The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
With over 40 partners and nearly 200 lawyers in total, Bevan Brittan has a strong public sector focus, which includes work in the healthcare, education and local government sectors. The employment, insurance and real estate teams are also highly regarded. The firm has offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds and London.
The star performers
Administrative and public law; Clinical negligence: defendant; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Construction; Education; Employment; Energy; Environment; Health and safety; Healthcare; Insurance and reinsurance litigation; Local government; Personal injury: defendant; Planning; Professional Discipline; Project finance and PFI; Property litigation; Social housing.
Represented NHS England in a judicial review brought by the Metropolitan Police to prevent the publication of a report commissioned by the NHS as part of the investigation into Sally Hodkin's murder; advised Brighton & Hove City Council on its £176m joint venture with Hyde Housing aimed at developing 1,000 new homes; advised Wates Construction on three student accommodation projects in Newcastle, York and Manchester; acted for Bristol Missing Link in a dispute concerning the way automatic injunctions should be handled during procurement challenges; continues to assist Barnsley Local Education Partnership with all commercial, corporate, TUPE, employment and property aspects of on its school estate in Barnsley.
Bodycote; Education Funding Agency; Financial Services Compensation Scheme; London Borough of Richmond upon Thames; Newham Local Education Partnership; NHS trusts; Northamptonshire County Council; SRA; Together Housing Group; United Health.
Bevan Brittan's position at 'the forefront of the public sector' and 'clinical negligence specialism' in a 'good sized firm' undoubtedly appeals to trainees. It is precisely the 'type of clients we work for' which enticed many of the current cohort to apply. The 'interesting client base' allows for 'plenty of work on real cases' and recruits benefit from 'good client contact and responsibility provided early on in the training contract'. Feedback also praises the supervisors who 'ensure you get involved with a range of work so you don't end up doing the same boring tasks associates don't want to do'. Respondents felt 'appreciated' and 'valued as part of the team' and enjoyed working with fee earners who are 'experts in their field'. The 'lack of seat choices' was criticised, as well as the fact that 'the different offices are sometimes not as joined up as they seem to be'. However, although there were complaints that 'the pay could be better', recruits were grateful to work at a firm where the work is 'meaningful' leading to a Lex 100 Winner medal for quality of work. Stand-out moments include 'working closely on a high-profile judicial review' and 'conducting the advocacy at an inquest'. This further supports the idea that trainees at the firm are 'afforded significant responsibility', which seems to make up for having to occasionally undertake some more 'mundane business development tasks'. The 'annual mixed 7-a-side football tournament' also merits applause. If you want to work at a firm with a 'good balance' where you 'work hard when needed' but where 'the importance of having a life outside of work' is recognised, Bevan Brittan could be a good choice for you.
A day in the life of...
Rachel Beck second-year trainee, Bevan Brittan LLP
Departments to date: Clinical risk, and litigation, advisory and regulatory
University:University of Reading
8.10am: I arrive at my desk, dock my laptop and set my freshly brewed cup of fruit tea down while I set my voicemail for the day and review my overnight correspondence. I can see we have had an urgent instruction come in on a matter as there are a lot of exclamation marks in my inbox! I prioritise by opening these and seeing what my involvement in this instruction is going to be.
Once I have established what assistance is required, I quickly open my other emails and write out my daily list of things that need to be completed, making sure that at the top of my list is the new job that has come in. This is a series of research and drafting tasks to do with a large piece of health and safety advice. I get my research underway to try and establish the scope and likely turnaround of this piece of work before my supervisor arrives.
9.30am: My supervisor has arrived and settled down and we have a conversation in our pod (the great advantage of an open-plan office!) about the urgent research and drafting tasks she has set me. We discuss the timescale the work needs to be completed by. The advice is due on Friday and so I need to complete my research and drafting over the next day and a half to allow for time for checking, amending and sending to the client.
I have a number of other jobs in my inbox that are of similar deadlines and so we discuss how to manage my time effectively and reach each upcoming deadline.
9.50am: We have agreed a strategy for the work and I carry on with my research from this morning. Whenever something uncertain arises I just turn around and ask my supervisor for some clarification.
12.30pm: I take a break from my research work to complete a number of other tasks on my to-do list. I have a number of debt collection matters that require further work and so I draft a number of letters and chaser emails to be approved by a member of the team in preparation for sending them out in tonight's post.
1.00pm: It is summer but the weather is miserable so I decide to do a workout on the third floor with a couple of colleagues. It is a great opportunity to stretch my legs, relieve some stress and have a catch up with my friends in other departments!
2.00pm: Back to my research and drafting tasks. I feel I have exhausted the resources I have been asked to review and so I extend my search. No new information is coming through so it is time to consolidate the information I have gathered into an advice note. I review a similar-style piece of advice I have done previously and use this as a precedent style for my piece of advice.
3.45pm: All my draft emails and letters are back and have been approved with some very minor amends. I do this and make sure I get everything printed and ready to go for the post run at 4.30pm.
4.00pm: Time for our monthly social committee meeting which I have been a part of since the day I joined. It is only July but we are meeting with the Christmas party at the top of our agenda! Let's hope we can all agree on a fabulous venue.
4.30pm: The meeting was a success and now it is back to my drafting task. I will review and tweak with a fresh pair of eyes in the morning and raise any queries again with my supervisor.
5.45pm: I am done for the day, so I log off after checking there is nothing I have missed, and head for my train feeling pleased with what I have achieved in my day.
About the firm
Address:Kings Orchard, 1 Queen Street, Bristol, BS2 0HQ
Telephone: 0370 194 1000
Senior partner: Joanne Easterbrook
Managing partner: Duncan Weir
Total partners: 58
Other fee-earners: 180
Total trainees: 19
Other offices: Birmingham, Leeds, London
Who we are: Bevan Brittan provides practical, high-quality and commercially relevant legal advice to public, private and third sector organisations. Our experience includes working with clients across central and local government, NHS commissioning and provider organisations, 40 housing associations and over 100 private sector companies.
What we do: Our services include advice covering outsourcing, major infrastructure projects and PFI, employment matters, regulation and governance, property, clinical negligence, construction, litigation and dispute resolution, and general commercial issues.
What we are looking for: We are looking for bright people with sound common sense and plenty of energy, who can think logically and clearly. An interest in the type of clients we work for is essential. You need drive, commitment, willingness to take responsibility and the ability to work and relate well with others.
What you'll do:The training contract is made up of four six-month seats. During each seat, the core of your training will be practical work experience in conjunction with an educational programme. You are encouraged to take on as much work and responsibility as you are able to handle, which will be reviewed on a regular basis with your supervisor. The firm is friendly and supportive with an open-door policy along with a range of social, sporting and cultural activities.
Perks: Life insurance, private healthcare insurance, pension, group income protection, health assessments, cycle scheme.
Sponsorship:The firm sponsors both the LPC and GDL and provides a study bursary of £5,000.
Facts and figures
Training contracts available for 2020: 8
Applications received pa: 450
Percentage interviewed: 10%
First year: TBC
Second year: TBC
Newly qualified: TBC
Turnover in 2016: £37.7m (+8% from 2015) Profits per equity partner: £306,000 (+6%)
Apply to:Katie Deering, graduate recruitment and training co-ordinator.
How: Online via website.
What's involved:Online application form, verbal reasoning test, telephone interview, assessment centre.
When to Apply:
Training Contract beginning in 2020: By 30 June 2018.
Summer Vacation Scheme: By 28 February 2018.