Episode 8 - From trainee to partner

Trainee Elgan explores career journeys at TLT by asking partners Matt and Sasha all the important questions.

From trainee to partner

Hello, my name is Elgan James and welcome to another TLT podcast. In today’s podcast we will be exploring career journeys at TLT by asking all the important questions. I have two very special guests with me who will be answering those questions. If you could please introduce yourselves.

My name is Sasha Butterworth. I head up the national pensions team at TLT.

Hi, my name is Matt Grimwood. I am a partner in our real estate clean energy team.

(Elgan) Lovely, thank you. To kick off our discussion, Sasha could you just tell us a bit about your career journey to TLT?

(Sasha) So, I was working in the city and decided that I'd like to work out in Bristol. I was offered a couple of jobs but didn't take
either of those because I had a friend who worked at TLT who introduced me to the then head of corporate, David Pester
who is now our managing partner, and I suppose the rest is history, I came to TLT.

(Elgan) What interested you in applying for the role at TLT? Was it that connection?

(Sasha) Yes, and also it was just the opportunity to build a practice from scratch, which has been very exciting to do.

(Elgan) Matt, what was your career journey to TLT?

(Matt) So, I started out at the firm actually, on the firm’s vacation scheme. Made a speculative application having been brought up in the North West of England. Came for one week for a vacation scheme, was asked back for a training contract assessment day, as it was in those days. Then completed my training contract at the firm. Then, I suppose, worked my way through, up the various levels, at the firm, and that was eleven years ago now. So, very much spent my entire career at the firm.

(Elgan) Lovely, and what would you say is the most important skill that you've learned at TLT Matt?

(Matt) I think the most important skill I've learned is to be ambitious for ourselves and also our clients. The way that we do that at TLT is not through that, perhaps, typically corporate way, but through, perhaps a slightly more understated way. So, trying to be flexible and agile, to, as our clients change, we evolve with them and try to be first to market in anticipating and indeed reacting to those changes.

(Elgan) Then, Sasha, what would you say was the most important think you've learned whilst at TLT? 

(Sasha) I think I've learned perseverance. As Matt has said it's a market where you've got to be very quick. You've got to be able to respond quickly to clients. I think we're very well known for our service delivery and I think that is something that clients really appreciate.

(Elgan) Just lastly, Sasha, what advice would you give to someone who was applying for a career at TLT?

(Sasha) I would look and learn as much as you can about the firm, about TLT and think, 'What can I do that I can add value there, and also, have I got anything that is a key differentiator. So, for example it might be somebody who has studied abroad somewhere, or they might have worked previously in a bank for example, or elsewhere. Just choose something that can differentiate them from anyone else.

(Elgan) Okay, and Matt have you got anything to add to that in terms of advice? 

(Matt) Yes, I mean, I think just echoing those sentiments from Sasha, it's very much a two-way process. We get the majority of our trainees these days through vacation schemes. Having gone through that process myself it's not just about the firm looking at, but it's about you looking at the firm as well. Different firms have different fits, different cultures. I think it's that first-hand experience that's invaluable, and that's still the thing that despite all the changes and the growth and evolution of the firm over the past eleven years, is still the thing that draws me back to, what first attracted me to the firm, and still now is a key attractor for talent in the market.

(Elgan) So, thank you very much for those answers to the questions. We do today also have a challenge for you both. The hot seat challenge. I have a list of some very insightful questions and in a moment both Matt and Sasha will have 30 seconds to answer as many of those questions as possible. So, Sasha, you'll go first, and Matt if you could keep an eye on the time please?

Brilliant, okay. So, Sasha if you could describe yourself in three words?

(Sasha) Tolerant, persistent, inquisitive.

(Elgan) What's your favourite meal of the day, breakfast, lunch, or dinner?

(Sasha) Lunch.

(Elgan) Are you a cat person or a dog person?

(Sasha) Dog.

(Elgan) If you knew you were going to be stuck on a desert island, what two things would you take with you?

(Sasha) Teabags and ah, I don't know, like, a jumbo crossword book.

(Elgan) If you were an animal, what would you be?

(Sasha) Red Setter.

(Elgan) Favourite song?

(Sasha) Favourite song... Time after Time, Cyndi Lauper.

(Elgan) What, time's up. Okay, how did you find that?

(Sasha) Challenging.

(Elgan) Okay, right, Matt, you're next up, are we ready to go?

(Sasha) Yes.

(Elgan) Okay then. What challenges you?

(Matt) Everyday coming in to the office, something different.

(Elgan) Salt or sweet?

(Matt) Salt.

(Elgan) What is the best piece of advice you've received?

(Matt) Don't take things personally.

(Elgan) Favourite memory at TLT? 

(Matt) The charity abseil we did recently.

(Elgan) If you were a superhero what would your powers be?

(Matt) The ability to fly.

(Elgan) Spring or autumn?

(Matt) Spring.

(Elgan) If you could learn any skill in the world, what would it be?

(Matt) The ability to fly.

(Elgan) Can you remember a time when you failed at something?

(Matt) No.

(Elgan) I think, just, pending the results. The winner is Matt Grimwood, well done, congratulations.

(Matt) Thank you.

(Elgan) So, thank you both for taking part today. To find out more about careers at TLT visit our website at careers.tlt.solicitors.com where you can discover more from behind the scenes.

You can also find TLT on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and visit YouTube to see more. Thank you.