United Kingdom

Lightsource bp UK has recently become one of a select band of UK companies to be accredited by the SRA.

Lightsource Renewable Energy has recently become one of a select band of UK companies to be accredited by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to offer training contracts to trainee solicitors.

As the UK’s leading generator of solar power, Lightsource draws heavily on legal expertise when developing new projects. In 2011 — a year after it was founded – it appointed its own in-house lawyer, Dr Ece Gürsoy, who now heads up a legal team comprising nine qualified lawyers, one trainee solicitor, and a legal secretary. The team has high-level expertise in property, project finance, corporate and construction law. Dr Gürsoy says of the SRA accreditation:

“In order to qualify to offer training contracts, a company must provide exposure to at least three different areas of law to ensure the trainee gains a broad experience base. At Lightsource, our legal team operates as a full-service law firm albeit on a small scale. It is a considerable honour to gain accreditation as many who apply find they aren’t able to satisfy the stringent criteria required by the SRA. It says a great deal about the strength of our team and the quality of the legal service we provide.”

Dr Gürsoy is now the designated Training Principal within Lightsource after an involved application process. When asked what prompted Lightsource to go down the route of applying for SRA accreditation, a process that took nearly five months to complete, Dr Gürsoy explains:

“When we hired Carolyn Gillespie one year ago she made it clear that she would only able to stay with us on a temporary basis because she needed to complete her training contract in order to qualify as a solicitor. She then proved to be such a valuable and talented individual that we simply decided to find out whether we could gain SRA accreditation ourselves.”

Carolyn is now enjoying her diverse role at Lightsource working in a close-knit team whose expertise is drawn from six different countries. Says Carolyn,

“Registration as a training establishment by the SRA not only illustrates the proficiency of our legal team, but also highlights Lightsource’s genuine commitment to investing in its employees.”

As Dr Gürsoy concludes, “we offer a unique legal experience involving complex structures in a challenging and dynamic business environment, and, as a company it’s very much to our benefit to retain good people. If they stay and get to know the business well then we can set them on a strong career path.”

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