Theo's experience as a trainee at Bird & Bird

As we welcome our 2016 cohort of trainees, we thought you would like to hear about their journey from offer to trainee. Theo has just started in his first seat and will be sharing his experiences of being a new trainee at Bird & Bird over the next four weeks.

My department

With the studying and the professional skills course completed, at the start of September I started in my first seat! I’m sitting in our Commercial practice group. The majority of my work is within theos-blog-imageeither the Energy & Utilities or Aerospace & Defence sectors.

The projects the department work on are exciting and at the forefront of their sectors. In my first two months I have been involved in matters working on large-scale energy supply contracts and government procurement contracts. I’ve experienced first-hand how the sector groups help our practice groups work efficiently together. I’m currently working closely with our Real Estate department on a set of construction contracts for an on-going energy project.

I was attracted to Bird & Bird by the promise of responsibility early in my training contract and opportunities to work closely with clients from day one. I have not been disappointed! I’ve already had the opportunity to liaise with clients, updating them on the progress of their projects directly.

One of the highlights of my time at the firm has been the opportunity to attend a client training event with one of our Aerospace & Defence clients – this provided a chance to meet and talk to the clients and listen to them set out the issues they faced and their plans for the future.

I have really enjoyed the broad nature of the work available in the Commercial department, whilst I work mainly in the two sectors I’ve mentioned, I have also picked up work across the Technology & Communications, Media & Entertainment and Financial Services sectors which has provided me with an exciting and varied workload!


Every trainee at Bird & Bird is given a supervisor for each of their seats. Your supervisor will usually be a partner or senior associate experienced in the sector you will be working in. My supervisor is Elizabeth Reid, who is a partner specialising in defence projects.

Sitting with a partner may seem intimidating but it is far from it. Supervisors are welcoming and there to support you by helping you get work in particular areas and answering questions you may have about work they are involved in.

Trainee life

The firm has created a really enjoyable culture for trainees to work in. I start every morning catching up with other trainees over breakfast and a coffee in eleven: our new eat, meet and work space and half price cake Wednesday is a must! There’s plenty going on in the evenings as well, I recently attended the Bonfire Night Charity Quiz hosted by the firm (the less said about my teams performance the better!) and everyone is now looking forward to the various festive events that will start in December!