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Sean's trainee story

Sean joined Leigh Day in September 1994 as a trainee solicitor and has since become a partner and head of the Human Rights department.

"Prior to starting with Leigh Day I was working as a national campaigner on water pollution and waste issues at Friends of the Earth.

When I was applying there were only two or three other law firms, apart from Leigh Day,  that I was interested in working for and not really not sure what I would have done if I had not been offered a job!

I was attracted to this firm in particular, they seemed like a group of dynamic and unashamedly political lawyers who were committed to social justice and weren’t scared to take on Government or powerful companies in big high profile cases. 

It was refreshing to see clever and imaginative lawyers who saw the law as a means to an end rather than an end in itself.
The opportunity to work with both individual clients and NGOs was one of the great things about training with Leigh Day. Working with appropriate supervision, you make a real impact on cases from day one.  This includes contact with clients, experts and Counsel.  

I remember representing a local residents group at an Inquiry into the safety of a proposed Hospital Waste Incinerator and living with the family in their spare room for about two weeks.

For me, September 2014 marked 20 years with the firm. I’ve always found the work interesting, important and constantly challenging. I’ve seen Leigh Day change a lot since starting here, it is much larger – each of the individual departments is now bigger than the entire firm when I joined. 

While it is still just about possible to know who everyone is, it is now much more difficult to keep up with what everyone is up to.  I can sometimes read of a colleague’s success for the first time when I open my Guardian in the morning (during summer 2014 there was one occasion when we were in the paper with a different story on eight successive days). 

On the plus side, we definitely have the resources and clout to take more risks and make more of a difference. Every year, I am amazed by the quality and enthusiasm of our new trainees.  We are in the enviable position that our trainees and junior staff are amongst the most dynamic people in the place."

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