The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Nottingham-headquartered Browne Jacobson has undergone impressive growth in recent years. Turnover has increased sharply and a wider network of offices has expanded the firm’s reach across the UK. It is a full-service firm with leading insurance, public sector and real estate practices. It was recognised for its strong performance by being shortlisted for the National/Regional Firm of the Year trophy at the Legal Business Awards 2016.
The star performers
Charities and not-for-profit; Clinical negligence: defendant; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Construction; Education; Environment; Health and safety; IT and telecoms; Insolvency and corporate recovery; Intellectual property; Local government; Personal injury: defendant; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Planning; Private finance initiative; Professional negligence; Property litigation; Social housing; Sport.
Advised Lloyds Development Capital on the acquisition of a minority stake in Aspin Group; advised Fogarty Group on asset-based facilities provided by Close Brothers to finance its future development; advised Cheshire East Council on the procurement process to find a partner to deliver a range of geo-thermal and other energy projects in the Cheshire region; advised Serco Leisure Operating Limited on the design and build contracts related to its procurement of a series of leisure facilities across the UK; advised new client Metropolitan Housing Trust on the acquisition of 61 new homes in Nottinghamshire from private developers.
Boots Alliance; City of Lincoln Council; East Midlands Housing Group; England and Wales Cricket Board; Havenwood Construction; Hiscox; KPMG; Sir Robert McAlpine; Ted Baker; Willmott Dixon.
Browne Jacobson’s ‘strong reputation’ for a ‘mix of public and private sector work’ is a ‘big pull’ for most trainees. The insurance, public sector and real estate practices are some of Browne Jacobson’s well-known specialisms. This national firm is ‘committed to training and progression’, and is a ‘growing firm with a growing reputation’ with the accompanying ‘big-name clients’. There is a ‘good level of hands-on supervision’, ‘client exposure’ and a ‘decent level of responsibility’ on offer for Browne Jacobson’s trainees, as there is only one trainee assigned per team in each office. Within the team there are ‘some great lawyers who will offer informal mentoring’ and are ‘willing to go the extra mile to ensure that the trainees are developing’. Also, it has been noticed that the ‘lack of hierarchy’ means the ‘partners are approachable’ and trainees can ‘learn a lot when working with them’. This ‘down-to-earth firm’ puts an emphasis on giving trainees the ‘room to grow and develop within each seat’. There is ‘no pressure to stay late when it is unnecessary’ but trainees can still face a ‘huge culture shock’ and ‘inconsistent work levels which can be hard to time-manage’. Best moments for trainees include ‘running files under appropriate supervision’, ‘attending a three-week trial at the Royal Courts of Justice with a partner and a QC’ and ‘completing a complex piece of work without any adjustments’. Browne Jacobson is a great choice for those looking for a firm that is ‘going places’ while maintaining a ‘friendly atmosphere’.
A day in the life of...
Katherine Utton first-year trainee, Browne Jacobson LLP
Departments to date: Education, employment
Degree:Criminology and philosophy 2(1)
8.30am: I start the day by checking my emails to see if anything has come in over the weekend. I also check the latest education news stories to see if there is anything relevant to our clients. I notice that there is a story on including overtime in holiday calculations so I email the team to let them know I will draft an update to send out to our clients.
9.00am: I am advising a client on settlement negotiations and I have a message asking me to call them with an update. I have been involved in this tribunal claim from an early stage, and as my colleague has been away for the last week I have been handling the negotiations (with supervision). She confirms she is happy for me to continue running the file so I update them on the latest offer we received and we discuss how they want to proceed.
9.30am: I have relayed my client’s instructions to the representative on the other side, so now I can make a start on the rest of my to-do list. Before I start I check the quick-call messages and note that an academy is seeking some advice on an employment issue. I have advised this academy before, on a different matter, so I volunteer to call the client back to discuss. I really like quick-call queries because you are encouraged to deal with clients directly and the issues are always really varied.
10.00am: Time for my weekly catch-up with my supervisor. Although I sit next to my supervisor we have a weekly catch-up so that he can keep an eye on what work I am doing. It really is a very supportive environment for a trainee, which helps give you the confidence to ask questions without feeling stupid!
10.30am: My supervisor has just updated me on one of the files I am helping him with and asked me to think about what steps we need to take next. As a trainee you are always encouraged to think about a case as a whole, rather than just being given individual tasks to do. We are trying to negotiate a settlement for our client, so I draft a without prejudice letter for him to review. He makes a couple of amends and I then send it out.
12.30pm: It’s time for lunch, so I head downstairs to our café (No.44). We are really lucky to have some great chefs and the food is always delicious. No.44 is always busy and is a great place for catching up with the other trainees. One thing I really like about being a trainee is having other people that you can share your experiences with and it is really good to be able to talk things through – particularly when it comes to seat change!
1.30pm: Earlier this week I attended a preliminary hearing for a client. I have already updated them on the outcome, but I want to tidy up my own notes before saving them to the file. I also check the orders that were made and update my diary with the key dates.
3.00pm: A colleague comes over to ask me about a presentation I did for the team last week, as she is currently trying to advise a client on a similar point. Even as a trainee you are expected to be able to contribute and give your own views on matters, so I talk her through my research and reasons behind my advice.
3.30pm: I spend the next couple of hours drafting a settlement agreement for a client. There are some specific confidentiality clauses that the client wants to include so I spend some time making sure the wording is as clear and concise as possible. Once I have had it reviewed by my supervisor I am able to send it to the client for approval.
5.30pm: I check the quick-call messages again and make sure nothing urgent has come in. There is never any requirement to stay later than you need, so once I confirm there is nothing outstanding I head home.
About the firm
Address:Mowbray House, Castle Meadow Road,, Nottingham NG2 1BJ
Telephone: 0808 178 9064
Fax:0115 947 5246
Senior partner : Derek Bambury
Managing partner : Iain Blatherwick
Other offices: Birmingham, London, Manchester, Exeter.
Who we are: We are a full-service firm with an impressive client portfolio, including blue-chip corporates, local and owner-managed businesses, NHS trusts, insurers, and education and public sector organisations.
What we do: We offer a comprehensive range of quality legal services, with expertise across a number of key specialisms, including retail, technology, financial services, education, health, local and central government, brands, international and insurance.
What we are looking for: We are looking for commercially minded law and non-law graduates who can bring with them enthusiasm, tenacity, commitment and a passion for delivering exceptional service, combined with a flexible and friendly attitude. For more information about life as a trainee visit their blog at www.traineetalk.co.uk.
What you'll do:Trainees start with an induction, a fast-track professional skills course and then go on to undertake an extensive internal trainee development programme. They spend four periods of six months in some of the principle areas of the firm, gaining an overview of the practice. Trainees get great training, a friendly and supportive working environment and real career opportunities. They are also given quality work and exposure to clients from early on, but are supported in achieving results and recognised for their contribution. Training contracts are based in Nottingham and Birmingham although, on occasion, opportunities may arise in our other offices.
Perks: We offer a flexible benefits package with life assurance, income protection and a pension as standard, plus private medical care, dental care, travel insurance, critical illness cover, childcare vouchers, Ride2Work and discounted shopping.
Sponsorship:LPC/GDL tuition fees paid, plus £5,000 maintenance grant. These will not be paid retrospectively.
Facts and figures
Trainee places available for 2019: 20
Applications received pa: 800
Percentage interviewed: 10%
First year: £25,500
Second year: £26,500
Newly qualified: Market rate
Total partners: 109
Apply to:Recruitment team.
When to Apply:By 1 April 2017 for 2019 training contracts.
June 2017 (apply online by 1 February 2017).