The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Established in 1973, Anthony Collins Solicitors represents a broad array of clients from its Birmingham base. The firm represents individuals and businesses and has a strong sector focus which includes education, faith communities, housing and local government. The firm has more than 130 lawyers, including over 25 partners.
The star performers
Charities and not-for-profit; Clinical negligence: claimant; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Construction; Court of Protection; Employment; Family; Local government; Personal injury: claimant; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Property litigation; Social housing.
Helped Salford City Council with employment issues as they set up a new independent housing association, Salix Homes; acted for Affinity Sutton on its new £600m contract with Osborne Property Services; advised Gloucester City Council on the transfer of 4,800 homes to Gloucester City Homes; handled the dissolution of the civil partnership of a public figure; secured a six-figure settlement for a client who sustained a head injury but was not given a CT scan, despite the claimant’s family reporting abnormal behaviour to the health authorities.
Affinity Sutton; Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport; Cheshire West and Chester Council; Derwent Living; Friends of the Elderly; Knowsley Housing Trust; MIND; Salford City Council; Sense; Torus Group.
As a firm which undertakes ‘high-quality and very interesting work for charity and third sector clients’, Anthony Collins Solicitors encourages trainees to represent clients who are ‘passionate about what they do and actively trying to improve their communities or to help those less fortunate’. With ‘the largest charities client base outside of London’, the firm is ‘still growing fast and expanding into new sectors’ making it a ‘very exciting time to be a trainee’. This will have contributed to the firm earning a Lex 100 Winner medal for job satisfaction, along with four other gongs. This is reflected in stand-out moments which include ‘attending a client meeting with top-level executives and being able to hold conversations with them’ and ‘participating in a mediation process in my first month’. Some respondents have lamented that Anthony Collins ‘doesn’t promote itself enough’ and that ‘it is often underappreciated how much high-quality and high-profile work we undertake’, though one respondent mentions how the firm has built up an ‘excellent reputation over a short period of time’ in the Birmingham market. While there can be instances of ‘photocopying numerous documents’ and ‘not enough fee-earning work’, feedback indicates a ‘high level of responsibility and client contact’. This ‘client exposure’ is coupled with working alongside ‘friendly and approachable’ colleagues who ‘make an effort to get to know you from day one’. To work at a firm that is ‘valued for its outstanding client service’ and that advises companies making a ‘positive contribution’ to society, apply to Anthony Collins Solicitors.
A day in the life of...
Amy Callahan-Page first-year trainee, Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP
Departments to date: Contentious construction, personal injury, clinical negligence
University:University of Birmingham
Degree:Law LLB Hons 2(1)
8.45am: I arrive at the office with time to grab a drink and have a chat with colleagues before starting the working day.
9.00am: I review my emails, calendar and task list to determine what needs to be completed today. I am managing some files myself and am also given specific tasks on more complex files, so it is important to always be aware of deadlines and priorities. My first job is to draft a letter of instruction to a hepatologist (liver expert), asking them to complete a condition and prognosis report on our client’s liver injury.
9.45am: I head off to court with a senior fee-earner, counsel and our clients to attend a court approval hearing. At the hearing the judge (thankfully!) approves a multimillion-pound settlement that has been agreed out of court on one of our clinical negligence cases. I take a detailed note of the claimant’s and defendant’s submissions and the judge’s decision. After the hearing there are hugs of thanks all around from our client’s mother!
11.00am: Back at the office I spend some time contacting clients to give them an update on their case and the next steps that we will be taking. As this is a private client seat, it is particularly important we keep in touch with our clients and ensure they understand the legal process and what we are doing to progress their claims.
11.30pm: I call a witness on a personal injury case, and ask him questions to prompt him to talk me through what he witnessed at the scene of a road traffic accident. I take thorough notes so I can draft his witness statement and advise him of the requirements for being a witness in the case. The training here is very hands on and it offers a considerable amount of independence and responsibility.
12.00pm: I draft the witness statement, ensuring that the statement is compliant with the Civil Procedure Rules and that it accurately reflects what the witness has told me.
1.00pm: It’s lunchtime, so I meet with another trainee for a bite to eat and a catch up. We head out into the city centre, which is conveniently located on our doorstep and try to decide where to go!
2.00pm: Back in the office, I spend some time undertaking medical research to assist us on a new case, where a pharmacy gave our client an incorrect prescription of medication. In particular, I research the potential long-term consequences and side effects from the drug.
3.30pm: It’s time to attend our monthly trainee forum. The trainees meet regularly to discuss their seats, arrange trainee social events and organise charity fundraising activities. We also invite guest speakers from different departments to talk to us about the work that they do, or to deliver training on new and interesting legal developments.
4.15pm: I get back to my desk to see that we have had a number of new client enquiries. I call one prospective client to find out more about their situation to determine whether we would be able to assist them; having regular client contact is one of the things I really enjoy about training at ACS. I advise them on what they would need to prove to bring a claim, and explain limitation dates. I then draft a letter to them to confirm my advice in writing.
4.45pm: I spend some time researching kidney trauma experts and drafting letters of approach to determine if they would be able to act as an expert on a case.
5.15pm: It’s the end of the day and everyone is encouraged to leave on time, so I head off to a local networking event with some of the other trainees.
About the firm
Address:134 Edmund Street, Birmingham , B3 2ES
Telephone: 0121 200 3242
Senior partner : Peter Hubbard
Who we are: Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP is a law firm with a clear purpose – to ‘improve lives, communities and society’.
What we do: We provide advice and support to help our clients achieve their goals across our specialist sectors – social housing, local government, education, social business, health and social care, charities and private individuals.
What we are looking for: At Anthony Collins Solicitors we don’t just look for technical expertise. We want people who bring a wider skill set to our firm. Emotional intelligence and a desire to collaborate are key qualities that we look for.
What you'll do:Our trainees are encouraged to take an integral role in the team and are exposed to high-quality work from day one.
Perks: Travel loan, BHSF fund, quarterly office lunch, dress-down Fridays, BTSS membership.
Facts and figures
Trainee places available for 2019: 10
Applications received pa: 250
Percentage interviewed: 20%
First year: £22,000
Second year: £24,000
Newly qualified: £35,000
Total partners: 26
Apply to:Vicky Paterson.
When to Apply:By 31 July 2017 for 2019 contracts.
July 2017 (appy by 11 March).