The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
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.
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.
Alpha Technology; Axa; Begbies Traynor; Business Growth Fund; England Golf; Impellam Group; Inteb Sustainability; JD Wetherspoon; Nando’s; Peel Ports Group.
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
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.