The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Hodge Jones & Allen provides advice to individuals and organisations based on a strong set of ethical values that permeate throughout the firm. The firm’s philosophy is to enable individuals to have access to justice where otherwise they might be denied it. The team strives to right wrongs, achieve justice for all and get the best result for their clients. The firm provides legal advice and support in areas including criminal defence, employment, wills and probate, court of protection, medical negligence, personal injury, dispute resolution and social housing.
The star performers
Administrative and public law; Civil liberties and human rights; Clinical negligence: claimant; Court of protection; Crime: general; Employment: employees/unions; Employment: employers and senior executives; Family; Fraud: white-collar crime; Personal injury: claimant; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Social housing: tenant.
Representing 42 individuals in the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry; acted for 57 residents in group litigation against Peabody concerning the cessation of gas supply to the Strawberry Vale Estate; acting for over 60 anti-EDL protestors who were arrested amidst claims that the police carried out the arrests for intelligence gathering purposes rather than genuine belief the protesters had committed an offence; advising 15 defendants who prevented a plane deporting refugees from taking off at Stansted airport by breaking into the airport and blocking the runway; represents clients with birth related injuries, misdiagnosis and delayed treatment.
Hodge Jones & Allen acts primarily for individuals and SMEs.
Hodge Jones & Allen is a hit amongst trainees because of its ‘commitment to social justice’. Recruits admire the firm for ‘fighting for ordinary people and doing so with passion’. A few trainees started off as paralegals and decided to stay on and train with Hodge Jones & Allen because they knew ‘the quality of work was excellent’. Trainees ‘work on very interesting cases with wide-ranging positive impacts’ which explains why the firm is a Lex 100 Winner for quality of work. Respondents spoke of the ‘complex cases’ they have the opportunity to assist with and the responsibility they are afforded as juniors – there is scope for the budding solicitors to prove themselves. In comparison to their peers, Hodge Jones & Allen trainees feel their training contract is ‘more organised and more focused on development’. The firm has also earned a Lex 100 Winner medal for client contact. The ‘inclusive environment which is akin to a community’ helped new recruits settle into the firm easily, and many spoke highly of the people who work at the firm, saying they’re ‘approachable, intelligent and easy to work with’. A major topic of concern, however, was remuneration. That ‘some tasks have been repetitive’ also troubled trainees. Equally disliked was ‘having to deal with difficult clients’. Nonetheless ‘being involved in a round table meeting wherein a case concerning over 50 people was settled’ and ‘working on a judicial review which triggered the changing of the personal injury discount rate’ excited trainees. Pro bono work is mostly through charities such as the Citizens Advice Bureau and it’s ‘excellent’. If Hodge Jones & Allen’s speciality in ‘legal aid, social justice and civil liberties’ interests you, make sure you apply.
A day in the life of...
Fiona Bowen second seat trainee, Hodge, Jones & Allen
Departments to date: Criminal defence, family
University:University of Glasgow
9.00am: I arrive at the office and make myself a coffee before sitting at my desk. I read through emails received since yesterday evening, write today’s to-do list and double-check my diary for any deadlines or meetings due!
9.30am: I have a catch-up meeting with my supervisor. I’m currently in our family department and share an office with my supervisor who is a partner in the team. This is fantastic from a practical point of view. It means I am totally up to speed on her cases, but also gives great insights and opportunities to observe my supervisor in action. This morning we are negotiating with the other side in a matrimonial finances case.
10.00am: I finish some research I have been given on a paternity dispute where there are issues surrounding enforcement and jurisdiction to potentially contend with. I do some digging on Lexis and produce a short note for my supervisor.
11.00am: I am asked to finalise a brief to counsel for an upcoming hearing in a private children matter. We act for a father who has finally managed to establish paternity of his daughter and is now building a relationship with her. I have attended client meetings in this case and I am really pleased for the client that the matter is progressing.
12.30pm: I grab an early lunch with other trainees who are based in different departments. For a firm of our size and specialities, HJA has a great trainee intake which means it’s really sociable.
1.00pm: I set off for Central Family Court with my supervisor. A private children case has a hearing this afternoon at which we – as the respondent – are seeking to bring the case to an end and asking for final orders to be made, while the other party seeks to proceed to a contested hearing.
1.30pm: My supervisor is undertaking the advocacy at this hearing. I accompany her during the discussions with the other party’s barrister. They attempt to negotiate but as the client’s positions are so adverse, the hearing will need to go ahead.
2.00pm: We go into court for the hearing. After some back and forth and questioning of the advocates by the judge, we are successful. The judge makes final orders dismissing the other party’s application and ending the case. The client is so pleased and relieved – it is immensely rewarding to witness.
3.30pm: I return to the office and type up my notes of the hearing and the judgment given. I am then asked to draft a letter to the client detailing the hearing and its outcome.
5.00pm: I am asked to draft an application to the court. The other party in a divorce matter has failed to acknowledge the service of our client’s divorce petition, so the next step for our client is to ask the court to make an order that the petition is deemed served. I draft the application, the draft order we are asking the court to make and collate all the enclosures which are needed to convince the judge that the order has been served appropriately.
6.00pm: After work today I am volunteering with others from HJA at our local Citizens Advice Bureau. We assist in the provision of free legal advice to clients. This offers significant help to people who would otherwise not be able to obtain legal advice and can make a real difference. It is also great as it allows me exposure to areas of law outside my current seat. This evening I assist an employment solicitor advising a woman facing maternity-related discrimination.
About the firm
Address:180 North Gower Street, London, NW1 2NB
Telephone: 0808 223 2891
Senior partner: Patrick Allen
Managing partner: Vidisha Joshi
Who we are: Hodge Jones & Allen LLP offers award-winning personal legal services. The firm has been at the centre of many of the UK’s landmark legal cases that have changed the lives and rights of many people.
What we do: HJA has experienced, top-tier teams of solicitors who specialise in personal injury, medical negligence, industrial disease, criminal defence, serious fraud, wills and probate, Court of Protection, dispute resolution, employment, family law, civil Liberties, military claims, housing, and property disputes.
What we are looking for: We are looking for trainees who are committed to providing the highest standards in legal services and share our values.
What you'll do:Trainees will complete four seats over two years across different departments. Trainees generally share an office with their supervisor and enjoy a high level of responsibility and client contact.
Perks: Life assurance, group income protection, pension, season ticket loan, childcare vouchers, Cycle to Work scheme, and an on-site subsidised bar
Facts and figures
Total partners: 46
Other fee-earners: 83
Total trainees: 13
Trainee places available for 2021: 6-10
Applications received pa: 300
Percentage interviewed: 12%
First year: £25,500
Second year: £27,500
Newly qualified: £35,000
Apply to:Diana White, head of human resources
When to apply:By 5.00pm, Friday 26 July 2019 for 2020 contracts
What's involved:First round interviews will take place in mid/late August and will be with two partners and/or senior associates, who will also discuss your response to a case study. Second round interviews will be in early/mid September and will be with two equity partners. There will then follow separate meetings with the managing partner and the operations director.