legal principles from a recent CJEU decision on intermediary liability for copyright infringement. 

One of the most satisfying aspects of work at Bristows is the level of responsibility trainees are given from the outset. The responsibility varies between departments, but during my first seat I was asked to draft instructions to counsel, witness statements and submissions for various trademark disputes. More recently in the competition team I was responsible for managing a substantial document-review as part of a European Commission investigation into anti-competitive practices.

Highlights of work done:

Whilst working on a piece of trademark litigation I was asked to do some undercover research on pop-up stores in Shoreditch and Liverpool that our opponents claimed as evidence of genuine use of their client’s trademark. During my competition seat I also had the opportunity to work closely with the team on a novel settlement procedure used by the European Commission for infringement of EU competition law. 

What training the graduate has received?

Bristows offers a number of training sessions at the beginning of the training contract to help get trainees up to speed. From then on we are encouraged to regularly attend internal know-how sessions and external seminars. Throughout my training contract I’ve also attended a number of professional skills courses. On qualification the firm pays for new qualifiers to attend various academic courses, such as the Oxford IP course.

Why I like working for Bristows and what is particularly perky: 

Essentially the office is a really enjoyable place to be. Bristows has a true open-door policy which creates opportunities to work and collaborate with colleagues and other teams. As a trainee especially, the firm’s culture makes it really easy to get to know people and integrate quickly. There is a real collective ethos at the firm and from day one I felt very much part of the team. Equally, I appreciate the opportunity to work with high calibre clients on exciting and cutting edge work.

Most importantly the snacks around the office are awesome! I regularly receive emails about cakes, cookies and chocolates from trips abroad, a recent birthday or just from general baking fans. Discount on Ben & Jerry’s ice cream from the Unilever shop in the building is also a cool perk.