The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Royds Withy King has offices in Bath, Swindon, Oxford and London. Founded in Bath in 1873, the firm has grown significantly both organically and via strategic merger in recent years and now employs 63 partners and over 470 staff. Royds Withy King is known for handling high-value commercial, private client and insurance work.
The star performers
Agriculture and estates; Banking litigation: investment and retail; Clinical negligence: claimant; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Construction; Contentious trusts and probate; Corporate and commercial; Employment; Family; Health; Intellectual property; IT and telecoms; Media and entertainment; Personal injury: claimant; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Property litigation; Sport
Advised Oxford Genetics on the negotiation of an investment agreement and assisted the client with the disclosure exercise and amendment to its constitutional documents pursuant to the investment terms; acted for horse trainer Hughie Morrison in relation to one of his horses testing positive for nandrolone; advised the University of Bath on the appointment of an architect for a £70m campus development, including new premises for the School of Management; assisted Gold Care Holdings and its shareholders with a high-value disposal and leaseback of 18 care homes to an American REIT; representing a leisure village in potentially multimillion-pound claims against a high-street bank
Airsprung Group; Bath Rugby; Blue Marlin Brand Design; Clarion (GB); HSBC; Invest UK; Novia Financial; Oxford Ventures; Salters Hill Charity; Triumph UK
Royds Withy King has an ‘excellent reputation for being supportive and friendly’. ‘Hands-on training’ is provided and recruits can look forward to ‘exposure to real work with real value and meetings with clients’ whilst still enjoying ‘high levels of support’. ‘You feel supported enough to push yourself but with the option of talking things through with your team if you feel the need’. Trainees are ‘given the opportunity to manage cases with supervision’. ‘Being the key point for client contact’ made one recruit feel valued, although some respondents felt that the training was slightly lacking in terms of client contact and exposure to client work. On a more positive note, ‘the firm really understands work/life balance’ and ‘socialising is heavily encouraged’, with some offices boasting a break-out room and hosting various after-work events. There were some grumbles about the pay, which is perceived as being ‘at the lower end of the scale’ and ‘it would also be great to have the opportunity for a secondment’. But the firm’s ‘attitude to moving with the times and seeking to better every department’ did not go unnoticed. A few respondents mentioned meeting the firm on campus or attending the vacation scheme and picking up on the friendliness of the staff, which confirmed their decision to join. Worst moments ranged from the pressures of ‘being overwhelmed on a client call’ to the ‘tedium of bundling work’ but these were, at least partially, offset by instances of ‘attending an inquest on my own with the client and barrister’ and ‘assisting with several multi-million pound refinances’. If you think you’d fit into a firm full of ‘genuinely friendly people’ which offers its trainees significant responsibility, choose Royds Withy King.
A day in the life of...
Emma Hough trainee
Departments to date: Real estate
The real estate team at Royds Withy King works across sectors including retail and leisure and health and social care with clients ranging from individuals to businesses and banks. This has meant that my exposure to work has been diverse, interesting and has provided the perfect environment for me to develop my skill set. I am now in my fourth month, in my first seat at the firm. This ‘day in the life of’ was a particularly busy day, with completion arranged on three separate matters, documents to review and a negotiation call to make.
The final push for completion: as we were acting for our client on the sale of their industrial estate, my first task of the morning was to liaise with the buyer’s solicitor regarding the transfer of completion funds to us. The sale value was £800,000 so by no means a small amount! Once received I phoned the buyer’s solicitor again and we agreed the completion details, inserting dates on our respective sale contracts and transfer documents. After this I prepared a letter enclosing the original contract and transfer document and contacted our client to update him and arrange for the sale proceeds to be transferred to him. As we were dealing with multiple industrial units on the estate, I had to prepare authority letters for each tenant to ensure that any future rent was paid directly to the new landlord and not our client. I had worked on this particular matter from the beginning so it was very rewarding to be able to see a transaction through to the end and deal with the completion elements as a trainee.
Moving on to my second and third completion of the day: we were acting for a client who was a tenant at a commercial trading shop but had decided to surrender his lease to occupy an alternative property. The relevant surrender document had already been prepared so on this one it was a straightforward case of contacting the other side and dating the surrender document. The final completion was on a matter where our client was taking a lease of a property. Communicating with various parties on these types of transactions has been a great way for me to build upon my communication skills.
After taking a break for lunch with some colleagues, I had other tasks from my supervisors to complete over the course of the afternoon.
The review begins: I was asked to review documents we had received on a new matter where we were acting for a bank in relation to a mortgage over a property. We received documents including: office copies (the property title documents), deeds, conveyances, correspondence and search reports. Banks require a ‘certificate of title’ to be sent to them which confirms we are satisfied there is nothing in the property documents which would adversely impact their legal charge over the property. To help me complete this task, I used a standardised ‘property security requirements’ document.
One final phone call: as I have progressed through my first seat, I have been entrusted to take the lead on some transactions, under the guidance of my supervisors of course! Having this level of responsibility as a trainee is invaluable in preparing me for dealing with my own clients once I am qualified. On one particular matter, I was engaged in some protracted emails with the other side regarding the value of my client’s business. After discussing the commercial implications and the options for my client with my supervisor, I took further instructions from my client. I then called the other side to discuss our proposition and negotiated the final agreement for the sale of the business, following up with a written record of our discussion. Negotiating the best deal for my client was very satisfying and a great way to end the working day!
Logging off: after a few final emails on other matters, I logged off my computer at 17.45. As it was a Friday, I went to one of the local pubs with a group of colleagues from work.
About the firm
Address:5-6 Northumberland Buildings, Queen Square, Bath, BA1 2JE
Telephone: 01225 730100
Non-exec chair: Louise Fleming
Senior partner: Malcolm Gregory
Senior partner: Simon Bassett
Senior partner: Stuart Brazington
Senior partner: Stewart Wilkinson
Senior partner: Simon Elliman
Senior partner: Paul Daniels
Senior partner: John North
Senior partner: Chris Kane
Senior partner: Richard Ellis
Senior partner: Tracey Norris-Evan
Senior partner: James McNeile
Senior partner: Andrew Chalk
Managing partner: Graham Street
Other offices: London, Oxford, Swindon, Marlborough.
Who we are: Royds Withy King is a progressive UK top 100 law firm with the combined expertise of almost 500 staff. We have a reputation for outstanding client care and being a great place to work, ranked in the Sunday Times, ‘100 Best Mid-Sized Companies to Work for’ for the past five years.
What we do: Royds Withy King is a composite practice known for its expert commercial, private client, medical negligence and personal injury work. Our lawyers advise individuals and businesses on local, national and international matters. We also operate in a number of specialist sectors, including real estate, retail and leisure, health and social care, banking and finance, technology, private wealth, charities, sport and racing and bloodstock.
What we are looking for: Royds Withy King is an ambitious firm driven by core values that underpin everything we do. We are looking for trainees that can bring to life their ability to respond to clients’ needs, demonstrate commercial understanding, collaborate with others and contribute to their wider community.
What you'll do:Trainees will undertake four-six-months seats across diverse areas of law. You will be trained closely by experts in their respective fields. Our trainees get hands-on experience from day one.
Perks: Two paid days per year for volunteering, a host of social events throughout the year, season ticket loan, life assurance, health care cash plan, employee assistance programme, free will, discounted conveyancing, birthday bonus, buy and sell up to five days annual leave, perkbox – a whole suite of money-off discounts and benefits (including free cups of coffee, discounts off gym membership and shopping), monthly values awards.
Facts and figures
Total partners: 67
Other fee-earners: 215
Total trainees: 21
Turnover in 2017: £31.3m Profits per equity partner: £172,000
Trainee places available for 2021: 10
Applications received pa: 300
Percentage interviewed: 25%
First year: £26,500-£32,000 (depending on location)
Second year: £27,500-34,000 (depending on location)
Newly qualified: 37,000-45,000 (depending on location)
Apply to:Claire Fennell
When to apply:By 14 April 2019
What's involved:Application form, video interview, assessment centre, final panel interview and presentation.