My experience as a trainee

Luca Cericola explains why he chose to apply for a Trainee Solicitor position at Bristows — and how he’s found the experience.

I chose to study Biochemistry at university due to an inherent interest in understanding the foundation of biological processes; however, soon after starting my studies it became clear that I was not interested in a career in academia or research. Following a placement year working as a financial analyst at a multinational software company and completing my final year dissertation that focused on the commercialisation of IP via a university spin-out, I decided to explore the available career options that combined business and science.

It didn’t take long for me to discover the world of IP law and it took even less time for me to subsequently set my sights on obtaining a training contract with Bristows. Bristows stood out for so many reasons – its reputation as one of the preeminent IP firms coupled with cutting edge work, top-tier clients and a uniquely supportive and friendly culture to name a few. After attending the Bristows STEM open day, I gained a valuable insight into the realities of a career at the firm and I came away feeling  excited about the prospect of tackling legal and commercial issues in the life sciences and tech sectors.

The training contract application was more straightforward than for other firms, with an initial application form leading to a video interview. Following this, I had two interviews (the first with a senior associate and a partner and the second with two partners) and I completed a written exercise. Having interviewed at several other firms, I was blown away by how cordial and sincere the face-to-face interviews felt. It was clear that my interviewers were genuinely interested in my background and were keen to get to know me, my motivations for the career/firm and my aspirations for the future. I was asked an eclectic and engaging mix of intellectually stimulating questions that required me to demonstrate an aptitude for problem-solving and lateral thinking. The interviewers’ personable approach, which is indicative of the firm’s culture generally, made me feel comfortable to confidently tackle these questions and ultimately secure a training contract with the firm.

I can confidently say that my first year at Bristows has surpassed expectations. I completed my first seat in Patent Litigation, followed by a 3-month seat in the Corporate, Tax and Employment team and I am currently sat in the Competition department. These seats have provided me with experience in a huge variety of contentious and non-contentious work, including, but of course not limited to:

  • assisting with the preparation of witness evidence in support of patent infringement proceedings;
  • conducting research into legal, technical and commercial points for client advice notes;
  • reviewing transaction documents as part of the due diligence process for company mergers and acquisitions;
  • attending calls with clients, barristers and opposing counsel;
  • coordinating completions; and
  • drafting material (e.g., presentations and talking notes) for external compliance and know-how training.

“Whilst I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenging work and exposure to high-profile matters, the standout features of life at Bristows have undoubtedly been the people and the culture. It is evident that everyone at the firm has each other’s best interests in mind and this has certainly helped me make the most of my first year at the firm.”

Luca Cericola

Trainee Solicitor


  • BSc Biochemistry with Professional Placement, University of Bath
  • PGDL, BPP University
  • LPC, BPP University

Hear from other Bristows trainees