A very Corporate Affair Book 1 (The Corporate Series)

BOOK: A very Corporate Affair Book 1 (The Corporate Series)
6.45Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

A Very Corporate Affair

Book One


D A Latham


Copyright © 2013 D A Latham All rights reserved.

ISBN-10: 1490309772

ISBN-13: 978-1490309774














To my dearest, darling Allan
















With thanks to all my advisors


Thomas Darlington


Andrea Mills


Michael Harte


Rebecca Elliott


Johanna Ballard


Penny Harrison


Gail Hayward




Sam Yazdani














 Chapter 1


 Pg 2




 Chapter 2


 Pg 17




 Chapter 3


 Pg 29




 Chapter 4


 Pg 38




 Chapter 5


 Pg 41




 Chapter 6


 Pg 54




 Chapter 7


 Pg 65




 Chapter 8


 Pg 74




 Chapter 9


 Pg 84




 Chapter 10


 Pg 92




 Chapter 11


 Pg 103




 Chapter 12


 Pg 112




 Chapter 13


 Pg 120




 Chapter 14


 Pg 128




 Chapter 15


 Pg 137




 Chapter 16


 Pg 146




 Chapter 17


 Pg 156














                             I stood on Welling station shivering in the cold, and trying to calm the butterflies fluttering around in my stomach. Today was the day of judgement at work. The day I would find out if my training contract would turn into a fully fledged job at Pearson and Hardwick, one of the big four law firms in London. If today went well, I would become a qualified, and gainfully employed, corporate lawyer. If today went badly, then six years of studying would be down the drain.

                 It had been a real slog to get this far. I came from a working class family, who didn't believe in social mobility, and thought I was wasting my time. I had worked hard at Bexley Grammar to get top grades and secure a place at Cambridge to study law and business. I had kept my head down through university and had put in enough effort to gain a first. A year long legal practitioner course led to my traineeship, and another two years of intense concentration at Pearson and Hardwick had followed, as I threw myself into the opportunity they had given me.

                  I looked around the grey, featureless platform. At six thirty in the morning, only the early bird commuters were present. Pale, pasty looking men in badly fitting suits looked resigned to another miserable day in mundane jobs. There was not one exciting or interesting looking person there. Suburbia doesn't really breed the people who make you sit up and take notice, I thought to myself. All the more reason to escape as quickly as possible.

                   I'd enjoyed Cambridge as it had been a huge relief to be around intelligent, informed people who had been passionate about academia. My mum had never understood a thirst for knowledge, and had tried to get me to lower my aspirations and take a 'nice shop job' at sixteen. The thought of returning home tonight unemployed and a failure, confirming all her warnings about 'getting ideas above my station', made the butterflies ten times worse.

                  I arrived at the offices at quarter past seven, pausing in the stunning wood panelled lobby of the ancient law firm, and wondered if it would be the last time I would walk through on my way to work. I ducked into the cloakroom to change into my heels and shed my coat.

                  "Good morning Elle," said Roger, the security man who was based in the lobby, as I waited for the lift up to my floor.

                  "Morning Roger, today's the day."

                  "I wish you the best of luck. I'm sure you'll be fine, the time you get here everyday must have shown them how conscientious you are."

                  "Thanks. Hope so." I smoothed the front of my neat pencil skirt, and gripped my handbag a little tighter.

                   Once I had reached my floor, I made my way straight to my desk to switch on my computer, check my emails, and just wait. All the cases I had been assigned to work on had been completed, and as my traineeship had been near its end, they hadn't given me any new ones. For the last week or so, I had just been assisting the other trainees with their cases, doing their drudge work, and helping out in the filing room. I had felt that the lack of new cases being put my way was a bad omen, and if they were keeping me, they wouldn't have worried about giving me fresh work.

                  Checking my emails, I saw one from Mr Lambert, my line manager. I opened it.


From: Adam Lambert

To:  Elle Reynolds

Subject: Interview

28th March 2013


Dear Ms Reynolds,

  Your interview today will be held at 11am in room 7 on the 4th floor. In attendance will be Ms Pearson, Mr Jones, and myself.


Kind Regards

Adam Lambert



                 I stared at the email for a minute or two. It wasn't giving anything away. I decided I need a cup of tea. In the small kitchenette area, I realised that my hands were shaking as I filled the kettle. I needed to get a grip. The last thing I wanted to do was show nerves or weakness when the rest of my workmates arrived. Cool, calm and collected was the image I wanted to project at work, not needy, insecure or scared, no matter how I felt inside.

                  As the other trainees filed in, I could see how rattled they were. It was interview time for all of us who began in 2011, and usually only a quarter of the intake would be offered permanent jobs. Scanning the faces, I tried to figure out who had screwed up, who had excelled, and who would be a tough call. 

                  "Why are you looking so pensive?" Lucy demanded, standing in front of my desk, "we all know you'll be ok, miss perfect," she teased.

                  "I don't know about that, they could easily decide I'm not posh enough to fit in," I said, fully aware of my lack of private schooling and accompanying posh accent.

                  "Don't be daft, the fact that you have a perfect record and are a bloody genius will easily outweigh the problem of a glottal stop." She smiled to let me know she was teasing.

                  "Wha times yuh mee-ing?" I said, in full south London accent, taking the piss.

                  "11.30. You?"

                  "11. Good luck."

                  "You too. If its good news, I'll treat us both to lunch in Bennies." Lucy came from a wealthy background and didn't have to watch the pennies as I did. She sauntered off, seemingly unconcerned about her fate being decided upstairs.

                  At ten to eleven, I rinsed my hands in cold water to avoid a sweaty handshake, and made my way up to the floor above. The secretary directed me to take a seat just outside the meeting room to await my turn. The door swung open, and a fellow trainee, John Peterson, came out looking as white as a sheet. I caught his eye, and he gave an almost imperceptible shake of his head. He had been one of the 'sure things' I had judged earlier that morning. My stomach sank into my boots.

                 "Miss Reynolds, you may go in now," said the secretary. I plastered on my best fake smile and entered the room. The three interviewers sat behind a long table, with a single chair placed in front of them. Mr Lambert smiled at me, and asked me to take a seat. I shook their hands, and sat down.

                  "Good morning Miss Reynolds, I'm sure you must be nervous, so I won't waste time on pleasantries," began Ms Pearson. My heart sank. "You have the highest work output rate of your year group, the best attendance and punctuality rate, and the best report from your superiors." My heart hammered, and I tried to stop myself blushing at her compliment. Ms Pearson was a managing partner, so remaining in control in front of her was extremely important.

                  "So I'm delighted to be able to offer you a permanent position at Pearson and Hardwick. Now your report states that you would like to specialise in corporate law, is that correct?"

                  I pulled myself together quickly enough to answer her, "yes, that's correct."

                 "Good. We have an opening in our corporate department at Canary Wharf. You can begin there on Monday. For the rest of this week you will be on paid leave, as Mr Lambert has indicated that you have taken no holiday at all this year. The salary will be eighty thousand per year, plus the grade 3 benefit package. Do you have any questions?" Ms Pearson looked at me intently.

                 "No questions, and thank you Ms Pearson, I won't let you down," I said, barely able to take it all in.

                 "I'm sure you won't. Now, please head over to HR, where they have your new contract ready for you to sign, and sort out your package, then I suggest you have some rest until Monday."

                 I smiled widely at the panel, "thank you for this opportunity,"  I said before heading out.

Over at HR I signed my new contract, collected the details of my new workplace, and perused the list of benefits I could choose as part of my package. As I didn't have a car to be subsidised, I chose gym membership, private health care and an enhanced pension. The HR lady assured me that the gym at the Canary Wharf building was superb, and useful for showering and changing facilities if I needed them. On my way back to my floor, I bumped into Lucy, who was sporting a wide grin

                  "Great news Elle, I got family law, just as I wanted. What about you?"

                  "Good news for me too, I got corporate, so Canary Wharf here I come," I replied with an equally big smile.

                  "Wow! They are the most prestigious offices in the firm, you must have done really well. I'll come and visit you there. Now, shall we meet by your old cubicle as I have to see HR before we go to lunch?"

                 "Great, see you in a bit."

                 I went back to my cubicle with my shoulders back, and a lightness I had never felt before. Success felt fantastic, and for the first time ever I could escape my background.

Bennies wasa bistro type bar tucked away down one of the tiny passages that characterised the city. Lucy ordered a bottle of Moët while we waited for our overpriced sandwiches. We clinked glasses and gossiped about who got kicked out and who was kept on. It turned out that out of a hundred who began the training contract with us, only fifteen had been offered full contracts.

                  "So, what's your next plan? Are you moving nearer work?" Lucy asked.

                 "Sure am, I have the rest of the week off, so it's a good opportunity to look for a flat share or a studio. Mum's boyfriend wants to move in, and it's too small a flat to have all three of us there, so it's time to move out." I hugged myself with glee. Escape from the moaning about my getting up early, use of hot water and aversion to junk food.

                  Lucy broke my reverie, "my brothers friend is looking for a flatmate, he lives near Canada square. Would you like me to call him?"

                  "Oh yes please, that would be great." She pulled her phone out of her bag and prodded the screen.

                   "Hi James, it's Lucy Elliott. Have you still got that room available? Only one of my friends is looking for a flat near Canary Wharf." She listened to the other person, injecting a 'mmm' every now and then. "Yes it's a she, and she is a nice, hardworking, quiet, corporate lawyer. Yes I work with her.....yes.....no......ok I'll send her along this afternoon. Text me the address yeah." Lucy ended the call.

BOOK: A very Corporate Affair Book 1 (The Corporate Series)
6.45Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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