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monarchCallum spent his placement working with Monarch Airlines as the company paralegal and has won the prize for the best placement student within his cohort.

“The majority of my time was spent dealing with Regulation (EU) 261/2004 litigation, which provides compensation to passengers whose flight was either delayed or cancelled (subject to certain conditions). Within the first week I became fascinated with, and heavily involved in, the litigation which potentially exposes the airline to millions of pounds of liability. This meant that I was required to assimilate information very quickly. I developed legal skills which included learning the processes of small claims litigation; filing Court documents and interpersonal abilities.

I dealt with a lot direct negotiation and telephone mediation. This often required dealing with challenging and frustrated consumers which exercised my customer service skills to their fullest. I managed to save the company several hundred pounds each time and also appreciated the value and importance of customer relations for a major UK airline.

Within weeks, I was fully engaged in drafting defences and putting together evidence bundles for hearings. This usually consisted of 100+ pages of very detailed and subject specific evidence which utilised aircraft engineering and operations input to draft witness statements on behalf of departmental managers. Whilst drafting these documents, I developed the ability to clearly, but concisely, defend a case and quickly saw the content of my drafting improve to a high standard.Aeroplane controls

Due to increasing media attention on air passenger rights, an influx of claims flooded in within the first 3 months of my placement. By the end, my supervisor and I were handling over 600+ live claims.

I was lucky enough to attend numerous hearings including two landmark cases in the Court of Appeal. Furthermore, I was trusted to apply my advocacy skills in front of a judge representing Monarch in a County Court claim. This required drafting all of the documents and successfully defending the claim under supervision.

My placement provided me with further work experience opportunities; I spent 2 weeks at Clyde & Co LLP and Hill Dickinson LLP (leading worldwide aviation firms). My experience has inspired me to pursue a career in aviation and base my dissertation on the law surrounding air passenger rights.

By Callum Blumire, LLB (Hons) Law

Originally posted on The Business School Blog

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