I moved to MacDonald Oates in September 2012 having spent 9 years at a large regional law firm. I joined the firm to take on the challenge of growing the Employment Department and I have received support from every level of the business.
My workload is varied with claimant and respondent work and our growing Commercial Department means I have the opportunity to work on corporate transactions too. I have been able to get involved with our charity committee, promoting and developing the firm’s culture and have responsibilities for marketing too. Working in a firm of this size allows you to get involved with all sorts of projects, which means you feel you have an investment in the business and its success.
I was promoted to partner in 2017 and I am able to work flexibly which allows for a great work life balance. Flexible working is just one of the ways the firm lives up to its values of being ‘Open, Responsible and Fair’. Our values also help create a very positive, supportive working environment.
I can tell you a lot about the firm and the opportunities that working here can provide, having joined as a trainee and progressed to partnership.
I joined MacDonald Oates as a trainee in 2005 and qualified as a solicitor in 2007 to become a part of the Residential Property Department, working at our Midhurst office. I enjoy the interesting and varied property work the firm deals with and the clients we act for, one moment dealing with a town centre terrace house and the next a rural converted farm house or an eco new build development.
The firm has always encouraged new ideas and practices and welcomes involvement in implementing these from the ground up so that we are a genuinely modern and vibrant firm.
In 2013 I become an associate and in 2015 a partner. I was also appointed as Head of Client Services following my involvement in promoting our commitment to client service. Throughout my time at MacDonald Oates, professional development and career progression has been supported whilst the firm still facilitates the all important work-life balance, so that it is family friendly and allows flexibility in working hours. When needed we can also, using our cloud based IT system, easily work from either of our offices at Midhurst and Petersfield or remotely.
Over the last 11 years I have enjoyed the developing culture of the firm particularly our active social calendar of events including various trips to the theatre, Goodwood racecourse and the zoo as well as my favourite, the annual walk in various parts of the South Downs National Park within which both offices are located. I also look forward to the weekly ‘Mac Oates Cycle Club’ which runs throughout the Spring and Summer, with great routes through the fantastic countryside which, luckily for us, surrounds our offices!
I joined MacDonald Oates as a secretary in 2003, having already completed part of my CILEX qualification. After being with the firm for a year, I became a fee earner and the firm were happy to pay for me to complete my CILEX qualification. I am now an associate, and as well as getting to deal with a wide variety of cases from beginning to end, which I know would not be possible if I worked for a big London firm, I also enjoy the responsibility of helping to train others. The working environment has always been really supportive, and you are made to feel that you are a valued member of the team. They are a modern, forward thinking firm, and further training and development is encouraged.
MacDonald Oates have always been very accommodating, enabling me to work 3 days a week and providing flexibility in working hours. The firm has invested in IT and with electronic files it means that if ever it is necessary to work remotely, you can easily ‘pick up’ the electronic file and access everything you need as if you were physically in the office.
I am happy working for a firm where your contribution is valued, your personal development is encouraged and your work-life balance is viewed as important.
I joined MacDonald Oates in September 2014 after completing my Law Degree at City University London and my LPC at the University of Law in Guildford. Prior to this, I had undertaken mini pupillages and work experience placements at various firms, covering a number of areas of law.
I began my training contract in the Litigation Department in our Petersfield office. During my seat I attended Court on landlord and tenant cases, sat in various Conferences with Counsel and took notes during mediations.
I followed on from this with a 6 month seat in our Midhurst office with the Residential Property Department. During my time in this department I saw a number of transactions through from instructions to completion. I undertook tasks such as drafting contracts, reporting on title, raising enquiries and responding to the same, reporting on searches and applying for First Registration.
My third seat in the Wills, Trusts and Probate Department gave me a new level of responsibility in that I took the lead on meetings and managed my own clients. My duties included drafting a number of different types of wills including ones with complex trusts, drafting both types of lasting powers of attorney and being fully involved in the administration of various estates. I am now 6 months from qualification and currently in my fourth seat within the Family Law Department.
My training contract has been extremely varied, I have been given full client contact and a high level of responsibility throughout my training contract. I have had real one to one training during my time at MacDonald Oates and alongside my training, I have been involved in every aspect of firm life, including being part of the Media Team with specific responsibility for the social media output and joining the Culture Team and organising the firm’s annual events, such as this year’s summer outing to Goodwood.