The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Bond Dickinson possesses a wide market reach in the UK with eight offices in England and Scotland, and it bolstered its international credentials in June 2016 by forming an exclusive strategic alliance with US firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice. Corporate tax, property litigation, employment and IP are traditional firm strengths. Bond Dickinson was shortlisted for National/Regional Firm of the Year at the Legal Business Awards 2016.
The star performers
Agriculture and estates; Charities and not-for-profit; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Construction; Contentious trusts and probate; Corporate tax; Debt recovery; Education; Employment; Environment; Health and safety; IT and telecoms; Licensing; Pensions; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Planning; Professional negligence; Property litigation; Social housing.
Provided strategic planning advice to Bellway Homes as part of a consortium in connection with a 1600-unit development; defended Darlington Borough Council in equal pay litigation brought by multiple claimants; acted for Atom Bank on its £135m equity fundraising, which involved investments from several banks and investment management companies; assisted with the £150m refinancing of a sub-group of Grainger plc; acted for Churchill Property Services on the £4.4m sale of a freehold site in Aycliffe Business Park, which includes 40 occupied units.
British Association of Oral Surgeons; British Gas; IBM; The National Trust; Old Mutual Wealth; Post Office; Procter & Gamble; Sainsbury’s; Santander; University of Durham.
Bond Dickinson has a ‘supportive and friendly atmosphere’; partners are ‘interested in getting to know trainees’ and ‘want them to succeed’. The firm has ‘bags of ambition and talks a strong game’, with ‘respected clients, personality and friendliness’. Bond Dickinson makes sure ‘trainees get the best possible experience’ and although there is a ‘lack of international opportunities’, the firm is ‘expanding’ and has a ‘vision to grow’. Top trainee moments include playing a ‘vital role in completing a deal worth in excess of £60m’, ‘attending a sentencing hearing in the Magistrates Court’ and being the point of contact for a ‘property transaction of £10m’. The training is ‘tailored to the individual’ by supervisors who put an emphasis on ‘investing time, knowledge and effort in helping trainees improve and reach their potential both as lawyers and as people’. Trainees are ‘not expected to work late if it is not required for the job’ and are ‘encouraged to bring ideas to the table’. The firm has a ‘national reach’ while still maintaining a ‘local identity’ and trainees are ‘exposed to high-level work early on’, and ‘decent levels of responsibility’. Trainees also receive a ‘huge confidence boost’ when ‘good work doesn’t go unnoticed’ as part of working within a ‘wider team’, which is a ‘very supportive’ environment to work in. For those ‘striving to achieve quality and excellence while managing to remain human’, Bond Dickinson is a great choice.
A day in the life of...
Rebecca Butler trainee solicitor, Bond Dickinson LLP
Departments to date: Commercial, commercial disputes
University:University of Plymouth, University of Law – Bristol
Degree:LLB (Hons) Law 2(1)
8.00am: I read the news.
8.30am: I arrive at the office. I check my emails, review my calendar and catch up with my supervisor.
9.05am: I continue preparing the documentation to appoint Law of Property Act receivers. I finalise the validation report and letters of acceptance for my supervisor’s approval.
9.45am: We have a work experience student in our department. I introduce them to the team, allocate a desk and provide them with various tasks.
10.00am: During my seat within commercial disputes, I have been given a high level of responsibility, interesting technical work and the opportunity to build direct client relationships. I attend a client meeting with my supervisor to discuss the ongoing issues relating to a private nuisance. I take notes, ensuring I have a record of our action points.
11.15am: I return to my desk, dictate the attendance note and draft a letter to the other side putting them on notice of our intention to obtain a Norwich Pharmacal Order.
12.15pm: I catch up with the work experience student, supervise and provide feedback. I allocate them further tasks for the afternoon.
12.30pm: I go out to lunch with a colleague.
1.30pm: I return from lunch and have an email from one of the solicitors in the team requesting a financial status search on three companies. I conduct the search, draft a note of the company’s structure and monitor the companies for future insolvency alerts.
2.00pm: My supervisor receives a request from a client regarding a tenant breaching their obligations pursuant to a lease. I review the lease. I draft a letter referring to the breached covenants and possibility of an injunction. I send the letter to my supervisor for authorisation and then to our client for consideration.
3.45pm: I start to review documentation and draft a memorandum in relation to a breach of contract query received from a large real estate client.
4.50pm: I review the further tasks undertaken by the work experience student, provide feedback and have a Q&A session.
5.20pm: After checking I have completed everything on my to-do list for the day, I finalise my time recording on our time management system.
5.30pm: One great benefit to our office location: I go for a run around the Plymouth seafront, tracking my time on Strava!
About the firm
Address:4 More London Riverside, London, SE1 2AU
Telephone: 0845 415 0000
Fax:0845 415 6900
Chairman : Nick Page
Managing partner : Jonathan Blair
Other offices: Aberdeen, Bristol, Leeds, London, Newcastle, Plymouth and Southampton.
Who we are: Bond Dickinson, a dynamic UK law firm, provides a comprehensive legal service to our clients in a wide range of legal sectors across seven UK cities. Following a successful merger in 2013, Bond Dickinson continues to increase its business by growing its presence across the UK, strengthening client relationships, winning new business and investing in more highly skilled and ambitious people. Anyone at the start of their legal career would be joining us in a period of expansion and excitement.
What we do: We are a full-service law firm with a focus on eight major sectors: energy, waste and natural resources; retail and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG); real estate; financial institutions; chemicals and manufacturing; transport and infrastructure; private wealth; and insurance. We also continue to expand our technology; hospitality and leisure; and education sectors.
What we are looking for: At Bond Dickinson we look for intellectually able, motivated and enthusiastic graduates from any discipline. Successful applicants will understand the need to provide practical, commercial advice to clients. You will share the firm’s commitment to self-development and teamwork and its desire to provide clients with services that match their highest expectations.
What you'll do:We look at our trainee recruitment as a long-term investment. Trainees at Bond Dickinson will have an opportunity to spend six months in four business groups, gaining a real breadth of experience. This is your training contract and it’s up to you to make the most of it. We offer fantastic opportunities to develop your legal career. Your personal preferences are taken into serious consideration during the seat rotation process
Perks: Flexible benefits, including travel loan, pension, discounted car parking schemes.
Sponsorship:Full sponsorship for LPC and GDL and maintenance grant.
Facts and figures
Trainee places available for 2019: 30
First year: TBC
Second year: TBC
Total partners: 138
Apply to:Joanne Smallwood.
When to Apply:By 28 February 2017 for 2019 training contracts.
June and July schemes are available in 2017. Apply by 28 February 2017 at www.bonddickinson.com.