Survey Results - Trainee feedback on TLT LLP

The lowdown - Trainees (in their own words) on TLT LLP

Why did you choose this firm over any others? ‘Friendly and supportive culture’; ‘I really enjoyed my vacation scheme and felt as though they made a big effort to get me involved in different activities’; ‘work/life balance’; ‘rapid growth over the past five years’; ‘TLT invests in their trainees’; ‘approachable, dynamic and down-to-earth atmosphere’; ‘I had worked here as a paralegal and found it was supportive and engaging’; ‘hands-on supervision’

Best thing about the firm? ‘The people’; ‘its rapid expansion means that there will be more specialists in their field for me to learn from’; ‘genuine interest in wanting trainees to succeed’; ‘trainees are really valued at TLT as from the moment you begin your training contract your opinions and ideas are taken into consideration’

Worst thing about the firm? ‘Limited benefits’; ‘there is limited social culture outside of work’; ‘the small intake size means you get great work, but seat rotations are quite political’; ‘sometimes you feel pressure to stay late and continue working’; ‘the lack of office kitchen space’; ‘pay doesn’t match some of the other firms in Bristol’

Best moment? ‘Completing my first lease from start to finish’; ‘receiving excellent feedback from my current supervisor in my mid-seat review’; ‘working for the government on secondment is so interesting as you get to work for clients that aren’t motivated by the usual commercial drivers’; ‘assisting in the preparation of a Judicial Review and attending the hearing’

Worst moment? ‘The delay in the seat list coming out’; ‘a period of consistent late nights in the corporate team’; ‘the first time I made a silly error because I was overwhelmed with how many different people were asking me to do work for them’; ‘bundling and binding’; ‘coming back from holiday to a large number of emails’

The Lex 100 verdict on TLT LLP

The firm: With offices in Belfast, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Manchester, TLT is able to advise in the UK’s three legal jurisdictions of England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The firm’s primary strengths are in the energy and renewables, financial services, retail and consumer goods and TMT sectors. TLT also has a shipping team based in Piraeus.

The deals: Acted for the BBC in relation to the development and lease agreements of their BBC Wales Cymru headquarters relocation to a modern, centrally located site in the heart of Cardiff; advised YFM Equity Partners on multi-million pound investment into national restaurant group, Tonkotsu; acted for Dutch bank Triodos Bank N.V. to transfer the business carried on by its UK branch into the name of a new, wholly owned subsidiary, Triodos Bank UK Limited; advised clean energy investor Blackfinch Investments and Santander to complete the acquisition and project funding for two additional onshore wind turbines; advised Oscar winning studio Aardman on the transfer of the company into employee ownership.

The clients: BT; Crown Commercial Services; Ecotricity; Greene King; Nationwide; Persimmon; RBS; Sainsbury’s; Santander; WHSmith.

The star performers:
(Top-ranking departments according to The Legal 500 – see legal500.com for more details) Banking litigation: investment and retail; Brand management; Commercial litigation; Corporate and commercial; Debt recovery; Employment; EU and competition; Family; Financial services; Franchising; Fraud: civil; Health and safety; Insolvency and corporate recovery; Intellectual property; IT and telecoms; Licensing; Pensions; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Professional negligence; Property litigation; Social housing: local authorities and registered providers

The verdict

TLT ‘is entering a significant growth period’ in which new recruits were eager participants. With a ‘national presence in all three UK legal jurisdictions’, TLT offers ‘London-quality work’, is ‘at the forefront of sector developments’ and has a ‘well respected real estate team’. Combining ‘high-quality work, a strong training programme and a good work/life balance’, trainees benefit from ‘the perfect balance of support and responsibility’. Many were motivated by the direction in which the firm is heading and complimented TLT for being ‘refreshingly forward-thinking and friendly’. Working in small teams, trainees are exposed to ‘responsibility from day one’ and were pleased to discover that ‘partners take a real interest in your development’. TLT ‘doesn’t feel like a strict hierarchy’ and with friendly colleagues and ‘supportive supervisors’ many felt that they were working in a firm ‘where everyone wants you to succeed’, earning TLT a Lex 100 Winner medal for approachability. New recruits ‘really feel like part of something which is growing’ but ‘as the firm is constantly winning bigger and better work, the hours are getting longer’. Respondents would like ‘more social events’ and a canteen. ‘Making a mistake on a transaction’ and ‘being uncertain as to whether you will get your preferred seat’ worried trainees. However, hard work pays off, as ‘liaising directly with clients ahead of a completion meeting’ and ‘being offered a job upon qualification’ were moments recognised and rewarded by both partners and clients. TLT offers new recruits ‘high-level tasks in a supportive environment’. If a ‘uniquely friendly culture’ seals the deal for you, apply to TLT.

A day in the life of… Tori Mills, trainee solicitor, TLT LLP

Tori Mills, TLT LLP

Departments to date: Real estate and corporate

University: Heriot Watt University Edinburgh

Degree: Economics and Business Law, First Class

7.00am: I wake up and get ready for the busy day ahead; the weather is great so I walk to the office in the sun. It’s a 25-minute walk from my flat, and on days like these it is a great start to the day.

8.00am: Arrive at the office and have a read through my notes for a presentation we are giving later. The two seats I have been in so far have been great at providing lots of training for all levels of fee-earners, including the trainees. Today the trainees are taking a ‘Case Law Update’ session for the fee-earners in corporate.

8.30am: We have our vacation scheme students in the office this week, so the trainees have organised to take them for coffee this morning. It’s a good way to get to know the students and allow them a chance to ask questions away from the office environment.

9.00am: Myself and the other corporate trainee, Ollie, have to peel ourselves away from the chat at our coffee morning and head to the top floor of the office to give our presentations on case law updates. One of my two cases deals with shareholder activism, which is an increasingly common and interesting issue for large companies. Trainees from London, Manchester, Bristol and Glasgow all feed into the training via video link. The fee-earners in attendance include a number of partners and some interesting debate stems from the discussions. Having the opportunity to present like this is great for both confidence and learning, although a little daunting at the time.

10.00am: Back to our desks following a busy morning. I work between the general corporate and the corporate renewables team, focusing primarily on the renewables work. Our team have a spreadsheet encompassing all of our deals, which it is the trainees’ responsibility to keep updated. We’ve been really busy recently so I sit down with the partner and legal executive that I work most closely with and catch up on all the renewables matters that have recently completed, are in progress or we are in the process of quoting for.

1.00pm: I head out into the sunshine and meet a few of the other trainees for lunch. We visit one of the food markets next to the office and head to the park to have our picnic. I usually try to bring lunches in, but the market stalls are often too tempting!

2.00pm: Back to my desk and I have lots of post-completion tasks to get on with. I attended a completion meeting in our London office earlier this week, whereby a large sum was invested in a chain of noodle bars; this was the first investment deal I had worked on and I found it really interesting. Although the constant talk of ramen was hungry work.

4.00pm: We are conducting due diligence on a group of companies our client is buying; the corporate team tend to coordinate this process, liaising with the other specialist teams and pulling together a report for the client. New responses have landed in the data room following some enquiries the teams had raised, so I review these and send out to the relevant teams. Project management is a key part of being a corporate trainee.

5.00pm: Earlier than usual, I review my ‘to do’ list for the day and write up a plan of attack for tomorrow. A group of us are heading to a quiz at PwC, so we log off and head over.

9.00pm: The quiz was a lot of fun and the offices we attended had an amazing roof terrace which was perfect given the weather. My supervisor is an associate in the team, who has an encyclopaedic knowledge when it comes to history, so our team enjoyed a brief bit of glory by placing second following this round.

About the firm

Senior partner: Andrew Glynn

Managing partner: David Pester

Other offices: London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Piraeus.

Who we are: TLT is a top 50 UK law firm that combines expertise with an open mind and a focus on helping both clients and colleagues excel. As one of the fastest-growing law firms we were also given the title of ‘first class’ employer by Best Companies Limited.

What we do: TLT is a full-service law firm with proven expertise advising the clean energy; financial services; retail and consumer goods; digital; leisure, food and drink; public sector; and real estate sectors.

What we’re looking for: Commercially savvy law and non-law graduates with/expecting a 2(1) or above with minimum 300/120 UCAS points or equivalent.

What you’ll do: Work on active cases for real clients, benefit from a one-to-one mentoring scheme and well-structured supervision from a partner, build in-house soft skills, business skills, legal skills and get technical training throughout the contract.

Perks: Private health and medical schemes, retail vouchers, 25 days’ holiday with the option to buy or sell more, reduced-rate gym membership, season ticket loan, TLT pension plan, life assurance and the opportunity to do community support work, pro bono legal advice, environmental initiatives and fundraising – a full, flexible benefits scheme.

Sponsorship: Professional membership subscriptions, CPE/GDL fees and LPC fees if not already undertaken, maintenance grant (£6,000 pa).