A Day in the Life - Arden Cho

Arden Cho is a paralegal based in Manchester with experience covering contentious matters such as dispute resolution via adjudication and non-contentious contract drafting.

What is your role with Systech and where are you based?

I am a paralegal based in Manchester and I assist our senior lawyers with contentious and non-contentious matters. I am currently working with a client to provide general legal and commercial support for bids which includes reviewing and managing agreements for sub-consultancy works, professional services, joint ventures and non- disclosure. This requires me to liaise closely with suppliers and stakeholders.

Tell us about some of the projects you have worked on?

I have worked on a wide range of projects throughout the UK including rail, data centres and general construction. My experience covers contentious matters such as dispute resolution via adjudication and non-contentious contract drafting.

What is your typical day?

I start my day off by going through my inbox to create a prioritised action checklist. I spend most of my days reviewing agreements and liaising with internal and external stakeholders and I have regular meetings with the client throughout the week.

What are the interesting aspects of your work?

Being involved on a variety of projects has been very interesting and has given me an in-depth knowledge of contract negotiation and the processes involved, expanding my commercial awareness.

What words of advice would you offer someone who is thinking of working for Systech?

Try to keep up to date on construction industry trends whether they be key legal issues and cases or developments in technology.

How is the support from the senior managers and other members of your team?

I have regular calls with our Trainee and Paralegal Supervisor. This is a great forum to discuss any issues or queries together with my progress.

I also have regular meetings with the Systech Director who is responsible for the commission on which I am working. It is great to have someone with extensive commercial experience to call and talk over ideas and anything that I am not familiar with.

What are the challenges?

Working with various stakeholders can be challenging, in particular when you are coordinating and negotiating with several parties. It takes time and effort to understand each stakeholder’s needs and concerns.

What is the culture like?

Speaking from my experience, you will be involved on a variety of matters, and supported every step of the way. Your views will be valued, and you will be given the opportunity to develop as an independent thinker and a great collaborator.

What has been your greatest achievement working for Systech?

I assisted a senior solicitor on a contentious matter where the adjudicator held in our client’s favour. The dispute was about the sum to which the Claimant was entitled and involved whether the adjudicator had jurisdiction and if the claim had crystallised.

This experience allowed me to learn more about the key construction case laws and the wider issues in the construction industry.

Tell us about a project where you have learnt a key lesson

When I was assisting a client negotiating an agreement for a tender, I learnt the importance of effective communication. When dealing with external stakeholders, it is important to be clear from the outset to avoid disagreements down the line. This allows the parties to communicate freely and avoid misinterpretation.