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? ‘I worked here as a paralegal for a year and enjoyed the atmosphere and ethos of the firm’, ‘responsibility, ambition, growth’, ‘strengths within the financial services sector’, ‘strong in the renewable energy sector’, ‘high-quality work with work/life balance’, ‘big Bristol firm with a friendly reputation and reasonable hours’, ‘the culture, the seats available and the growth of the firm’, ‘when I attended my interview there was a very welcoming environment’

Best thing about the firm? ‘The ambitious nature of the firm and the direction it is heading – up!’, ‘how much the firm invests in trainees and how much fee earners want you to succeed’, ‘everyone is lovely’, ‘the people and variety of work’, ‘the focus on a non-hierarchical structure’, ‘high-quality work in interesting sectors whilst also allowing for a work/life balance’, ‘the approachability of supervisors and the quality of the work’, ‘friendliness and genuine aim to help employees develop’

Worst thing about the firm? ‘Not enough IT support’, ‘no international secondments’, ‘we haven’t had many social opportunities so far, but this is due to Covid, rather than being a firm-specific issue’, ‘varying seat choices depending on office location’, ‘the lack of external activities, e.g. pro bono, networking, extra courses’, ‘the billing procedure’, ‘it can be difficult to maintain a work/life balance in some teams’

Best moment? ‘Receiving good feedback on a task which I had struggled with and worked hard on’, ‘working on high-level transactions in the banking team’, ‘running and completing a matter and receiving positive feedback directly from the client’, ‘my first day’, ‘completing a property transaction on my own’, ‘running a mediation with very little supervision’, ‘working on matters with big international companies’, ‘being given responsibility by the head of the team’

Worst moment? ‘The late nights’, ‘getting used to working from home’, ‘a week where I was having a crisis of confidence, unsure of what I was doing and wondering whether this was right for me’, ‘working until 10pm on a report’, ‘the 3am finishes (which thankfully have only happened once or twice)’, ‘making mistakes’, ‘working from home and the resulting technical issues’, ‘late nights feeling overwhelmed by work’, ‘not being able to meet my team in person’

The Lex 100 verdict on TLT LLP

A ‘young and innovative firm’, Bristol-headquartered TLT LLP is a national firm with large growth ambitions. Trainees can sit in London, Manchester, Bristol, Belfast and Glasgow and benefit from the firm’s ‘friendly atmosphere, high quality work, work-life balance. As a trainee highlights, ‘The firm advertises to students that you can approach anyone in the firm without worrying about a traditional hierarchical structure and this is how it has been in practice. I feel comfortable speaking to all colleagues from Partners and Trainees and feel very supported. Strong in renewable energy and financial sectors among others, TLT specialises in ‘sector focused’ hands on training. There is a lot of client interaction and variety in the workload, as a trainee comments, ‘we are given quite a lot of responsibility early on and are involved in interesting and complex matters from the startNegatives mentioned include the IT systems, billing procedures and the pay being ‘less than London competitors’ but overall the praise far outweighs the critique. The culture of the firm is what makes it, as a trainee comments, ‘all employees at all levels are approachable and welcoming, you get a variety of work and there are lots of opportunities. The firm has a really good culture and allows you to show your personality. If looking for opportunities across the UK, with an interesting sector focus and a strong friendly culture, TLT is worth a closer look.  

The firm: Founded as part of the ‘new wave’ of law firms, TLT has seen exponential growth year on year. Operating in all UK jurisdictions and across seven sectors, it combines traditional legal practices with a commercially agile mindset to create successful solutions for clients.

The clients: Innova, Santander, WHSmith, Sainsburys, Barclays, Town & Country Housing, EDF, Boohoo, Savills, Aardman Animations.

A day in the life of... Bethany Drew, trainee, TLT LLP (Bristol)

Departments to date: Projects, infrastructure and construction; FSDI

University: University of Bristol

Degree: LLB Law, 2(1)

6.00am: A nice early start to the day begins with a walk along the harbourside to the gym. I welcomed the easing of Covid-19 restrictions with open arms when it meant I could finally work out in a real gym (rather than my make-shift gym at home!)

8.00am: Preparing a hearty breakfast always sets me up for a good day, so I enjoy setting aside some time in the morning to cook myself something tasty.

8.30am: Time to start the working day. The first thing I do every morning is jot down a detailed to-do list for the day, while I take an initial look at my emails and scan anything important that has come in overnight. I live by my to-do list and would be awfully lost without it! I also make a quick note of any questions or queries to raise with my supervisor before our catch-up call at lunch. Starting my training contract remotely has certainly been a learning curve but I feel very lucky to have received a lot of support from my team and in particular my supervisor, who I catch up with three days a week.

9.00am: I am currently in my first seat in the projects, infrastructure and construction team, which involves both contentious and non-contentious work, providing me with great exposure very early on in my training contract. Today is one of my busier mornings and I start with an internal strategy meeting on one of the contentious matters I am assisting with. I am working with a small team of colleagues on this matter and have been given a lot of responsibility in engaging with the client and experts involved in the case, including technical and quantum experts.

11.00am: Onto my next meeting of the morning, this time an external call with my supervisor and a client. During the call, I take note of the main points discussed and update our matter task tracker to reflect any changes to the case. While working from home I have been extremely lucky to meet many of our clients and experts (albeit virtually!).

12.00pm: I have a quick catch-up with my supervisor to update him on my workload before taking a good look at my emails and responding to any that have come in over the course of the morning.

12.30pm: Lunch time! I quickly indulge in the lunch I prepared last night and head out as soon as possible for a walk around the local park while grabbing a chai latte at my favourite coffee shop on the way home.

1.00pm: Back to my home office and I have a lot of work to get done after a morning filled with calls. First on my to-do list is to begin drafting instructions to counsel. During the strategy call this morning the team decided it would be a great task for me to take the initial lead on. This is the first time I have drafted instructions to counsel so I take a look at some previous examples to bring together a template before familiarising myself with the area of law and relevant facts of the case. We are instructing counsel to provide detailed analysis of the prospects of success in mediation which will take place in September.

3.00pm: One of the partners receives an important request from a client to insert additional clauses into an agreement we have been reviewing. I pause my drafting for now and hop on a call to discuss the necessary amendments, following which I draft the clauses and send them to the partner for approval.

5.00pm: Time to secure my desk for tomorrow! Thursdays are my days in the office, so I take the time to ensure I have complied with TLT’s Covid-19 policy and book my desk, alongside planning with the other trainees in the office where we are going to go for lunch!

5.30pm: I take another look at the instructions to counsel and decide that I need to spend some time researching the area of law we are seeking advice upon to ensure I am tailoring the instructions accurately. The benefit of being a trainee is that your team recognises how new you are to the job and allows you enough time to really understand and engage in each task.

6.30pm: It’s time to log off for the evening. I have achieved more than I thought I would drafting the instructions and dealt with all my emails, so it’s time to prepare a quick dinner and then head out to catch up with some friends over a drink in a (cold!) beer garden.

About the firm

Senior partner: Andrew Glynn

Managing partner: John Wood

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

Who we are: Pushing the boundaries of what being a lawyer really means, at TLT we set out to be something different, creating a new type of law firm… and we encourage you to be different too.

Combining traditional legal practice with an innovative and commercially agile mindset, we help our clients succeed by creating solutions alongside providing them with expert advice. Our sector approach is key; we aren’t just knowledgeable about our client’s business, but the whole industry in which they operate, helping them to make comprehensive and trusted decisions.

We are an ambitious and growing firm, with our people at the heart of it, driving us forward. Law is a social industry, built on people connecting, and we pride ourselves on having a great culture with lawyers that our clients want to do business with repeatedly. We have award-winning teams, over 60 of our lawyers are ranked as ‘Leaders in their Field’, and a recognised development programme.

We empower our trainees to embrace their differences, share their experience and voice their ideas. This gives you an ambitious platform to launch your legal career. Your tailored training programme provides opportunities for you to gain technical legal knowledge, business development experience, regular client contact and soft skills training. We believe that well-rounded trainees make the best lawyers.

What we do: TLT is a full-service commercial law firm with proven and award-winning expertise working in the clean energy; financial services; retail and consumer goods; digital; leisure, food and drink; public sector; and real estate sectors for a range of start-ups through to high-profile clients.

What we’re looking for: We look for applicants that are commercially aware and business-savvy as well as academically bright. Our trainee solicitors are free-thinkers, not just process-drivers. Applicants should have a minimum of 120 UCAS points and a 2(1) degree.

What you’ll do: We combine expertise with open-mindedness and an entrepreneurial culture to deliver the best training contract for our future talent. You will get responsibility and be able to challenge yourself, with the support to help you develop. You will have a tailored training programme
incorporating technical legal aspects and business development skills, giving you the best start in your legal career.

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: We sponsor GDL, LPC, Scottish Diploma of Legal Practice and Northern Ireland Institute Fees, and pay a £6,000 maintenance grant for GDL, LPC and Scottish Diploma as well.

Diversity and inclusion

At TLT we know that the key to our success is our people and being at TLT involves being client-centred, it involves being outstanding and future ready. Finally, being part of TLT means being progressive and a large part of this is our proactive approach to creating an inclusive environment for all; we strive to create diversity of experience, diversity of background and diversity of thought in all of our teams. We work collectively to ensure that TLT is a place where our people can truly be themselves, where they are at their best; at TLT we work to create an space where each individual is treated with dignity and respect. We promote this by taking every opportunity to celebrate difference and diversity, we empower our people to be active allies, to challenge behaviours which are at odds with our culture of inclusivity.

We truly value diversity and actively seek to promote it at all levels of the organisation. We seek to ensure that everyone has the same opportunity to succeed irrespective of any differing or defining characteristic.

We work continually to ensure we are meeting the needs of our employees and have committed substantial resources to ensure we are driving the agenda forward across multiple diversity strands, including sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, neuro-diversity, social mobility, disability and religion. Our efforts are reflected in the ongoing success of our employee inclusion networks, which we continue to grow and build. These networks are a critical part of our firm, supporting across LGBTQ+ and Black, Asian and minority ethnic inclusion, as well as gender equality, social mobility and neuro-diversity; our networks are helping to ensure that our employees have a voice, but also work to connect people. Supported by leaders across the organisation their mission is to partner with our dedicated ED&I function and the wider organisation, to instil the sense of belonging for everyone who works at TLT. Our networks are partners in supporting the development of our progressive plans for the future.

Furthermore, as an organisation, we work with a range of external partners and as part of wide-reaching initiatives across the UK. To ensure that we attract the best, most diverse talent possible we have continued to be involved in a variety of attraction initiatives which are focused on improving diversity and inclusion in professional service. This includes our work alongside the Social Mobility Business Project (SMBP) – a multi-award-winning social mobility scheme, as well as our longstanding partnership with Aspiring Solicitors, which has continued to strengthen over the years.

While we are always proud of what we have achieved, we continue to strive to be better, to push further and to evolve for the benefit of our employees, the firm, our clients and the wider legal sector.