The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Top 100 law firm Thrings has offices in London, Bristol, Bath and Swindon. In recent years, the firm has undergone significant organic growth and has built on its commercial focus. The firm provides a full range of legal services to a broad client base, including SMEs, corporates and multinational companies, and also handles high-value family law matters.
The star performers
Agriculture and estates; Banking and finance; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Construction; Corporate and commercial; Employment; Environment; Family; Insolvency and corporate recovery; Intellectual Property; IT and telecoms; Media and entertainment; Personal, tax, trusts and probate; Planning; Property litigation.
Acted for the shareholders of T Brewer & Co on the sale of the business to FTSE-250 company Grafton Group; advised HSBC Bank on a £7m revolving credit facility with a leading national retailer; assisting Newlands Homes Limited with a £12m acquisition of a site to provide 35 high-value dwellings in Toddington; acting for Fusion Students on the demolition of existing structures and the subsequent development of large student accommodation facilities in Cardiff and Nottingham; assisting FF Group with establishing its new e-commerce platform with Demandware, a US-based supplier.
Arkell's Brewery; Bereleigh Estate; Bristol Film Festival; Grant Thornton; HSBC, Matchesfashion.com; Renrod Motor Group; The Badminton Estate; Wessex Water; World Fuel Services Europe.
Thrings has offices in London, Bath, Bristol and Swindon, and one trainee captures the sentiments of many when saying 'I wanted to join a firm that had regional offices as well as a London office in order to experience life as a lawyer both in the City and elsewhere'. The firm's 'medium size' was also an attraction, with trainees believing that they could therefore make 'more of an impact and get a greater level of responsibility'. Pre-training contract interactions with the firm were overwhelmingly positive. One recruit recalls 'getting a good vibe from seeing the firm at law fairs', while at least two other trainees were previously paralegals at the firm, and opted to stay. Work highlights have included 'completing on a complicated share and asset purchase in my corporate seat', 'taking witness statements on my own from three individuals for a large claim' and 'managing the trial preparation for a high-profile case'. Trainees also have mundane tasks, with examples being 'making court bundles', 'preparing completion bibles' and 'spending an entire morning inputting data into a spreadsheet'. There can be 'poor communication between offices and departments', and on top of this 'the different office cultures can take time to adjust to'. Thrings 'takes an interest in its employees'. Trainees receive 'good supervision', and the 'training has varied from seat to seat but the partners in each team have been very supportive'. Senior management are even assured enough to 'ask for feedback and then implement direct change to make everyone's experience better'. This year the firm is named a Lex 100 Winner in a very impressive six categories, including work/life balance and client contact. To train at a 'professional yet friendly' firm which is 'constantly seeking to improve', add Thrings to your shortlist.
A day in the life of...
Alexia Aradipiotis trainee solicitor, Thrings LLP
Departments to date: Commercial property/construction, planning
University:The University of Nottingham
8.45am: I arrive at work, having walked a short distance to the office from home. I begin my day by making myself a hot drink while catching up with colleagues. Thrings is an incredibly friendly and social firm so having a quick chat in the kitchen area with colleagues from other teams is the norm. I head back to my desk and read through my emails to see if anything urgent has come through that needs immediate attention. I then turn to my work schedule and prioritise my tasks.
9.30am: I am in my second seat, in the firm's planning department. It's a very academic seat and usually requires a large amount of research to be undertaken. Today I am researching a specific query raised by a client who is seeking to convert their farmhouse into a residential dwelling. This research entails a search for relevant case law as well as a good understanding of the planning legislation. Once I complete my research, I write an email to the client setting out the position and explaining their options. Planning law can be very complex so I am conscious of explaining complicated concepts in a clear manner that the client will understand.
11.30am: I go through my research and the email containing advice with my supervisor, who gives me lots of helpful feedback on improvements and amendments to be made. I make the relevant amendments and send the email off to our client, crossing off the task on my work schedule.
12.30pm: Trainees at Thrings are responsible for organising the firm's Christmas party, which is an incredibly daunting but hugely enjoyable task! I am responsible for sourcing and booking the evening entertainment and I make a list of corporate entertainment companies to contact.
1.00pm: The commercial property team has arranged a webinar on the various matters affecting development acquisitions including a discussion on the community infrastructure levy, which is relevant to planning lawyers. I grab my lunch and head to the webinar with my colleagues where we discuss the webinar and have a catch-up.
2.00pm: I sit in on a conference call with my supervisor and one of the firm's clients and I take detailed notes of everything that is said, which I then dictate as an attendance note.
3.30pm: One of my team members asks me if I am available to attend a site visit with him to meet the client and take detailed instructions. Site visits have been a regular feature of my planning seat and are a great way of building client relationships. I confirm that I am available to attend and spend some time reading through planning permissions, correspondence, and other planning documents in the file to get up to speed with the matter.
4.30pm: I spend the rest of the afternoon drafting clauses to be inserted into a s106 agreement and make a note to proof read these tomorrow morning before sending them to my supervisor for checking.
5.30pm: Trainees are encouraged to get involved in business development activities and I usually have a BD event to attend each week. I am a member of Bristol Young Professionals and I regularly attend events organised by the Bristol Junior Lawyers Division. This evening I head off to a wine tasting evening with my fellow trainees, which will provide a great opportunity to network with other young professionals as well as sampling some fine wines!
About the firm
Address:6 Drakes Meadow, Penny Lane, Swindon, SN3 3LL
Telephone: 01793 410800
Senior partner : Jonathan Payne
Managing partner : Simon Holdsworth
Other offices: Bristol, Bath, Southampton and London.
Who we are: A vibrant, expanding top-100 UK law firm with a diverse client base, offering excellent career prospects to ambitious trainees.
What we do: Thrings offers specialist advice in sectors such as aerospace and defence, agriculture, energy and waste, innovation and technology, and financial services from partner-led teams whose expertise matches that found in much larger City firms.
What we are looking for: You're bright and proactive, with real commercial awareness. You're enthusiastic, dedicated and able to think independently. You hold a minimum 2(2) degree, possess strong A levels and relevant work or life experience (at least one year paralegaling experience within a law firm). You grasp facts well and work out solutions quickly. You're sitting here nodding your head, agreeing as you read this? We want to hear from you.
What you'll do:We operate a structured two-year training contract split into four six-month seats. You can expect to gain experience within at least three different practice areas, with a balance of contentious and non-contentious work types.
Perks: There are regular office organised social events and the firm offers a competitive salary and benefits package including private medical, life assurance, 25 days' holiday and discounted shopping.
Facts and figures
Training contracts available for 2020: TBC
Applications received pa: 800
Percentage interviewed: 10%
First year: £26,000
Second year: £27,000
Newly qualified: £38,000
Turnover in 2016: £30.1m (+9% from 2015) Profits per equity partner: £180,000 (+13%)
Total partners: 59
When to Apply:TBC
Whats involved:Initial telephone interview followed by an assessment day, including interview, presentation and group activities.