Sweeney Miller Law is delighted to have welcomed Newcastle University student and winner of the Sweeney Miller Law Scholarship prize, Luke Gaskill, to the firm’s Sunderland and Newcastle offices for a two-week work experience placement.


The Sweeney Miller Law Scholarship was developed in collaboration with Newcastle University Law School and recognises the highest academic performers in land law, contract law and equity and students can apply for the scholarship after receiving their second-year exam results. Winners receive £1000 towards the cost of their studies and the opportunity for paid work experience with the firm to gain a practical insight into the workings of a busy law firm and learn about the route to qualification and the opportunities in the legal field that may be available.


Luke, who recently completed his third year at Newcastle University spent his first week in Sweeney Miller Law’s recently relocated Sunderland office with the firm’s Litigation team, led by Partner Charlie Lynn. Commenting on his time with the department, Luke said: “What I enjoyed most about litigation was seeing how the Courts try to balance the politically contentious issue of: the parties freedom to contract i.e. to pay rent in exchange for habitation rights (which favour the Landlords), with the need to have a fair process eviction process given the serious consequences (a process that favours the Tenants). The debate that surrounds what a fair process looks like is a hot topic, and it will be interesting to see whether the proposed changes to abolish the section 21 (no-fault) eviction goes ahead – if so, this will undoubtedly increase the workload for litigation lawyers!”


In his second week, Luke headed to the Newcastle office to join the firm’s successful Commercial Property department, headed by Partner Jess Fenwick. Building upon his time in the Litigation team, Luke was able to learn more about the formation of commercial parties in a lease. He said: “what I enjoyed most is that, given the parties are commercial, the terms of the lease are open to negotiation, leading to either side competing for the best possible terms. This makes commercial property a varied area, particularly as the needs of the instructing client can change quite dramatically which poses an issue since their relationship is governed by a (largely) static document.”


Sweeney Miller Law Managing Partner, Surbhi Vedhara, led the team in welcoming Luke to the firm and thanking him for his enthusiasm and curiosity to learn and get stuck in during his two-week placement: “It has been a pleasure to have Luke with us over the last fortnight and we hope that what he has learnt during his time at Sweeney Miller Law will help him supplement his studies and set him in good stead for his future career. We are committed to fostering the next generation of legal talent through our partnerships with the local universities and related work experience opportunities, apprenticeships, and training contracts. We wish Luke the best of luck for his next steps after graduation!”


Commenting on his overall experience at Sweeney Miller Law, Luke said: “Spending time in Sweeney Miller’s Sunderland and Newcastle offices has been a fantastic experience – made even better by the warm and welcoming people who work there. All in all, the two weeks I spent at Sweeney Miller gave me a fascinating introduction into two areas of law, which I might not have had the opportunity to learn about during my degree.”


Luke is due to graduate from Newcastle University at the upcoming summer graduation ceremony on Tuesday 9th July.


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