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? 
 ''I wanted a North West firm with a corporate/commercial focus' 'word-of-mouth reputation' 'the client/partner exposure the firm offers' 'each trainee is not just a number' 'the friendliness of the partners I met at interview' 'I was confident that I would be given the opportunity to develop and progress' 'work/life balance' 'specialist areas of practice'
Best thing about the firm? 
 ''The numerous social/networking events' 'the variety and quality of work' 'the inclusive atmosphere' 'working alongside excellent lawyers and support staff' 'good level of client contact from day one' 'the impressive client base' 'the people are easy to get along with' 'there is a genuine emphasis on trainees maintaining a good work/life balance' 'the social network'
Worst thing about the firm? 
 ''Lack of international secondments' 'the competition for seat choices often means that there are two or three trainees going for the same position' 'the remuneration' 'the shrinkage of the sports team' 'the communication from the top about firm direction and changes' 'trainees are told about seat rotations and qualifying positions relatively late'
Best moment? 
 ''Attending a black-tie dinner hosted by a client with senior members of the firm' 'being taken out for lunch as a thank you for drafting a long and complex due diligence report' 'working with a very high-profile football client' 'running the majority of a completion in a sale transaction' 'working with some well-known clients'
Worst moment?
 ''Getting into the office at 7am to complete a formatting exercise on Microsoft Word' 'getting up at 4am to catch the early train down to London' 'late night and early morning bundling' 'spending over two hours amending a document then failing to save it properly' 'organising property deeds for a large client' 'admin work''

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

Robin Griffin (Top of the Lake) - smart, resourceful and willing to go the extra mile

The Verdict

The firm

Brabners is a North West firm with experience and expertise in all aspects of commercial law, including corporate, property, commercial litigation, employment and pensions law. The firm also has specialist housing, sports and private client teams. Brabners has offices in Liverpool, Manchester and Preston. 

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; IT and telecoms; Licensing; Media and entertainment; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Social housing; Sport.

The deals

Advised Jaywing on its acquisition of Bloom Media (UK); acted for the shareholders of System Professional on its sale to Daily Internet (SysGroup); advising the North West Air Ambulance on a constitutional review of its Articles of Association; advising Melissa McCue trading as EBC Couture and Swim on the intellectual property rights in her products; advising on a five-year commercial agreement between Premier Gateway International and its client Chester Race Company in relation to providing wagering services at Chester & Bangor-on-Dee Racecourses.

The clients

Alexander Wang; Ashland Specialty Chemical Company; AXA; Chester Race Company; International Sports Agency; Liverpool FC; Neptune Developments; Restore; The Wayne Rooney Foundation; Travelodge Hotels.

The Verdict

North West-based Brabners has a 'reputation for doing high-end corporate and commercial work for notable clients'. The firm is also renowned for its work in the sports sector and in particular for its 'links with major Premier League clubs', which entices trainees. The 'variety of work' was 'key' for recruits who appreciate 'the numerous practice areas and niches in which the firm specialises' and which in turn guarantees 'a rounded training experience'. Elaborating on the latter point, trainees laud 'the balance of great work and great training' which they can really get their teeth into because 'the firm does not do volume, process-driven work'. Trainees are 'entrusted to deal with clients directly' and appreciate 'the opportunity to complete complex work under supportive supervision'. Encouragingly, one trainee expressed his confidence that Brabners' comprehensive training would 'stand me in good stead for my future career'. The firm is a Lex 100 Winner for friendliness, work/life balance and lower stress levels, which can probably be attributed to the 'sensible working hours' and the 'friendly and engaging atmosphere and ethos'. On a slightly less positive note, 'information about seat rotations and qualifying positions' is distributed 'relatively late', which is frustrating for trainees. There is also a perceived lack of consistency between departments which can lead to the feeling that they are 'different firms'. Stand-out moments include 'playing in a football match at a 14,000 capacity stadium against a major client of the firm' and 'attending the Royal Courts of Justice in injunctive proceedings'. Consider applying to Brabners if you want to train at a friendly firm which 'does not treat trainees as a resource, but as an investment'.

 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

Total partners: 62

Other fee-earners: 144

Total trainees: 12

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

Training contracts available for 2020: 6


First year: Not less than £24,000

Turnover in 2015: £30m (+0% from 2015) Profits per equity partner: £167,000 (-29%)

 Application process

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

How: Online application.

What's involved: Interview/assessment day.

When to Apply:

Training Contract beginning in 2020: By 30 June 2018.