Trainee Solicitors Access Legal, Insurance Training Via Job Swap

Six Months Later: Checking in With Job Swappers

ArgoGlobal-Keoghs exchange enabled two solicitors to gain valuable legal and insurance training.

Bradley and Thomas standing in front of Keoghs office

At the end of 2019, ArgoGlobal Compliance Analyst Bradley Hogg swapped jobs for six months with Thomas Long, a trainee solicitor at London law firm Keoghs LLP.

“The experience has certainly developed the skills I need to qualify and use as a solicitor,” Hogg says. “Most notably, I have learned a lot about interviewing, advising, dispute resolution and negotiation in a contentious litigation environment. It has changed the way I view and approach tasks.”

Stewart Muirhead, head of legal for ArgoGlobal, facilitated the legal- and insurance training-exchange along with Keoghs’ partner Neil Trayhurn.

“This was a great initiative,” Trayhurn says. “We have thoroughly enjoyed having Bradley as part of our team, not just because of the impressive attitude he has shown, but we have also been able to learn a lot from the exchange, which will help us to continue building our relationship and understanding the needs of ArgoGlobal.”

Bradley Hogg, adjusting to remote working during lockdown.

The differences between legal and insurance training

Thomas Long says his insurance training with ArgoGlobal has allowed him to gain a much deeper understanding of how the company works, where the struggles are and where the opportunities are.

“The environment is so different to a law firm,” says Long. “As a trainee solicitor, you really only focus on the matter immediately in front of you rather than getting to know other aspects of a client’s business. During my time at ArgoGlobal, I enjoyed a more holistic role and saw a wider picture. By working with a number of different teams, I got to think more about the development of the business.”

Thomas Long working from home during lockdown.

What happened during the emergence of COVID-19

London went into lockdown during the six-month exchange. Did it disrupt them?

“Actually, surprisingly not,” Long says. “Everyone at ArgoGlobal transitioned to working from home really smoothly. Things have been very much busier.”

Hogg’s experience has been similar. “Keoghs had to react very quickly, but it worked,” he says. “We all adapted amazingly well and work levels stayed very high, with the added benefit of less commuting.”

He has also been pondering the future of the city and how the pandemic has possibly changed the culture forever.

“Home working was already becoming more common before COVID-19, and I can see many city firms reviewing their need for large, expensive offices,” Hogg says. “Particularly, in the insurance industry, with the emergence of digital platforms that enable people to write business from anywhere.”

How they summarise the experience

“These types of opportunity are rare in law firms,” Long says. “Law firms never want to lose their trainees, as they are a very valuable resource at the junior level and a big investment for any firm. Conversely, big companies like Argo rarely want to trade out established staff in place of someone with less knowledge and experience, so it takes someone like Stewart to see the bigger picture and the long-term benefits.”

“It has been fantastic,” Hogg says. “Going to a top law firm has shown me how focused you need to be to become an expert in the area of law you are working in – that has been really eye opening and stands me in very good stead for the future.”

“The exchange went far better than I imagined, and I’m really pleased for both Brad and Thomas that they’ve benefited from it,” Muirhead says. “I look forward to working with Brad as he completes his qualification towards becoming a solicitor, and also Thomas now that he’s back in private practice.”