Here at Regan Peggs Solicitors we are fortunate to be regularly joined by interns from Birmingham City University. The Intern’s Diary is a chance for them to detail their experiences with the firm and share their reflections on legal practice.
Our latest intern, Maria Nogueira, is coming to the end of her internship with us, having now completed her Masters in International Law. We have been extremely impressed with her professionalism, capability and enthusiasm throughout her time here, so much so that we are bringing her on board as a part time employee until her return to Portugal later this summer.
In this instalment, Maria outlines the work she has been doing in her final month with the firm.
Read previous instalments of the Intern’s Diary here.
Week of 23 July
Monday began with an urgent phone call to CPS, asking for the Initial Details of the Prosecution Case (IDPC) for a client’s case. The client had neglected to inform us that his hearing was scheduled for the following day, so it was imperative that we received the papers from CPS that morning.
Later that day, Gemma and I met with a new client who had made the mistake of representing himself at trial in the Magistrates’ Court – a trial which he subsequently lost. He wanted our help to appeal the convictions of resisting arrest and of an offence contrary to section 4A of the Public Order Act 1986. After the meeting I opened a new file for the client and completed some paperwork for the case, including an appeal notice form and a DCO application.
On Wednesday, Regan was at court in Cannock representing a client who had been charged with a speeding offence and who was at risk of having his license suspended. It was good news for our client, as Regan successfully persuaded the magistrates to impose penalty points instead of a ban.
Meanwhile, I was tasked with rescheduling a sentencing hearing for another client’s case, as it had been listed on a date that Regan was already in court. The court required confirmation that the prosecution would not object to the hearing date being moved, so I had to contact both the court and CPS and suggest some alternative dates, to ensure that Regan would be present to represent the client.
That afternoon, I began a big task involving a case for a medical student client who is facing university disciplinary proceedings. Having received the investigating officer’s report, we needed to prepare an answer by the following week. My task was to order all of the case notes and check our client’s statement to ensure its relevance to the allegations which were still being investigated, rather than those which had been dropped by the investigating officer.
The length of the various notes and statements and the great care required to order them correctly meant that this task took most of the rest of my time for the week. Gemma’s help was invaluable in guiding me through the process, and I successfully finished the draft in time for Regan to check it before sending it to the client for approval.
Week of 30 July
On Monday, having been alone in the office all morning, I was given some impromptu extra responsibility in the afternoon when Regan was unexpectedly tied up with a proceeds of crime case, in which we are helping our client to avoid a confiscation order of £.25M.
In Regan’s absence I attended two meetings on his behalf, both with new clients, and took notes on the details of the cases. I also conducted telephone interviews with two witnesses for the case involving our medical student client. I was pleased to have been trusted with these important tasks, and despite initially being rather daunted at the prospect of conducting the interviews on my own, doing them helped to grow my confidence.
On Wednesday, Regan was in the County Court dealing with a case in which our client company is suing another company. Meanwhile, we had received our medical student client’s amendments to the response to the IO report regarding his fitness to practice investigation, so I spent the morning making changes for Regan to check.
In the afternoon, I joined Regan for two meetings with clients. The first was at the office, with a new client who wanted some legal advice about dealing with a troublesome business partner, and the second was a telephone conference with our medical student client, to ensure that he was happy with the final version of the response to the IO ahead of us sending it to the person in charge of the case.
Week of 6 August
On Monday I started by writing to court to enter a guilty plea in relation to a speeding offence and to ask for the adjournment of the hearing to present mitigation on behalf of our client.
My next task was to prepare a contract of sale and purchase of a business. It was my first time drafting a contract, and a valuable opportunity to work with commercial law. This task took some time as I was working from a large template with general provisions, which I had to adapt to be relevant to our client.
Regan and Gemma spent most of the day preparing for a case in which Gemma will be representing an occupational therapist before a disciplinary tribunal.
On Wednesday I carried out some case admin for a new client, including informing the officer in charge of the case that we are now acting on the client’s behalf, and identifying the solicitors who were on duty when our client was interviewed at the police station.
I also spent some time on the sale and purchase contract I had drafted earlier in the week, and passed on some advice from Regan to a client at risk of losing his driving licence due to an eye condition.
Friday was my last day in the office as an intern. I spent the morning drafting various letters, including a Rule 2 letter (a letter designed to help a solicitor and a client understand each other’s expectations and responsibilities) to a new client in relation to a malicious communication offence, and a guilty plea entry on behalf of another new client accused of a speeding offence.
I finished my last day with some more work on the medical student fitness to practice case, which I have spent considerable time on over the last few weeks. The client had sent a long list of questions, so Regan and I had a conference call with him and made sure that he received all the necessary clarifications.
My time with the firm has been interesting, enjoyable and challenging, and I have learned a lot. I am very happy to be taking on some more work for Regan over the next few weeks and I am optimistic about my professional future, both here and abroad.