Brabners LLP

Brabners LLP

Address: Horton House, Exchange Flags, Liverpool, L2 3YL




Survey results


The lowdown (in their own words...)

Why did you choose this firm over any others? 
 '‘Offered high-quality work without sacrificing work/life balance’; ‘I was looking to join a North West firm that has a strong reputation for corporate/commercial work’; ‘potential for growth’; ‘excellent reputation for its work with SMEs’; ‘the recruitment process is partner-driven’; ‘the firm takes an interest in each employee as an individual’; ‘the training was highly recommended’
Best thing about the firm? 
 '‘Located in a thriving city’; ‘friendly staff’; ‘you are given the opportunity to work on really complex areas of law’; ‘the firm takes an interest in how we are getting on’; ‘it really believes in work/life balance’; ‘everybody is treated on the same level’
Worst thing about the firm? 
 '‘There should be better dialogue between the firm’s three offices’; ‘limited number of seats which means there is not much choice’; ‘there could be more client contact’; ‘workplace politics’; ‘not the prettiest office’; ‘no international opportunities’; ‘limited administrative resources’
Best moment? 
 '‘Receiving praise after researching a complex area of pensions law’; ‘being given the independence to progress matters and files on my own’; ‘I attended mediation with my supervising partner which was a fantastic experience’; ‘winning a case for our client in the High Court’; ‘ego-massaging praise after working on a difficult matter’
Worst moment?
 '‘My mid-seat appraisal was pretty critical and that was hard to take’; ‘getting into the office at 7am in order to redraft an agreement’; ‘nearly missing a court deadline’; ‘working late to find the last train home cancelled’; ‘photocopying and preparing bundles’; ‘daily administration letters to clients’; ‘organising property deeds for a large client’'

If the firm were a fictional character it would be...

Charlie Bucket (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) – has a strong moral compass and outsmarts others by staying true to itself

The Verdict

The firm

Brabners’ three offices in the North West region combine to offer a range of services in the private client, real estate, corporate and commercial and TMT sectors. This well-regarded firm is also a member of two international networks, enabling its client reach to extend across 35 countries throughout Europe. 

The star performers

Agriculture and estates; Banking and finance; Charities and not-for-profit; Commercial litigation; Contentious trusts and probate; Corporate and commercial; Corporate tax; Crime: general; Debt recovery; Employment; Family; Health; Intellectual property; Licensing; Media and entertainment; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Property litigation; Social housing; Sport; Transport.

The deals

Advised Restore on its £55.7m purchase of Wincanton’s records management business; advised Grange Motors on the disposal of a site in the Lake District National Park; advised Cold Move on the carve-out and sale of a cold storage and logistics business; acted for Urban Sleep on the £41.6m sale of its portfolio of student accommodation to Empiric; advised rugby league club Salford Red Devils on several disputes.

The clients

Alpha Technology; Axa; Begbies Traynor; Business Growth Fund; England Golf; Impellam Group; Inteb Sustainability; JD Wetherspoon; Nando’s; Peel Ports Group.

The Verdict

Brabners combines a ‘strong presence in the North West’ with a ‘fantastic reputation for carrying out quality work’. Indeed, the firm ‘specialises in areas which are in demand and growing’, and is commended by one trainee for its ‘strength in corporate and sports law’. Though the firm naturally has a ‘strong North West focus’, respondents enthuse that Brabners also ‘has the ability to obtain work from national clients’. You can look forward to a ‘good amount of responsibility from the start’, as ‘trainees at Brabners are given the freedom to chart their own path’. Stand-out trainee moments to date include ‘representing a client at a case management hearing in my first seat’, ‘finalising a settlement agreement with a partner from the other side’ and ‘completing a corporate sale transaction that had taken over my life for the best part of a fortnight, and going out with the clients after to celebrate’. One criticism shared with us is that the amount of client contact ‘can vary between seats’, and this might explain ‘some of the basic administration tasks’ which trainees can be handed. Still, trainees’ opinions are ‘sought and valued by other fee-earners’ so there is scope to ‘develop your profile within the firm’. There can be long hours on occasion, which can lead to ‘working until past midnight to meet a key deadline’, but on the whole Brabners offers a ‘good work/life balance’. Working with ‘approachable and friendly’ colleagues makes for a ‘relaxed environment’ which has earned a Lex 100 Winner award for low stress levels, and it is therefore ‘easy to ask questions if you are unsure about anything’. To train at a North West firm alongside ‘solicitors who are regarded as leaders in their field’, consider applying to Brabners.

 Why Brabners LLP?

Brabners LLP has expanded rapidly in recent years, enabling us to provide a greater range of services and increased strength and depth. We recruit and retain a team of highly motivated and skilled professionals and support staff, committed to delivering effective, client-focused legal services. Our proactive approach is constructive, committed and down to earth, and we work closely with our clients to provide commercially realistic solutions to their legal problems.

Brabners LLP is one of the few law firms that holds ‘Investor in People’ status and we place great emphasis on the structure and progression of our training programme. The programme is continually re-appraised to ensure that it meets the requirements of each trainee solicitor.

Brabners LLP is consistently listed as an award winner in The Lex 100  student guide to the UK’s premier law firms.

As a firm we strongly believe that trainees have a place within our teams and encourage them to contribute to the work of their teams by allocating them responsibility from the outset. In each of your four seats you will spend time with a partner or senior lawyer, although you may also assist other fee-earners within the department. Your work will be closely monitored by your principal who will give support, guidance and assistance.

Trainees are encouraged to discuss with their principal any problems they encounter as part of our strong ‘open-door’ policy which encourages trainees to seek help whenever they need it. We recognise and encourage an eagerness to learn and consider a genuine ambition to succeed to be an attribute. We willingly devote the time required to ensure our trainees achieve their goals.

We strongly believe a wide range of disciplines should be experienced before a decision to specialise is made. Our comprehensive training and development programme includes all that is required by the SRA and also provides an induction course and ongoing in-house training and development.

Personal development appraisals are conducted at three and six monthly intervals to ensure that trainee progress is valuable and informed. Training and staff development in the firm is the responsibility of our director of training, Dr Tony Harvey, and the training programme is overseen by the firm’s trainee partners, Rupert Gill and Helen Marriott (Liverpool), Sam Mabon and Lydia Edgar (Manchester).

Life as a trainee with us is not all work and we encourage a positive work/life balance. Our offices maintain a friendly and social environment, something envied by many larger firms. Brabners LLP’s social life will play a great part in your life as a trainee and our trainees are encouraged to organise regular social events, including the annual staff conference, and our annual pro bono activities frequently raise in excess of £30,000 for the charity chosen by our staff. Brabners LLP colleagues regularly socialise after office hours, with Liverpool and Manchester having vibrant young professional scenes in which trainees soon become involved. We are active participants in a football league and regularly engage in other sports with other professionals. Officers of the regional JLDs are frequently Brabners LLP trainees.

It is our practice to select six trainees each year, three based in Liverpool and three in Manchester. We seek to recruit people who have great potential to succeed. We are not looking for clones, but individuals with varying personalities, who offer and receive a great deal of benefit from their time with us. You should be able to demonstrate intelligence, intuition, humour, approachability and commitment and have some connection with, or interest in, the North West. We prefer candidates to have achieved, or to be forecast to achieve, a good 2(1) degree but, ultimately, our assessment of you is based on our belief in your ability.

About the firm

Address:Horton House, Exchange Flags, Liverpool, L2 3YL

Telephone: 0151 600 3000

Fax:0151 227 3185

Chief executive : Janet Pickevance

Managing partner : Mark Brandwood

Other offices: Liverpool, Manchester, Preston. 

Who we are: One of the top North West commercial firms, Brabners LLP, in Liverpool, Manchester and Preston, has the experience, talent and prestige of a firm with a 200-plus-year history. Brabners LLP is a dynamic, client-led specialist in the provision of excellent legal services to clients ranging from large plcs to private individuals.

What we do: The firm carries out a wide range of specialist legal services and its client base includes plcs, public sector bodies, banks and other commercial, corporate and professional businesses. Brabners LLP is organised into client-focused departments: banking, corporate, commercial (including media and sports law), employment, litigation, property (including construction), social housing and private client (including family).

What we are looking for: Graduates and those undertaking the GDL or LPC who can demonstrate intelligence, intuition, humour, approachability and commitment.

What you'll do:The LLP is one of the few law firms that holds Investor in People status and has a comprehensive training and development programme. The LLP was listed in the Sunday Times  Best 100 UK Employers to work for in 2006-11. Trainees are given a high degree of responsibility and are an integral part of the culture of the firm. Each trainee will have partner-level supervision. Personal development appraisals are conducted at three and six-monthly intervals to ensure that trainee progress is valuable and informed. The training programme is overseen by the firm’s director of training, Dr Tony Harvey, and each centre has a designated trainee partner. It is not all hard work and the firm has an excellent social programme.

Sponsorship:LPC fees (full).


Facts and figures

Trainee places available for 2019: 6


First year: Not less than £22,000

Total partners: 70

Other fee-earners:150

Total trainees:12

 Application process

Apply to:Dr Tony Harvey, director of training, risk and compliance.

How: Online application.

When to Apply:Apply by 30 June 2017 for contracts starting September 2019.