Legal apprentice Charlie Hewitt Clyde & Co

Charlie Hewitt was employed by Clyde & Co as part of a large intake taken on to follow the Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Legal Services (the forerunner to the Paralegal Apprenticeship). When he completed that after two years he progressed to the Chartered Legal Executive Apprenticeship.

Charlie works in the firm’s motor insurance department where he deals with disputed (or litigated) insurance claims, as well as helping to identify potentially fraudulent cases. He said: 

“During the second year of my Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Legal Services, I was given the responsibility of handling an active caseload of litigated claims. This gave me an extensive experience of all aspects of the litigation process, from when cases are opened to when a decision is reached in court.

“I complete my own investigations and assessments, using relevant legal resources, before preparing reports and suggesting strategies. These documents need to be drafted precisely and accurately, so I need to have a very good understanding of all aspects of litigation – including potential costs. This is because a basic rule of litigation is that the loser pays the winner’s costs.

“I also have to comply with court directions – or instructions from the court to make sure the case is fully prepared – in a timely fashion.

“Part of my responsibilities as a case handler involves identifying any potentially fraudulent claims. If I do highlight any concerns, I refer the case to the firm’s internal fraud department to allow them to carry out a thorough assessment.

“Thanks to the understanding I have gained of case management, my referrals to the fraud department have led to more than £600,000 of savings for our clients.”

Why an apprenticeship? 

“I was interested in working in the legal sector from around the age of 14-15. I heard about CILEx Law School at the outset of my apprenticeship application, which was initially through my sixth form college.

“I wanted to do an apprenticeship as it offered a fresh approach to legal learning whilst being able to gain practical experience alongside accredited qualifications.

“The best things about studying with CILEx Law School have definitely been the support from everyone at CLS and the flexible approach you are able to adopt when studying to help balance out practical, working obligations.”

Role model 

“I feel extremely privileged to be offered the opportunity of an apprenticeship with Clyde & Co and now want to give something back by acting as an ambassador for the legal apprentice scheme.

“I feel that I can be a role model for apprentices who have joined the firm since me, proving what you can achieve if you apply the correct attitude. I have also been directly involved in mentoring and training an apprentice who joined my department last year.

“Despite my role as a fee earner, I have dedicated myself to my studies. I am currently undertaking a Chartered Legal Executive Apprenticeship after successfully completing my previous apprenticeship.

“To help me continue to progress in my role, I make sure that I constantly seek advice and guidance where and when needed from senior members of the team to enhance my competence, skills and knowledge of the legal sector.

“I actively look to assist other fee earners and team leaders with work when required, further developing my technical ability and highlighting my desire to continue improving. I am highly ambitious and aspire to progress my career as far as I can. I have set the goal of one day becoming a partner at a firm.”