Joanna is an Associate and forms part of the Dispute Resolution team. She joined Triay in September 2016 as a Trainee Solicitor and underwent her training contract with the Firm, later being approved, admitted and enrolled as a Solicitor in Gibraltar in October 2017.
Tell us about your route into a career in law and working at Triay
I had a different entry into the profession than the conventional law degree route, having read English and Modern History at University. I had a strong interest in pursuing a career in law and underwent an internship programme in Washington D.C. where I spent 3 months working at a U.S. law firm. This confirmed my decision to undergo the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), and subsequently the Legal Practice Course (LPC).
Prior to commencing the GDL, I undertook work experience at a few different law firms in Gibraltar, including Triay where I spent 2 weeks in the Dispute Resolution team and the Shipping & Admiralty team.
Upon completing the LPC, I applied for a training contract and started working at the Firm in September 2016.
What attracted you to T&T?
I thoroughly enjoyed my summer placement with the Firm as a student. During this time, I was given invaluable insight into working within litigation and the way in which the firm functions.
I found all of the lawyers and staff that I worked with to be very friendly and approachable. I knew that Triay was well-reputed both locally and internationally, and this, along with the good working environment really stood out from the other firms I had undertaken work placements in.
What seats did you undertake?
I undertook seats in the Dispute Resolution (Litigation), Property and Private client teams. However, the Firm also offers seats in Commercial Law being the fourth different practice area in which trainees are required to undergo in keeping with the Supreme Court (Amendment) Act 2015.
Having studied family law, employment law and advanced commercial litigation on the LPC, I most enjoyed my time spent in the Dispute Resolution team where I was placed upon qualification. Since then, I have primarily focused on family matters, where I have been developing my practice mostly in relation to financial remedies and child-related matters. I also assist in general civil and commercial litigation.
What support were you given during your training contract and beyond?
I found that I was offered plenty of support during my training contract, given the open-door policy where Partners and Associates alike are available to offer guidance and advice where necessary. I was also assigned a supervisor within each seat, being some of the leading practitioners in their respective areas, who oversaw my work and from whom I was able to learn a lot.
The Firm was also very flexible and supportive given the requirements to undergo the Professional Certificate of Competence in Gibraltar Law and Professional Skills Course (both requirements of the training contract), which meant having to attend early evening lectures or courses during the working day.
What did you enjoy the most about your training contract?
Although it certainly felt like a steep learning curve at the time, I was lucky enough to be exposed to high-quality work even as a trainee. I was also made to feel like part of the team from Day 1, where my contributions mattered.
Undertaking different seats and working with different lawyers at the Firm helped me to identify the practice areas which I enjoyed the most and this in turn helped me to decide that I wanted to develop a practice in Dispute Resolution.