Tim Gilbert

MEng (Hons), Civil Engineering and PhD, Civil Engineering - University of Birmingham

I can still remember the mixture of excitement and trepidation which I felt on the morning of my interview at Swindell & Pearson. I knew that it would be a great place to work and train: Swindell & Pearson is a mid-sized firm with clients ranging from very small businesses to multinationals, so I knew that I would have opportunities to work on a diverse range of cases and benefit from the support and expertise of a close-knit team. I was initially concerned that the interviewers might be unfamiliar with my qualifications, but I realised early in the process that this worry was misplaced: the recruiting team are experts in figuring out whether you know enough and think in the right way to do the job.

The interviewers were my prospective supervisors, including the team’s most experienced and senior patent attorney. They made a real effort to get to know me and supported me to do my best. They didn’t just want me to show strong attorney skills - they also wanted to see that I was a reflective, enthusiastic and respectful person who could argue a point of view effectively and respond appropriately to all kinds of feedback. I am very glad that Swindell & Pearson requires all of those qualities from its staff - it’s why we have such a supportive, collegiate working culture where everybody understands what is expected of them.

I have often thought about how fortunate I am to have trained at Swindell & Pearson. My supervisors are highly skilled, senior patent attorneys who invested a huge amount in my training. I had daily one-to-one consultations with them to discuss my professional development as well as my cases, and I received weekly tutorials from the most senior member of the team, as well as specific exam preparation courses which helped me to get through the tough exams at my desired pace. Now that I am more experienced and self-reliant, I still have access to support and mentoring from my colleagues.

I regularly represent the business as part of my direct contact with existing and prospective clients. This includes managing the relationship between a team of our attorneys and a large corporate client. I am also able to travel regularly in order to visit our clients and to develop new relationships. This helps me to push myself and focus on furthering the interests of the firm, and I am already developing clear ideas about how I can contribute more to Swindell & Pearson in the years to come.