Name: Eliska Haskovcova

Firm: Taylor Wessing

Position: Trainee solicitor

Degree: Law

University: Cambridge

Hobbies: Photography, filmmaking

Current department: Patents

Number of TC applications made and interviews attended: 8/6

Eliska Haskovcova, Taylor Wessing

Why did you decide to train as a solicitor?

I thought that it would set me up with transferrable skills, whether I wanted to be a solicitor for the rest of my career, or whether I wanted to pursue a career in another industry. Legal experience is always useful!

What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to secure a training contract?

I was on my year abroad in France at the time and had to fly into London for interviews/assessment days, which makes for a long commute!

What was the toughest training contract interview question you were asked (at any firm) and how did you answer?

Being shown a random page out of that day’s papers and asked to talk about a few of the articles was never a fun one (it felt a bit like a lottery, really). I answered by trying to make a little knowledge go a long way…

Tell us a bit about the type of work handled by the department you’re in at the moment…

We act in patent litigation for both patentees and opponents, as I sit in the contentious part of our patents department, although there is scope to get involved with both the contentious and non-contentious work.

The non-contentious team deals with the licensing and ownership of patents and other transactional issues concerning patents. The majority of our clients on the contentious side are telecommunications and pharmaceutical companies.

What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?

Acting for clients who are household names and learning about their businesses and how they function behind the scenes.

What about your job didn’t you expect before you started?

I didn’t realise how dependent your enjoyment of what you do is on the people you work with. Long days at the office don’t feel quite so bad when you feel like you’re among friends!

Who’s the most recent email in your inbox from, and what’s it about?

It’s from a partner in our private equity department organising a meeting on a transaction that the patents team is providing support on.

Where’s the best place to go to get your office’s gossip?

C&B and The Last (or any watering hole in and around New Street Square) are regularly frequented by Taylor Wessing people.

Describe your training partner in three words.

Friendly, approachable, fun.

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).

  • I get motion sickness from reading text on my phone while walking
  • I can hold a handstand for a minute
  • I competed in a beauty pageant as a toddler

If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?

I would have been a nomadic photographer, naturally.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in law?

Try and get a feel for the culture of any firm you might be interested in. A lot of City firms do very similar work, but it’s the people and vibe in the office that differentiates them, and ultimately determines your experience with them.

60-second interviews