Pre-dawn starts and Briefs to Counsel


After my long weekend away I have a lot to catch up on. In my absence, I would like to say that I think, Charlotte and Becca have done a brilliant job and I am looking forward to their input in the weeks and months to come.

My day began with a pre-dawn start; due to train issues yesterday I ended up having to travel up to Harrogate this morning, which meant a very early train and a long journey to begin my day. As I arrive in the office I am freezing cold and so I pop to the kitchen for a hot drink before I start to go through the emails I missed while I have been away. Everything appears to be in order and as I check up on a particular client file with regards a disclosure issue I am handed a number of task.

Firstly I must compile a rather complex spread sheet setting out the incoming and outgoing expenditure of every bank account on a client file, culminating in a total for each month and a yearly total for each bank account. This involves trawling through pages and pages of statements, detailing and calculating every entry.

Next, I begin to compile a brief for counsel on an extensive case for the Final Dispute Resolution (FDR) hearing. This involves going through every file on the case from the very beginning and carefully selecting each relevant document, file note, and correspondence. These documents, file notes, and correspondence then need paginating and arranging according to a detailed index which will sit at the start of the brief. Then the most important bit: the brief itself. I have previously explained what a brief entails but for those of you who haven’t read my earlier post or just can’t remember: a brief is a document that generally sets out the background of the case; the position of each party according to their Form E’s; if the solicitor believes it to be a needs based case then the s.25 factors of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 may be set out; each parties wishes in regard to their assets and then any further information Counsel may require, followed by your questions to Counsel. Obviously not all briefs will include everything above and some will include more. Today’s brief is particularly complicated and I will therefore be continuing with it tomorrow. But for now I am off home to update my training log in readiness for my meeting with my supervisor on Wednesday. After which I am off to bed as I am well and truly shattered.

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