Foot Anstey LLP

Foot Anstey LLP

Address: Salt Quay House, 4 North East Quay, Sutton Harbour,, Plymouth PL4 0BN




Survey results


The lowdown (in their own words...)

Why did you choose this firm over any others? 
 ''Great vacation scheme' 'it offered the best quality of work at a competitive salary' 'growth of the Bristol office' 'reputation' 'it offers flexibility; 'South West location' 'the professionalism and friendliness of the staff' 'standard of clients is high' 'the support given to employees to grow niche areas of the business' 'quality of work' 'continued growth'
Best thing about the firm? 
 ''Entrepreneurial spirit' 'the firm operates in a modern, agile manner' 'investment in great technology' 'seamless cross-office teamwork' 'the firm values the input of every member of staff' 'the balance of quality work without a culture of long hours' 'changes are collectively driven, rather than being top down' 'inclusivity and partner interaction' 'being able to run my own files'
Worst thing about the firm? 
 ''The distances between offices can make moving seats stressful' 'the social scene could be improved' 'lack of transparency in the NQ process' 'from a transport/connection standpoint, the South West is rather cut off from the rest of the country' 'lots of travel is required due to wide range of office locations'
Best moment? 
 ''Impressing key clients at a work event and being mentioned to multiple partners' 'helping to draft a unique Gender Identity Protocol to ensure that a single sex education provider client was able to meet its duties under the Equality Act' 'being given a file to run on my own, with support from my supervisor if and when I needed it'
Worst moment?
 ''Paginating eight lever arch files of evidence' 'working late to complete a settlement agreement only for it to be postponed' 'making a mistake' 'getting rid of some documents that we needed by mistake' 'working to a tight deadline whilst fighting a cold' 'juggling performance for the annual skit performance and fee-earning work''

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

Chief Brody (Jaws) - has strong leadership, is alert to opportunities and risks… and we're gonna need a bigger boat

The Verdict

The firm

South West-based Foot Anstey has offices in Exeter, Plymouth, Taunton, Truro and Bristol, the last of which has seen strong growth in recent years. The firm's growing client base comprises regional, national and international businesses and public sector organisations. Firm strengths include agriculture and estates, corporate tax, commercial property and insurance. 

The star performers

Agriculture and estates; Banking and finance; Charities and not-for-profit; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Construction; Contentious trusts and probate; Corporate and commercial; Corporate Tax; Energy; Family; Education; Health; Intellectual property; Local government; Media and entertainment; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Property litigation; Social housing; TMT: IT and telecoms.

The deals

Acted for Centrica on a £145m acquisition of ENER-G Cogen International; acted for Silvergate Media on an investment into the company by US-based private equity firm Shamrock Capital Advisors; acted for the British Tourism Authority on the state aid aspects and structuring of the Discover England Fund; defending Sky UK in a comparative advertising/trade mark infringement claim brought by BT; acted for Rosette Merchant Bank and Wallace Properties on the £36.9m acquisition of a House of Fraser store.

The clients

Age UK; Best Nature; British Solar Renewables; Daisy Group; Greenridge Investment Management; Ocean Housing Limited; Pennon Group; Sailing Capital; Screwfix; The Newnham Estate.

The Verdict

Foot Anstey is an 'ambitious and focused firm' which offers trainees 'a range of seats' and is 'committed to high-quality training'. The regional firm has a 'strong presence in the South West' and has 'achieved a significant growth in turnover' which appealed to trainees. Recruits laud the 'friendly, open and supportive culture' where they 'feel like a welcomed and valued part of the firm from day one'. The pastoral support was also praised as trainees are assigned a 'buddy' at a junior level and a 'mentor' at partner level. There is a 'good level of exposure to work and clients' which gives trainees 'early responsibility' to 'run matters and liaise with clients'. For this reason, the firm has won two Lex 100 Winner medals for client contact and job satisfaction. It is not uncommon for trainees to 'run files on a day-to-day basis' and therefore to see matters through 'from beginning to end', without having to deal with too much administrative work in between. But despite increased responsibility, there is still a 'good work/life balance' at Foot Anstey. Trainees grumbled about the 'amount of travel' and 'distances between offices' which becomes an issue because 'the firm expects you to work in at least 2/3 of their offices'. However, 'each of the offices work together as one unit, so you still feel like part of one firm rather than letting location separate you'. Best moments include 'being involved in a major re-organisation and re-financing of a company' and 'attending and settling a mediation for a banking client'. To work at an 'innovative' firm with a 'collaborative culture' which is 'going places' and which has a 'good reputation for trainee experience', look at Foot Anstey.

 A day in the life of...

Ayah Snober Trainee Solicitor, Foot Anstey LLP 

Departments to date:  Property litigation, commercial property, corporate and Islamic finance

University:Bristol University  

8.35am:  I live in the centre of Bristol which is a convenient ten-minute cycle to the office.

8.45am:  I arrive at the office, check my emails and open up my to-do list. I have quite a few Google alerts set up for key clients and I go through these and archive anything of interest to present to my team at our monthly update meetings. I receive an email from our consultant in our London office asking if I have capacity to draft an article for an international Islamic finance news provider. I call her to discuss the details and set aside time in the afternoon to prepare a first draft of the article.

9.30am:  An email comes through asking if I have capacity to assist with a new instruction from one of the firm's top ten clients and to deal with the day-to-day management of the new matter under supervision. I check the file to bring myself up to speed with the initial correspondence and send out an introductory email to the client.

10.30am:  I have a conference call with my supervising partner and a partner in the banking team regarding a £35m acquisition of a property involving a conventional syndicated loan as well as an Islamic commodity Murabaha facility. My role is to take accurate notes on the action points as I will be assisting with drafting any property-related tasks that follow.

11.00am:  Having returned to my desk, I begin by preparing the first draft of the master documents for the new matter I am working on and send these to my supervisor to review. I also prepare a conditions precedent checklist which is a great way to keep on top of all our client's requirements and monitor what remains outstanding before completion can take place.

1.00pm:  I leave the office with some of the team and grab lunch on the waterfront.

2.00pm:  We arrive back at the office and I begin work on the news article. This is a great opportunity to do some personal research into niche areas within my field and increase my awareness of the latest market trends. This is also great preparation for the Islamic Finance Europe Forum that I will be attending with my team in September.

.00pm:  As the Islamic finance team is preparing to sit their CISI Islamic Finance Qualification in a few weeks' time, a few of us decide to make use of the walking desks to talk through any questions we have on the exam topics. The treadmills are a great new addition to our office as they keep us active and engaged throughout the day.

4.30pm:  Returning to my desk, I take another look at the news article and give it a final proofread before sending it back for comments. I then take a call from a client regarding a completion I am handling the following day to ensure that all conditions have been satisfied and that the bank is on track for drawdown in the morning.

5.20pm:  I respond to a few internal emails before logging off and getting changed for a friendly netball match with the Foot Anstey netball team against another law firm. This is a great opportunity for trainees to network with other firms as well as a good break to socialise with each other outside work.

About the firm

Address:Salt Quay House, 4 North East Quay, Sutton Harbour,, Plymouth PL4 0BN

Telephone: 01752 675000

Fax:01752 675500


Managing partner : John Westwell

Total partners: 50

Other fee-earners:166

Total trainees:24

Other offices: Bristol, Exeter, London, Southampton, Taunton, Truro. 

Who we are: Foot Anstey is a leading regional law firm. Through a network of five offices across the South West plus our newly opened London and Southampton offices, we work as one national team offering specialist legal advice and services to regional, national and international clients, both businesses and individuals.

What we do: The firm is arranged into four main practice groups; real estate, business (which includes commercial, corporate and employment), dispute resolution, private wealth and clinical negligence (which has recently been rebranded as Enable Law). We also have a niche Islamic finance practice.

What we are looking for: We welcome applications from all law and non-law graduates who have a strong academic background, exceptional communication skills, and the vision to be part of our future. We are an ambitious firm - we want people that will help take us there.

What you'll do:Our training programme is designed to help you reach your full potential. Our trainees undertake six seats of four months' duration with regular, open communication between the trainees and supervisors as standard. You'll get exposure to situations to develop your legal and commercial expertise, in an environment that is friendly and supportive.

Perks: All trainees are entitled to the flexible, forward-thinking 'Choices' benefits package which includes: 25 days' holiday, options to buy/sell holiday, contributory pension scheme, life assurance, cycle scheme and paid sabbaticals every five years (after ten years' service). In addition, we offer a popular Lifestyle Hour, the chance to take one hour off work each week to promote a healthy work/life balance.

Sponsorship:Grants available towards GDL, LPC and living expenses.


Facts and figures

Training contracts available for 2020: 12


First year: £27,000

Second year: £28,500

Newly qualified: Competitive

 Application process

How: Online application.

What's involved:Group presentation, written exercise and interview.

When to Apply: 

Training Contract: By 1 June 2018.

Summer Vacation Scheme: By 30 April 2018.