Charles Underwood

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Prior to starting my training contract with RPC, I spent time as a paralegal in RPC's matter support team and as a claims handler in the Property & Casualty team. I really enjoyed my time as a paralegal and knew that I wanted to pursue a career at RPC. What really stood out to me, and ultimately convinced me that RPC was where I wanted to be, was the people. I always felt comfortable at work and felt it was an environment where I could bring my whole self to work.

The RPC training contract is structured around the traditional four six month "seats". Being based in the Bristol office the seats are insurance focused and you can expect to spend time in Professional & Financial Risks, General Liability & Medical, Construction and Property & Casualty. There is a very strong emphasis on contentious work in each of these teams.

My first seat was spent in the market leading Professional & Financial Risks team. I spent time working on professional negligence cases, where claimants were suing their former solicitors for losses caused by the solicitors alleged negligence. I was given a small selection of files which I could take conduct of under the supervision of a partner. I also worked with the financial side of the team, who defend claims against financial advisors, accountants and insurance brokers. I was always told prior to starting my training contract that you could expect a wide range of claims in PFR, and I can honestly say this is the truth.

I am currently in my second seat with the General Liability and Medical team. I have gained exposure to both the General Liability and Medical sides of the team. What I am really enjoying about this team is the variety of work that I have been able to assist with. The team works under both the Insurance and Regulatory pillar, so I have gained exposure to both contentious matters and non-contentious work such as providing regulatory advice on products and health & safety obligations. I have also enjoyed being involved with the teams marketing strategy, where everybody is expected to contribute.

Beyond work, RPC provides a lot that you can get involved with. There are numerous workstreams and committees that you can volunteer to be involved with. I have mentioned that what makes RPC a great place to work is the people, and I think this is demonstrated in the enthusiasm and effort put into the various workstreams to ensure that RPC continues to be a great place to work. There are also numerous social events to get involved with at almost every level of the firm meaning you never really have to look too hard for something to get involved with. This week I will be joining the RPC team at the Standard Chartered Great City Race and then hosting an event at our virtual summer Olympics

As a trainee at RPC you will be given real responsibility from the get-go and be given exposure to a wide range of work. The responsibility really pushes you to perform to the best of your ability. What I think makes RPC stand out in my mind however is not necessarily the responsibility, but the support that you receive. From the Associates to the Partners everyone is very approachable and wants to see you thrive.

Due to the pandemic, I have been working from home throughout my training contract. While not what I anticipated when I accepted my offer, I can't say that I feel I have missed out. There has been a real emphasis on proactivity to ensure that we as trainees get the experiences from the training contract that we want. Once you make it clear that there is a type of work you want to be involved with or an experience you want to have, everyone works very hard to make this happen.

A training contract is a unique experience for everyone, but at RPC you really do get out what you put in. Bear this in mind when completing your applications. Do your research, think carefully about what type of experience you want to gain from your training contract and set out why you think a particular firm will provide an experience that will be a good fit for you, and why you would be a good fit for them.