The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
A national firm with offices in London, Bristol, Bath, Swindon and Southampton, Thrings has undergone impressive strategic growth over the last few years, doubling its number of partners and building on its commercial focus. The firm is highly-regarded for its real estate, agriculture and private client practice groups. It also handles high-value family matters and has an expanding international client base.
The star performers
Agriculture and estates; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Construction; Corporate and commercial; Employment; Environment; Family; Insolvency and corporate recovery; Intellectual property; Media and entertainment; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Planning; Property litigation; Real estate: commercial property; Sport; TMT: IT and telecoms.
Assisted the shareholders of Mainline Employment with the sale of the company to First Holdings; represented high-net-worth individuals in a High Court farm ownership and inheritance dispute; advised Castletown Estates on the negotiation of a Section 106 agreement with Carmarthenshire County Council concerning a mixed-use development; advised Uniform Wares on it global brand protection strategy.
Anthony Best Dynamics; The Badminton Estate; Bristol Water; Centurycomm; Countrywide Estate Agents; Dynamatic; Juicy Couture; National Farmers Union; Teleperformance; Waitrose.
Trainees were impressed by the ‘range of departments and sectors’ covered by Thrings, as there is a ‘wide variety of seats which maximises options for qualification’. The ‘work is great’, and in the words of one respondent tasks ‘vary from the very basic to the most complex, enabling me to learn and develop as much as possible during my training contract’. Stand-out moments have included ‘completing my first lease after difficulties in the lead up to completion’, ‘attending a multi-million pound settlement hearing three days before a trial at the Royal Courts of Justice’ and ‘being heavily involved in a very large property transaction worth £26.1m’. There can be some ‘quiet periods’, and a ‘lack of work often leads to a lack of motivation’, yet trainees are ‘encouraged to attend networking and other client development events’, and it is clear from the feedback that recruits can look forward to ‘meeting clients face-to-face’. Trainees ‘get moved around a lot’ as seats are offered in Bath, Bristol, London and Swindon, and frustratingly there is ‘no financial remuneration despite the fact you have to spend a small fortune on agency fees, flat deposits etc.’ Despite this hassle, ‘each office has a different character’ and trainees enjoy Thrings’ ‘good regional links combined with the opportunity of working in London’. The firm-wide ‘friendly atmosphere’ means ‘you are valued as an integral part of the team’, and it is noted that ‘the partners are very approachable’. The ‘fantastic work/life balance’ is also mentioned and earns a Lex 100 Winner award. To train at a ‘growing firm’ which offers ‘lots of potential for career progression’, consider applying to Thrings.
A day in the life of...
Megan Prideaux trainee solicitor, Thrings LLP
Departments to date: family, commercial property
8.00am: A typical day starts with a walk from the train station, through Bath city centre, to the office situated on Queens Square overlooking the park. I get into the office at about 8.15am and check through my emails. Each team sits in a group of desks called ‘pods’ and this is very useful for getting involved in different fee-earners' work and for when you need to check something or ask a question. As trainees, we are given the responsibility of running our own files with supervision, and I usually start by prioritising my tasks for the day, as well as going through any work that my team would like me to take on. Each day is different and each client is different, leading to a varied seat with lots of new things to learn.
9.00am: Working in commercial property, there is usually a document to draft including leases, licences, wayleave agreements, contracts, transfers and Land Registry forms. Alternatively, I review documents that the other side’s solicitor has drafted and make amendments/comments from our client’s perspective. We act for a number of different types of businesses and individuals, so one minute I can be dealing with a lease of a dental surgery, and the next I can be assisting on a multimillion-pound sale of retail premises.
11.30am: I refer queries to colleagues in other departments as issues arise on files, including our property dispute resolution team regarding security of tenure and lease validity issues and the planning team regarding permitted use queries. I also carry out legal research for the team eg relating to SDLT calculations on reverse premiums and water authority requirements where a building was constructed over a public sewer in the 1980s.
12.30pm: As trainees we have the responsibility of organising the firm’s Christmas party – so it is all things Christmas, even in July. I am also responsible for organising team meetings to make sure the fee-earners stay up-to-date with the market and changes in the law. Once a month we watch webinars together over lunch and review update notes.
2.00pm: I attend client meetings with the fee-earners including advising on replies to CPSE documents and signing completion documentation. I usually take a note of the meeting and produce an attendance note for the file.
3.30pm: I liaise with clients via telephone, email and letter providing advice on their matters, including explaining any documents and processes and answering any queries. It is good experience to have hands-on direct contact with clients and to be able to build a relationship during the transaction.
4.30pm: I deal with post-completion steps at the end of matters. I monitor my Land Registry portal and deal with requisitions and applications to register transfers, leases and legal charges. I also liaise with the clients to make sure that their SDLT payments and returns are submitted within the deadlines.
5.30/6.00pm: As trainees, we are encouraged to get involved with business development, both inside and outside the firm. I am a member of Bath Young Professionals, who organise fun networking events such as cocktail making and a night at the Bath Racecourse. These events allow me to meet other young people working in different professions.
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, Swindon, London and Southampton.
Who we are: A vibrant, expanding top 100 UK law firm with a diverse client base, offering excellent career prospects to ambitious trainees. We operate from offices in Bristol, Bath, Swindon, London and Southampton.
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 a real commercial awareness. You’re enthusiastic, dedicated and able to think independently. You hold a minimum 2(1) degree, possess strong ‘A’ levels and relevant work or life experience. 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
Trainee places available for 2019: 9
Applications received pa: 800
Percentage interviewed: 10%
First year: £26,000
Second year: £27,000
Newly qualified: £38,000
Total partners: 61
When to Apply: closing date 2nd June 2017.