The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Founded in 1934, Roythornes is well established as a leader in the field of agricultural law. The firm's expertise also spans the property and food sectors. Roythornes' main office is in Spalding, which is complemented by offices in Nottingham, Peterborough and Newmarket. Over 180 staff work at the firm and it continues to expand.
The star performers
Agriculture and estates; Contentious trusts and probate; Corporate and commercial; Family; Personal injury: claimant; Personal tax, trusts and probate.
Handled the divorce of a married couple who traded together as a limited company; managed the administration of a farming estate following the owner's death, which involved early surrender of tenancy with a national farming company, resolution of dilapidation claims and property distribution; assisting Lark Energy with corporate and corporate finance aspects of the construction of one of the largest solar farms in the UK to date; represented a junior division football player in a claim following a negligent tackle and multiple leg fractures; acted for an individual in an Athens Convention claim pertaining to injuries suffered during a boat excursion.
Air Techniques; Fold Hill Foods; Lincolnshire Field Products. Other clients include private individuals and family businesses.
Roythornes Solicitors has an 'excellent reputation' across East Anglia and the East Midlands, where its four offices are located. One trainee chose to apply based on a 'presentation the firm did on recruitment at my university', while others praise the interview process which showcased 'the friendliness of the firm' and 'how impressive the partners and fee-earners are'. There are 'opportunities to really get involved with a wide variety of work' while 'learning from those who are clearly experts in their field'. Work highlights include 'preparing for and attending a full-day civil trial in Manchester', 'going to a group settlement meeting on behalf of the firm' and 'being able to conduct my own possession hearing, doing the advocacy myself'. This year, Roythornes is a Lex 100 Winner in six categories, including work quality and job satisfaction. There is an 'excellent work/life balance' as trainees are out of the door by 6.30pm unless there is an urgent matter requiring attention. The location of the head office 'is not ideal when it comes to socialising' as it is 'far away from a big city' and people have a long journey into work. The 'quality of the clients' is a definite plus, as is 'being afforded a high level of responsibility early on'. There are 'rare occasions when people are too busy to give you as much assistance as you would like', but 'everyone is very approachable' and willing to help the trainees. To 'work alongside partners on complex files' at a firm that provides 'excellent training', consider applying to Roythornes Solicitors.
A day in the life of...
Natasha Bicknell second-year trainee, Roythornes Solicitors (Spalding)
Departments to date: Property/planning
University:University of East Anglia and BBP Law School, Holborn
Degree:Law 2(1), LPC: Distinction
8.35am: I arrive in the office and head to the kitchen where there is always a friendly face to talk to and have a quick catch up while making a coffee. It is not long before I am at my desk, reviewing my emails and calendar to see what tasks, deadlines and meetings there are today and looking ahead. I then write myself a to-do list which helps me set out what tasks need to be completed and prioritise accordingly.
9.10am: Morning catch up with my supervisor. Working in a busy and fast-paced planning department, communication is key to ensuring that deadlines are met and clients' expectations are exceeded with enquiries being handled in good time and effectively. Roythornes places an emphasis on ensuring that trainees are involved as a valued member of the team at every stage. This daily catch up gives me a great opportunity to speak one-on-one and review any work I have done the day before and ask any questions or queries that I may have.
l0.00am: I am now planning the rest of my morning around a meeting at 12.30pm - a developer client phoned earlier this week as an application for planning permission was refused for residential development. We have arranged a meeting to discuss the strength of a potential appeal application. My supervisor has asked me to do some backgroundresearch on the planning application and find out the reasons for refusal in light of the local and national planning policy.
11.30am: Catch up with my supervisor to evaluate the information I have found, as well as discussing my supervisor's thoughts and knowledge on this matter. We discuss the reasons for the refusal and the potential grounds of appeal, especially in light of the lack of a five-year housing land supply in the area concerned.
12.30pm: At the client meeting, my role is to take notes of the key issues and to gain an understanding of what is required, as I will be assisting with drafting the written representations for the appeal if the client wishes to proceed. Sitting in on meetings allows me to have a real insight and involvement in each matter, and also gives the client comfort in knowing who will be dealing and assisting with their case.
1.30pm: This lunchtime I head to Costa with a colleague who is also a fellow trainee and started at the same time as me.
2.30pm: Back at my desk, I dictate the attendance note for the appeal meeting, and then focus on urgent enquiries that need to be dealt with today. I receive an email from the council with proposed amendments to the draft s106 agreement which I issued to them earlier this week. After reviewing the changes, I telephone the client and discuss each amendment and we agree a strategy for responding. I then spend time drafting the client's proposals and run through them with my supervisor before reverting back to the council.
4.00pm: I ensure all urgent tasks have been completed and I start reviewing an infrastructure agreement and preparing a report which is to be issued to the client tomorrow.
5.40pm: It's Wednesday evening so it means only one thing, a badminton tournament with work. Tonight there are eight of us, one partner, a solicitor, and a few trainees and paralegals. I hope my team wins… again!
About the firm
Address:Enterprise Way, Pinchbeck, Spalding, PE11 3YR
Telephone: 01775 842500
Senior partner : Paul Osbourne
Managing partner : Vember Mortlock
Other offices: Nottingham, Peterborough and Alconbury.
Who we are: At Roythornes, we have been putting our clients first for over 80 years. By really getting to know their strengths, ambitions and concerns, we are better able to support and guide them, becoming their trusted advisors. We offer a powerful breadth and depth of legal expertise; we look at the big picture while getting the detail right. We embrace our individual talents while operating as one team.
What we do: Our clients include major blue-chip companies, family businesses and private estates and high-net-worth individuals, based locally, nationally and internationally. Our expertise spans the agricultural, food, property and energy sectors, as well as having strong private client and commercial/corporate law departments.
What we are looking for: We are looking for bright individuals who want a great career in law with Roythornes, who want to do exceptional work rather than just the everyday. They need to have the ambition and drive to make it happen. We are looking for trainees who will care about our clients and want to make long-term relationships, growing their work through referrals.
What you'll do:We are a partner-led firm and the trainees will have exceptional learning and development and supervision. Working alongside some of the leading experts in their fields the trainees will be exposed to complex, challenging work that will help them grow into the best they can be. We have our own Agri-academy, regular lunch and learn, at home with... alongside many external training providers. We are also growing our mentoring scheme and fully committed to the blended learning approach.
Perks: Pension, health and life insurance, childcare vouchers, Anglian Farmers discounts, cycle to work scheme, 24 days' holiday per annum, study leave, discounted legal fees.
Sponsorship:We offer sponsorship of up to £10,000 for the LPC whether the trainee wishes to do the course full-time or whether they wish to do their LPC part-time while doing their training contract. We have trainees following both paths. We also run a bursary scheme for local students to support them entering the profession.
Facts and figures
Training contracts available for 2020: 6
Applications received pa: 120
Percentage interviewed: 30%
First year: £25,000
Second year: £25,500
Newly qualified: £35,000
Total partners: 26
Apply to:Gillian Nash-Kennell, HR director.
What's involved: Stage one: face-to-face interview with three partners. Stage two: full day, an assessment exercise in the morning followed by two different panel interviews.
When to Apply:
Training Contract: By 31 January 2018.
Summer Vacation Scheme: By 28 March 2018