I’m Nick, a second year trainee at *particular (due to qualify in January 2018). I joined the firm at the start of 2016 after it was first recommended to me by a friend. I soon realised the firm and I had a similar outlook on how a law firm should operate, and fortunately I was able to persuade Matthew to make me Particular’s first trainee. He’ll tell you he regrets it now, but he’s only joking. I think. I hope.

It’s a requirement of my training contract that I work in a number of different departments over the course of the two-year trainee period. Due to the fluid nature of the firm, these areas have largely overlapped, but to break it down into the four biggest areas, I have spent my time working in corporate finance, commercial, intellectual property and commercial dispute resolution. Most of my time has been spent in the corporate finance team, which is where I feel my future with the firm lies. As soon as I realised I was unlikely ever to be Newcastle United’s starting goalkeeper, I was fairly confident that I wanted to be a solicitor. This led to me studying the subject at Northumbria University, where I achieved a first-class degree in law, as well as attaining a Masters degree. Following University, I spent some time travelling North America before returning to the UK to work as a financial contractor. After a few years working for some of the UK’s biggest banks assessing financial mis-sale claims, I was snapped up by *particular (but not before I had packed my bags again to explore Australia and New Zealand).

"I have found I really enjoy and thrive on that level of involvement, as well as the level of trust it represents"

One of the things I enjoy most about life at *particular and the work that we do is the relationships I have been able to build with clients. Despite being a trainee, I have been able to undertake a very high level of work, often in a leading role. A lasting memory of the kind of relationship I have been able to develop is during one particularly complex investment deal I was leading on behalf of the company. The day the investment round finally completed, the founders called me via FaceTime to show me them popping the champagne open in their office as they wanted me to be a part of their celebrations. In the startup world, a good lawyer is viewed very differently to how they are further along the corporate lifespan. Rather than being the hired help who can simply present an array of options, our clients regularly ask me what I think they should do, relying on our collective experience and knowledge to keep them right. I have found I really enjoy and thrive on that level of involvement, as well as the level of trust it represents. Outside of work my interests are primarily sport and travel related. A keen footballer from an early age, I have also tried my hand at rugby, cricket, tennis and even a white-collar boxing fight. A few years ago I started playing golf and have been hooked ever since. My travels around the world have led to me jumping out of an aeroplane in New York and bungee jumping from a cable car in Queenstown, so I think it’s fair to say I’m a bit of a thrill-seeker as well.

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Phone 07538 772 958nick.gray@particular.legal Follow me on LinkedIn