Day in the life

Day in the life

Every day is exciting at Kennedys.  Catch up with employees as they talk us through a typical day in their work life.

Peter Craney - Senior Associate

Peter is a Senior Associate in our Sydney office and joined Kennedys in 2015, practising in insurance and commercial law. He has specialist expertise in shipping and aviation law and a complementary practice in professional indemnity and liability insurance, particularly public and products liability.

I receive a telephone call from a multi-national shipping and logistics client seeking urgent advice on the possible consequences of the impending insolvency of one of their key clients.

Peter Craney, Senior Associate

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  • Morning

    I wake up early, iron my shirt, and take my two Shih Tzus for a walk around the block whilst checking any emails I may have received overnight. I bring my wife a coffee then head into work on the bus reading the latest industry news before reaching the Sydney business district.

  • 08:00

    I head to the kitchen for a coffee and some breakfast, usually porridge or toast, and have a chat with fellow colleagues about the English Premier League - I’m a Manchester Utd fan.

  • 11:00

    I receive a telephone call from a multi-national shipping and logistics client seeking urgent advice on the possible consequences of the impending insolvency of one of their key clients, and how they may recover their unpaid fees. Some initial verbal advice is given, and an urgent teleconference is scheduled with the company’s General Counsel, Senior Counsel and other members of the business in the next hour.

  • Lunch

    I’m thankful my wife made me lunch, and I begin preparing for the teleconference. I brief an Associate on the matter and relevant steps are taken to protect our client’s interests. I instruct the Associate to brief Counsel. After the call, I take the time to check-in with my team to review the status of certain matters for the coming week.

  • 15:00

    One of my team has an advice that needs review so I allocate time to do so. Once complete, I take the time to review the Supreme Court and Federal Court websites for any recent insurance, marine or aviation decisions for publication of an article.

  • 16:30

    I have a steady stream of paralegals and Associates seeking guidance. I am happy to discuss their issues with them, and it helps me to refresh my knowledge. I start dictating any non-urgent emails so our Document Production team can attend to them overnight for me to review.

  • Evening

    Having ensured that there are no immediately urgent matters that need my attention, I head to football (soccer) training before returning home to eat dinner with my wife and binge-watch Netflix.

Marta Tomlinson - Senior Associate

Marta joined Kennedys in 2015 and works in our London office. Specialising in Health and Safety matters, Marta advises clients under investigation from authorities including the Health and Safety Executive, Environment Agency and Trading Standards Services. Marta also undertakes advocacy in the Magistrates’ Court and Coroner’s Courts.

Two days are never the same in our team but I usually spend the first half of the day working on a larger project.

Marta Tomlinson, Senior Associate

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  • Morning

    I like to start early, I get the train into the city and head to a gym class; we are lucky to have our gym membership subsidised by the firm. I then head into the office, check my calendar and emails to plan my work for the day ahead.

  • 09:00

    I take a break to make a cup of tea and then chat with the senior associate and two associates that sit on my pod. We often work on larger cases together and this is a good opportunity to see where everyone is at on their allocated tasks.  

  • 11:00

    Two days are never the same in our team but I usually spend the first half of the day working on a larger project. Today it involved continued work on drafting a detailed statement on behalf of a company in relation to a fatal accident being investigated by the HSE. I also take the opportunity to discuss the strategy on the case with the supervising partner.

  • Lunch

    I usually prepare my lunch before I leave home, but on Thursdays some colleagues in our team head over to the Gherkin for the food market where we are always spoilt for choice from different street food vendors. We then head back to the office breakout area called 'The Writz' and chat before I head out to my afternoon hearing.

  • 14:00

    We are fortunate to conduct our own advocacy in our team so I make my way to south London for a pre-inquest review hearing at the Coroner’s Court. I meet the client at Court before the hearing, explain what will happen at the hearing and then represent the client at the hearing making legal submissions on case to the Coroner. This is followed by a short de-brief meeting with the client after the hearing.

  • 17:00

    After the hearing, I make my way home. When I get home I log on remotely and provide the client with an update email following up on the events from the hearing and confirming the advice given in the de-brief meeting.

    I update my time recording, to-do list and then log off.

  • Evening

    I then prepare my evening meal, pick out my clothes for the next day and pack my gym kit and work bag ready for the morning before taking some down-time with friends, reading or watching TV.

Michael Smale - Associate 

Michael is an Associate in our Taunton office, working in the Professional Liability team.  Michael has been with Kennedys since 2014 and is an expert in defense dispute resolution for construction clients as well as solicitors and barristers (civil and regulatory).

It is fascinating to see the varied projects our clients are involved with. 

Michael Smale, Associate

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  • Morning

    My day usually starts between 6.30-7.00am. I make breakfast for my 3 ½ (the ½ is very important to her) year old daughter and say goodbye to my wife and newborn son. I make a quick stop at nursery before heading to the office.

  • 09:15

    I log on and head straight for a cup of tea from the kitchen (I cannot function otherwise).

  • 09:30

    I check my emails/voicemails, review my diary and make a to-do list. I always have a more general to-do list but it is helpful for me to have a smaller list of critical tasks that I have to get to today. I set about a disclosure exercise.

  • 11:00

    I receive an application made by the claimant on a litigated matter and I turn my attention to that, noting the short timetable for responding. I make various calls to the client, Counsel and my opponent. I speak to my supervisor about strategy and draft my formal advices to the client.

  • 13:00

    I hit the gym. It is only a short walk from the office and it gives me time to think. I feel great afterwards and ready to get back to the grind. There are often a few of us that go so it’s also a social excursion. 

  • 14:00

    I check my emails before drafting instructions to Counsel to settle a defence. I revisit my analysis of the pleadings and consider the issues I want Counsel to give thought to.

  • 16:00

    I review a construction contract for a client looking to get involved in a project to build a new sports complex for a university. It is fascinating to see the varied projects our clients are involved with. I email my comments to the client for consideration.

  • 17:00

    I respond to emails that have arrived throughout the day and prepare for any travel I have coming up. Finally, I review my diary for the weeks ahead and mentally map out what I have to do tomorrow.

  • Evening

    I drive home and usually arrive in time for bath and bedtime, which is always an eventful experience of Pirates and Mermaids!

Kim Carrim - Associate  

Kim works in our Liability team and is based in our London office. Kim has worked at Kennedys since 2009 and handles personal injury matters, specialising in employers’, public and product liability claims.

I like to plan my week before I leave on a Friday and identify the highest priority tasks.

Kim Carrim, Associate

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  • Morning

    I start early on a Monday, and on the train, check any e-mails received over the weekend, read up on the latest insurance industry news and have a quick snooze before reaching London. 

  • 09:00

    The first stop is the kitchen for a coffee, where I meet one of the Senior Associates I work closely with. We provide support to each other in supervising employees in our team, and decide it is an opportune time to catch up.

  • 09:20

    I am at my desk by 09:20 and reviewing an internal report on upcoming deadlines for a specific client. I draft emails to the Kennedys lawyers dealing with those cases, requesting an update on the progress of the claims to ensure everything is running smoothly and on track.

  • 10:00

    I like to plan my week before I leave on a Friday and identify the highest priority tasks to carry out. I therefore find my list of cases and case related tasks to work on from Friday and make a start.

  • 10:30

    Once everyone’s in the office I have a catch up with the other lawyers in my sub-team on their workload and capacity for taking on new cases and update the team Partner.

  • 11:40

    I check the post for my sub-team, which includes a new set of instructions from a client. I review the client’s instructions and the court proceedings and allocate the case to a lawyer.

  • 12:30

    I prepared lunch before I left the house this morning and head down to the breakout area called 'The Writz'. I catch up with a couple of colleagues from another team that I haven’t to spoken to for a while.

  • 15:00

    One of the team has some work that needs checking to go out the same day, so I allocate some time to reviewing their work. I also review a Court of Appeal judgment for an article I am preparing for a Kennedys publication.

  • Evening

    I collect my son from after-school club and I am home by 18:00 and making dinner.

Kelsey Evans - Paralegal 

Kelsey is a Paralegal based in our office in Dubai, UAE. Kelsey began her career at Kennedys in our Manchester office in 2010 and moved to Dubai in 2015 where she provides Paralegal support to the team of Lawyers and Partners.

At the meeting one of the areas we discuss are fees which have to be carefully negotiated

Kelsey Evans, Paralegal

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  • Morning

    Our office officially opens at 9:30 but I like to get in early to sort out my inbox. I have a healthy breakfast to start my day right.

  • 09:00

    I reply to any urgent emails that came in overnight and organise my to-do list so I know which tasks need to take priority. We have a meeting with local counsel today so I prepare the files we need for that meeting.

  • 11:00

    My colleague and I are driven to the meeting with local counsel. At the meeting one of the areas we discuss are fees which have to be carefully negotiated, and then the meeting is brought to a successful close.

  • 13:30

    I arrive back at the office and check my emails before lunch. I usually bring lunch from home and more often than not, it is soup.

  • 14:00

    I attend the public notary to get a power of attorney notarised for one of our motor cases. In Dubai it is compulsory for lawyers to have a power of attorney in order to act on behalf of their clients.

  • 16:00

    I arrive back at the office and check my emails. I update my to-do list with the tasks that have been sent to my inbox while I was out of the office at the notary. I continue drafting a chronology of documents for a construction client which I started last week. Hopefully, it will be finished this week!

  • Evening

    After work, I go to a singing lesson or an exercise class such as swimming, running, weight lifting or sports. I drive home and then call a friend in the UK for a catch-up.

Ingrid Hu - Trainee Solicitor 

Ingrid is a second-year trainee, currently working in our Aviation team.  Since joining us in September 2018 Ingrid has completed seats in London Liability and Marine and has also been on a client secondment.

Creating the bundles for new matters is useful as you become familiar with the documents and it puts you in a good position to provide assistance.

Ingrid Hu - Trainee Solicitor

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  • Morning

    I arrive and check my e-mails, as the Marine team deal with many global matters, items often come in overnight. I review my tasks for the day and then pop to the kitchen and have a quick breakfast (toast which is provided!) with some other trainees.

  • 09:15

    I start on an attendance note for a conference with counsel I attended at chambers the previous day. We are meeting with clients next week to provide a plan going forward so I want to get the note down while it is still fresh in my mind.

  • 10:00

    A new matter has come in. The client has sent through a large number of documents which I review to create an indexed bundle and chronology, a frequent task I do as a trainee. Creating the bundles for new matters is useful as you become familiar with the documents and it puts you in a good position to provide assistance as it progresses.

  • 12:30

    There is a lunchtime seminar on contract construction held in the office and I arrive a few minutes early to make the most of the lunch provided. Kennedys hold frequent lunchtime seminars on different areas of law, these are both interesting and helpful for future trainee seat choices.

  • 13:40

    I have been asked to draft a witness statement, the matter is very technical and it takes a while to review the correspondence and documents to ensure that I understand the issues.

  • 15:00

    I take a break and head to the kitchen for tea and a chat with whoever has congregated there at the same time. Sometimes I get to my desk before I finish my tea, otherwise I make myself another before heading back.

  • 15:15

    One of the things on my list for the day is to research the procedure for service out of the jurisdiction. I start with a call to the Foreign Process Section then do some further research into the relevant Regulations, Conventions and required forms and send my note to the Associate.

  • 16:00

    Instructions to settle come in on a matter I have been assisting with and we call the other side to inform them that the claim will be settled. The policy is subject to Spanish law and jurisdiction and I correspond with our Spanish office regarding a draft Settlement Agreement - one of the many benefits of being part of a global law firm with offices around the world.

  • 17:15

    My supervisor asks me to prepare instructions to counsel to draft claim submissions for an arbitration we have just commenced. We discuss what needs to be in it and I make a start. At the end of the day, I ensure my time recording is up to date and create a fresh list of tasks for the next day.

  • Evening

    Kennedys is part of a legal softball league and we have a match in Regent’s Park tonight. We pick up some food and drinks from catering to take to the match and meet with the team to head over - we don’t expect a win but it’s always a laugh! 

Hish Anis - IT Solutions Architect

Hish leads the IT development team at Kennedys and joined us in 2014. Hish works closely with the Project Management and Research and Development team to ensure the firm has the best tools available to enable the provision of high-quality service to clients.

...working closely within a friendly, highly productive atmosphere.

Hish Anis, Solutions Architect

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  • Morning

    I am usually up early, to get ready for work and login remotely to finish up remaining work from the previous day and catch up on early morning emails.

  • 09:00

    I get into work (mainly one of two offices - Chelmsford or London), although sometimes I have to travel to other destinations (such as Sheffield, Manchester and the occasional trip to Miami or Kerala).  I catch up with colleagues and my team and plan the day ahead.

  • 09:30

    My day continues with a number of internal meetings around project management and teams.  I also have a couple of external meetings to attend with suppliers or clients, where I demonstrate some of the toolsets that have been developed by my team.

  • 11:30

    I attend a development team meeting with 10-15 people in attendance in person or dialling in from other offices around the world.  We conduct a round-table discussion and give everyone 5-10 minutes to update the group with their activities, however we primarily focus on one interesting piece of work from the team and enjoy a short demonstration of the detail.

  • 13:30

    We use agile methodology (a particular approach to project management) to develop our software, which typically involves 1-2 ‘sprint’ meetings.  These are short and snappy meetings where the relevant teams give a brief update. As well as keeping an eye on progress the main purpose for me is to ensure any blockers are removed so the team can continue to deliver the project.

  • 15:00

    Catching up with various people around the firm is key within my role.  This may take shape over Skype, telephone, face to face or email – although my preferred choice is always face to face.  The software developers communicate using ‘Slack’ – an instant messenger and team collaboration service – on which key contenders get invited to nominated and topical channels to work and collaborate.

  • 16:00

    My role by nature has some operational duties as 4th line support.  Providing enterprise software to the business it’s our duty to ensure the systems work around the clock as much as possible. This activity takes shape by setting up the right monitoring, tracking and reporting, and whereby critical alerts raise the relevant resource to deal with an arising issue.

  • Evening

    As I leave work my routine continues as I try to drop into the gym, a 5 minutes’ walk from the office, a few times a week.

Abbie Pople - HR Assistant

Abbie works in our HR team and is based in our Chelmsford office. Abbie joined Kennedys in 2018 and supervises a team of HR Administrators providing global HR Administrative support to the firm.

...we always come up with ideas if anyone needs any help.

Abbie Pople - HR Assistant

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  • Morning

    I normally wake up early to ensure I have enough time to make myself a good breakfast, quickly do some housework and then walk to work which takes around 20 minutes.  I arrive at my desk and grab a coffee before I start work.

  • 09:00

    I review my inbox and respond to any global emails first, due to the time difference.  We have HR team members in Australia, Singapore and the US and work very closely with them.

  • 11:00

    The HR administration team spend six months supporting each area of HR which includes Business Partnering, Graduate Recruitment, Learning and Development, Operations and Recruitment. I have regular 1:1s with each administrator and their current team supervisor, today it is the Business Partnering catch up. We discuss day to day tasks and workload, this allows me to get a feel for team capacity. We review their progress and development to date as well as talking about what the administrator would like to get involved with in upcoming months.

  • 13:00

    I always like to bring in lunch from home, and batch cook at the weekend to stop me going to buy other bits on my lunch break.  My colleague and I often have lunch together, then go for a half-hour walk around the local park, stopping for coffee on the way back.

  • 15:00

    I meet the HR Admin team to discuss what they are working on in their current teams, this could be regular tasks such as weekly reporting or project work.  It is a really good way of encouraging knowledge sharing and coming up with ideas if anyone needs any help.

  • 16:30

    I spend the rest of the day reviewing invoices that the team have sent to me for processing, ensuring they are correct before sending them to Finance. I also have three employment contracts to review before they are sent to the recruitment team for final approval.

  • Evening

    I leave work and head home to get ready for my boot camp session.

Careers at Kennedys