The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
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; Brand management; Charities and not-for-profit; Corporate tax; Crime: general; Debt recovery; Employment; Family; Health and safety; Health; Intellectual property; IT and telecoms; Media and entertainment; Pensions; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Planning and environment; Property litigation; Social housing; Sport
Acted for Barnsley FC on over £10m-worth of player transfers; advised Cityheart on the £24m development of new student accommodation in Gloucester; advised the Michael Carrick Foundation and the Commonwealth Games Federation in relation to commercial exploitation of their IP rights through broadcasting agreements with ITV, sponsorship deals as well as commercial and marketing arrangement in several sporting events; represented the Ligue Européenne de Natation (LEN) and its president Paolo Barelli in a governance case against the Fédération Internationale de Natation; advised an alliance of employers in the Scottish Solicitors Staff Pension Fund on how to negotiate their exit from the fund and how to manage the substantial liabilities of the fund
Flintrock; Ingersoll Rand; JD Wetherspoon; Liverpool Mutual Homes; Lucid Games; Peel Ports; T J Morris; Toyota; Travelodge; Viridor Waste Management
Brabners is a ‘well-established North West firm’ with an ‘excellent reputation in Liverpool and Manchester’. ‘The quality of its work’ was the main attraction for trainees who desired ‘good-quality corporate and commercial work’. The firm’s offices have a ‘friendly atmosphere’ where inclusiveness is promoted. A healthy work/life balance is also encouraged through ‘friendly working hours’ – there is ‘no face-time culture’. Recruits are ‘given more challenging work than trainees at other firms’, and training is ‘more focused and structured with regular feedback’. Moreover, the ‘small intake’ means ‘fee earners have more time for trainees’. ‘Attending a ten-day trial at the Royal Courts of Justice on a complex conspiracy case’ was a highlight for one recruit. ‘Seeing transactions through from initial instructions to completion’ and ‘seamlessly integrating’ into the firm were highlights for others – no wonder the firm is a Lex 100 Winner for job satisfaction and inclusiveness, among four other categories. Brabners trainees enjoy ‘contributing in a meaningful way’ whilst being nurtured by ‘supervisors who are approachable and happy to discuss the work they have given to you’. However, respondents complained about the ‘lack of secondment opportunities’, ‘limited crossover between the Liverpool and Manchester offices’ and ‘out-of-date administrative processes’. Having to ‘photocopy multiple lever-arch files’ also displeased recruits. As for the firm’s involvement in charity work, ‘every year trainees participate in The Big Idea – a day of fundraising for the firm’s charity’. If you’re looking to train in the North West at a firm with ‘high-profile work’, a ‘great culture and work/life balance’, Brabners is for you.
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: Robert White
Managing partner: Nik White
Other offices: Liverpool, Manchester, Preston.
Who we are: One of the top North West independent legal practices, Brabners LLP has offices in Liverpool, Manchester and Preston. The firm has more than 345 employees with nationally recognised experts in key practice areas such as corporate, commercial, property, employment and pensions, litigation, sports, social housing, charity, family and private client law. The firm has a broad client base that includes plcs, public sector bodies, banks, other commercial, corporate and professional businesses and high-net-worth individuals.
What we do: The firm carries out a wide range of specialist legal services in a number of core sectors including real estate, business services, healthcare, media, technology, retail, sport and charity.
What we are looking for: Graduates and those undertaking the GDL or LPC who can demonstrate intelligence, intuition, humour, approachability and commitment and have some connection or interest in the North West.
What you'll do:Brabners is one of the few law firms that holds Investor in People status and has a comprehensive training and development programme. 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.
Perks: 25 days’ holiday, travel loan, fresh fruit delivered to the office, charity and social events, payroll giving, colleague recognition, smart working practices, buy and sell holidays, pension scheme, subsidised discounts in retail stores, cycle to work.
Sponsorship:Full LPC fees paid.
Facts and figures
Total partners: 57
Trainee places available for 2021: 6
First year: No less than £24,000
Newly qualified: £39,000
Apply to:Dr Tony Harvey/ Shirley Haworth
When to apply:Apply by 30 June 2019
What's involved:Interview and group assessment centre