Niall Costello – Trainee to Solicitor with PSG

You are currently a Clinical Negligence Solicitor with Price Slater Gawne, what was your pathway to your current role?

After the Legal Practice Course, I worked as a Paralegal in Costs and then Personal Injury. I started a Training Contract at a niche Personal Injury firm, working on all flavours of cases including road traffic collisions, employers liability, occupiers liability, public liability and some clinical negligence. I knew I wanted to specialise in clinical negligence cases. There is so work much involved in investigating and running these cases.

Given the changing market (post April 2013), I wanted to concentrate my training on clinical negligence and qualify at a reputable specialist clinical negligence firm. I had heard about Price Slater Gawne from colleagues and knew that they were seeking to recruit in clinical negligence so I applied in order to transfer my Training Contract to them.

What was it about Price Slater Gawne that inspired you to take up a training contract here?

The Partners have a wealth of experience and knowledge between them; Chambers recognised; the firm’s main specialism at the time was clinical negligence. All the Partners and solicitors having a background in Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence in particular.

During your training contract, what skills and experience did you gain?

I hit the ground running and was immediately handed my own cases to investigate under the supervision of Mark Slater.

During the 6 months of my Training Contract I had at Price Slater Gawne, I took initial instructions, requested/reviewed records, identified potential issues, drafted witness statements, attended Cost and Case Management hearings and did my own advocacy, made applications, drafted pre-action Letter of Claims, drafted and issued pleadings including Particulars of Claim and Schedules of Loss.

It was a steep learning curve. I gained skills direct from the experienced Partners that my peers at other firms didn’t have.

Following your training contract, you remained with the firm. What made you make this decision?

A number of professional and personal factors including the calibre of the colleagues I worked with, my caseload and the exposure to all aspects of litigation, flexibility of a paperless firm and ability to work remotely.

What advice would you give to somebody considering a training contract with Price Slater Gawne?

Be prepared to hit the ground running. Want to learn. Work hard and learn from your colleagues. Be committed to the area you are qualifying in because you’ll get the exposure here you will need for a very successful career.