See the latest survey results from the 2012/13 edition of The Lex 100 - a student guide designed to show what working in a law firm is really like. For more information on the methodology of this survey please click here.
For more information on this firm please click here
The lowdown (in their own words...)
One of the most successful firms in the Midlands, Browne Jacobson LLP has quadrupled in size over the last decade. It has strength across the board but is particularly known for its public sector practice. The firm continues to win new clients attracted by its high standards. Clients note that the firm is 'practical and thorough'.
The star performers
Banking and finance; Charities; Clinical negligence; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Construction; Corporate and commercial; Corporate tax; Employment; Environment; Health and safety; Healthcare; IT/IP; Insolvency and corporate recovery; Licensing; Pensions; Personal injury; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Planning; Private finance initiative (PFI); Professional negligence; Property litigation; Social housing; Sport; Transport.
Advised Holland's Macintosh Retail Group on the acquisition of Jones Bootmaker for around £40m; acted for Louis Vuitton UK on the Young Arts Project; advised Focal & Co on its acquisition of UK-based Naim Audio; assisted a company in defending a claim for £200,000 after a tunnel at a hydroelectrical plant malfunctioned; advised a hospital trust following a fatal accident after a fall from height; acted for the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in the defence of a £230m conspiracy claim.
Avanti Gas; Bar Mutual; HCC International; Hiscox; Hyperama; LDC; Lloyds TSB; NFU Mutual; Natural England; Nottinghamshire County Council; Portland College; Pure Renewables; RBS; Safeway Services; Santander; TKMaxx; Yorkshire Bank.
Trainees could not be more enthusiastic about Browne Jacobsen, describing it as a 'down-to-earth and friendly' firm. Attracted by its Midlands location and the 'wide number of practice areas', training at the firm is 'well spread', 'varied and interesting'. The firm is a Lex 100 Winner in an impressive five categories this year; job satisfaction, quality of work, client contact, friendliness and social life. It also scores highly for its attitude towards work/life balance ('excellent') and the open-door policy. The fact that trainees are 'made to feel involved and valued' demonstrates that it is a firm that 'really cares about its people'. Get ready for the work to be very 'hands-on', the amount of responsibility given means that some trainees do feel that they are 'feel thrown in at the deep end, but 'in a good way!'. The range of work available means that recent experiences have included 'attending a two-day trial with the client and counsel alone', 'conducting my own advocacy at a county court hearing' and (because the job isn't without its glamour) 'completing a deal on a client's yacht'. The IT system is a common source of complaint and trainees would like more socialising to be done between the Nottingham and Birmingham offices. The firm tries to compensate for this by making sure that the offices are as sociable as possible so karaoke at the Christmas party and the firm netball team are both popular. For those looking for a top-flight practice in the Midlands, Browne Jacobsen is a great place to start.
A day in the life of...
Lauren Dobbs first-year trainee, Browne Jacobson LLP
Departments to date: Health and property
University: University of Leeds
Degree: Law LLB, 2(1) Hons
8.10am: I arrive at work, turn on my PC and have a quick catch up with my supervisor. Over a cup of tea, I have a look at my emails to see if anything urgent has come in and review my to-do list on outlook. I have a client meeting scheduled for this afternoon as well as a charity cake sale in the morning and a netball match this evening. Browne Jacobson really encourages its trainees to be involved in a whole host of things, from doing applications at court, interviewing clients and going on site visits, to doing charity events, organising social gatherings for the firm's employees and playing sports.
8.20am: Although most correspondence is via email, we still receive some post and this morning I receive a signed lease on one of my academy files. Even though I am in the property team, by dealing with the property aspects of academy conversions I am able to assist the education team. Trainees are actively encouraged to get a broad range of experience across departments and our other UK offices.
8.40am: I telephone the landlord's solicitor to see if she is ready to complete, which she is so I date the documents accordingly. I draft a covering letter to the landlord's solicitor and email the client to advise them that we have completed.
9.30am: I then start drafting an uplift agreement for a client who is selling some land which will eventually be developed. This is quite a technical agreement but fortunately I find a precedent in property's extensive precedent bank which gives me the information I need.
11.00am: Cake sale time! Along with some of my fellow trainees, I have organised a charity cake sale to raise money for our firm's chosen charity. Employees have baked some delicious goods and we arrange them before the hungry masses descend wanting a cake to accompany their morning coffee. All cakes sell out in an hour and we make £240! One of the reasons I applied for Browne Jacobson was because of its focus on charity and pro bono work; a fact which is even better when it involves cakes.
12.00pm: My supervisor and I discuss the uplift agreement which I drafted this morning and he makes a few tweaks. We agree that I should send it to the other side, subject to our client's instructions, because our client wants to complete quickly.
1.30pm: I pop down to No 44 - Browne Jacobson's cafÃ© - where I run into some of the other trainees. We discuss the office move which is scheduled for next week and our first impressions of it after our tour yesterday. Everyone is impressed with the facilities, technology and the design. My favourite part is the garden and I hope we have a good summer so I can use it at lunchtime!
2.15pm: Before going into the client meeting, I run through the questions which I propose to ask with my supervisor. He gives me some great feedback so I feel really prepared to take some ownership in the meeting. Browne Jacobson really encourages trainees to liaise with clients and I have already been able to build relations with some.
4.15pm: I come out of the client meeting and make a note of what has been discussed. The client has also given us two more jobs which I will be conducting, under supervision. The fact that trainees are given their own files, but with the safety net of excellent supervision, is another perk of training with Browne Jacobson.
6.00pm: Before leaving, I check what I need to do tomorrow and ensure that I have answered my emails. I then get changed into my netball kit and go to the match. Much to everyone's amazement, we actually win the match - our first win in three years!
About the firm
Address: Mowbray House, Castle Meadow Road, Nottingham NG2 1BJ
Telephone: 0115 976 6000
Senior partner: William Colacicchi
Managing partner: Iain Blatherwick
Other offices: Birmingham, London, Manchester
Who we are: We are a full-service national law firm with offices in Nottingham, Birmingham, London and Manchester.
What we do: We offer a comprehensive range of specialist legal services with real strength across the commercial, public, health and insurance sectors.
What we are looking for: We are looking for talented, tenacious individuals who can bring with them enthusiasm, commitment, client focus and a flexible and friendly attitude.
What you'll do: You will start with a comprehensive induction programme, a fast-track professional skills course and then go onto our internal trainee development programme. You will spend four periods of six months in some of the principal areas of the firm, gaining an overview of the practice.
Perks: You will get great training, a friendly and supportive working environment, real career opportunities, and a great social life. Plus 25 days' holiday per year, life assurance, income protection insurance, pension, private medical insurance, cycle to work scheme and corporate discounts.
Sponsorship: We will cover the fees for your PGDL and LPC, as well as a £5,000 maintenance grant.
Facts and figures
Trainee places available for 2015: minimum 8
Applications received pa: 800
Percentage interviewed: 7%
First year: No less than £24,500
Second year: No less than £25,500
Newly qualified: Market rate
(from Legal Business magazine)
Turnover in 2011: £35.2m (+6% from 2010) Profits per equity partner: £300,000 (+54%)
Total partners: 78
Other fee-earners: 226
Total trainees: 16+