A day in the life a Solicitor: Joe Gosling

Joe Gosling, a newly-qualified Solicitor in our Commercial team, describes a typical day at Shulmans.


This morning, I dropped my children off at their childminder and at school, so I start work slightly later than most of my colleagues. I complete the short walk from Leeds Train Station to Wellington Place and find the office already in full swing.

Having had a scan through my emails on my work mobile whilst on my commute, I can see that there will be a couple of pressing matters to attend to today. However, before I get cracking, I check Outlook and make a clear plan for the day.


A partner has asked me to produce the first-draft of an agency agreement for a client who is negotiating a significant deal with companies in North America and Southern Europe. I meet with the partner to be briefed on the matter.

This is a priority piece of work, so once I have a good grasp on the specifics, I immediately set to work on drafting with the goal of having a document with the supervising partner by the close of play tomorrow. I take advantage of the open-plan office and collegiate nature of working at Shulmans to bounce a couple of questions off colleagues whilst drafting and make great headway in producing the first draft. Another couple of hours should see me have the agreement ready to be passed to the partner for review.


As part of my business development and pro bono efforts, I have been working closely with a government organisation that provides support to start-ups and young businesses in the region. Another solicitor and I have a face-to-face meeting with the organisation head to finalise arrangements for an event which we are hosting at our offices next month.

The event will provide a legal kick-start to young businesses, and will focus on helping organisations get their legal foundations right. We agree a schedule for the event and fine-tune the marketing and promotional strategies.

The last event was a great success and I am thoroughly looking forward to being involved in the presentation to delegates again next month.


I take a break for lunch and meet a friend who works for an asset management group located close to our offices. As it is Wimbledon fortnight, we grab lunch from one of the local coffee shops and decide to watch a bit of the tennis on the big screen located outside our offices.


A client has left me a message asking to have a short call to discuss some terms and conditions I drafted for them six weeks ago. After briefly re-familiarising myself with them, I return the call.

The client’s questions are relatively straightforward and I am able to answer them whilst we are on the call together.


I have a weekly call scheduled with an in-house legal team that receive support from the firm on a range of commercial and legal compliance matters. It is a client that I know well and I have been trusted to lead the call with their head of legal and two members of their legal department.


A solicitor from our employment team strikes up a conversation with me on an intellectual property issue that one of his new clients has just asked him about. It involves the ownership of copyright and design rights, an area in which the Commercial team has specialist knowledge. I take the details of the client and make arrangements for a colleague in the Commercial team to contact them.


Mindful of the time-sensitive nature of the agency agreement that I commenced drafting this morning, I return to drafting it. Decent progress is made again, until…


I receive an urgent call from a client who has suffered a potential security incident, which they think may involve personal data!

We have educated the client on the importance of acting promptly in a potential personal data breach scenario and I am pleased that the client has picked up the phone to me within 20 minutes of becoming aware of the incident.

I talk the client through what they should do to investigate the incident, how to assemble a security incident team and the best ways to confirm what information is affected and the extent of the incident. We are able to establish their next steps and what can be done immediately to mitigate any known adverse effects.

The client sets to work in implementing the guidance provided and we diarise a call for 17:30 to discuss developments.

Immediately after coming off the call, I brief an associate in our Commercial team who also specialises in data protection. She confirms the approach that I am taking with the client and provides additional insights. It is always reassuring to have approachable, knowledgeable, colleagues on hand to bounce ideas off.


I return to the task of drafting the agency agreement. I am able to make great progress and send the draft for the supervising partner’s review. I check their schedule and reserve 30 minutes in our diaries for the next morning to go through the draft.


As scheduled, I speak with the client regarding the personal data breach. The client has made good progress and has a clearer picture of the situation. After discussing the level of risk to data subjects and advising the client on the notification thresholds, we make a plan of what we need to do in the next 24 hours and put a further call in the diary for tomorrow morning.


There is an after work social this evening with other junior solicitors at the firm and similarly-experienced accountants and financial advisors at one of the major accounting firms in the city. The event is sponsored by the firm and involves Escape Rooms. Great fun is had by all and, after sticking around after the activity for some additional networking, I head home on the 20:30 train feeling fulfilled from what has been an unpredictably full-on, yet rewarding, day.