Firm Profile > Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP > London , London

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP
4 MORE LONDON RIVERSIDE
LONDON
SE1 2AU
London

Health and safety Tier 2

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is regularly involved in high-profile health and safety cases, primarily in the areas of construction and retail. Bristol-based Jon Cooper  leads the team and has extensive experience in handling public investigations and inquiries. In the Plymouth office, associate Stephen Panton works on cases involving the waste, construction, energy and manufacturing industries, and associate Stephen Covell is experienced in cross-border cases, particularly with connections to Germany and The Netherlands.

Pensions: dispute resolution Tier 2

Key contentious matters for Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP have seen the pensions team advising representative beneficiaries, trustees and national law firms on matters concerning rectification proceedings, historical drafting errors, professional negligence and GMP equalisation. The non-contentious offering has a scheme sponsor focus (including significant expertise in the public sector), with regular mandates including indexing advice, regulatory driven scheme redesigns, asset-backed funding strategy, insurance buy-ins, contract term negotiations and advising on SSAS and SIPPS schemes. Suzanne Duff and Joanna Bromhead lead the firm's contentious offering, while Martin Poore heads up the overall team.

Rail Tier 2

Based across its London and Newcastle offices, the 'highly experienced rail team' at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP stands out for its 'commercial acumen, and its clarity of thought; it is always looking for solutions'. The broad offering handles franchising and rolling stock mandates and it is active on rail projects and infrastructure work. It is also able to advise on rail planning and authorisations. Recent highlights include advising Govia on its bid for the South Eastern franchise. Department head David Rewcastle is 'one of the most experienced lawyers in the rail sector' and Paul Coleman, who specialises in rolling stock and infrastructure work, is a 'brilliant lawyer'. Associate Joseph Causer handles franchise, rolling stock and infrastructure mandates.

Commercial contracts Tier 3

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's commercial practice is made up of five sub-groups: commercial contracts; competition; data and privacy; IP; and technology. The UK-wide and multi-disciplinary team is experienced in a range of sectors including transport, financial services, retail, manufacturing and chemicals. Practice head Paula Bartlett specialises in commercial contract law, with extensive experience of advising on and negotiating complex contractual arrangements. Also notable is Rachel Scott, who has particular expertise advising on high-value and complex projects in the public and private sectors. She led the advice on the procurement of a supplier to provide a centralised management service for Network Rail's fleet of up to 8,000 road vehicles. Mark Gleeson joined in 2019 from Browne Jacobson LLP and boosts the firm’s technology expertise.

Commercial property: corporate occupiers Tier 3

Development, land acquisitions, and regeneration, renewable energy and rail infrastructure projects are key planks of the development offering at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP. The practice, headed locally by Martin Stacey, is also active in the retail and corporate occupier arenas, where it undertakes portfolio management, letting work, general landlord and tenant matters and the full range of retail and trading law issues. Institutional investment is also a core pillar of the practice, which works with a broad range of clients including local businesses, councils, national and international corporates, national housebuilders, retail landlords and consumer brands.

Commercial property: retail Tier 3

Development, land acquisitions, and regeneration, renewable energy and rail infrastructure projects are key planks of the development offering at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP. The practice, headed locally by Martin Stacey, is also active in the retail and corporate occupier arenas, where it undertakes portfolio management, letting work, general landlord and tenant matters and the full range of retail and trading law issues. Institutional investment is also a core pillar of the practice, which works with a broad range of clients including local businesses, councils, national and international corporates, national housebuilders, retail landlords and consumer brands.

Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity Tier 3

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s national network handles contentious and non-contentious matters for UK high-profile UK clients including Kingfisher, the Post Office, Network Rail and NHS Digital. The practice is also noted for its expertise in the retail, financial services and public sectors, and regularly handles cross-border mandates, leveraging the firm’s global network. Team head Andrew Kimble leads the data, privacy and freedom of information team and assists with outsourcing projects, data transfers and data licensing issues. Other key individuals include litigator Andrew Parsons, who focuses on disputes and investigations; Mark Gleeson, who joined from Browne Jacobson LLP in 2019 and specialises in information law; and legal director Peter Given. Jackie Gray moved in-house.

Education: institutions Tier 3

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has a large offering for its higher education clients, regularly acting in academy transfers and mergers. Head of charities Emma Moody is a key name to note, as well as Craig Moore, who stands out for his commercial property advice to schools. Christina Tolvas-Vincent is experienced in handling employment matters pertaining to dismissals, discrimination and management issues. Kevin Robertson, who regularly advises schools and colleges, is also a key contact.

Education: schools Tier 3

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's national education team is overseen by Newcastle-based Kevin Robertson and has vast expertise in conversions, transfers, complex mergers and governance matters. Head of charity law Emma Moody is 'excellent' in handling restructuring matters and undertaking advisory work for public sector clients, and Iain Greenshields has significant experience in procurement projects. The group is noted for advising high-profile national clients on major mergers. Other members of the team include charity law specialist Samantha Pritchard and Esther Masisi, who advises public sector clients.

Employment: senior executives Tier 3

In recent months, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's employment team has been instructed to advise on a number of internal investigations for employer clients, relating to allegations of bullying, harassment and maternity discrimination. London practice head Michelle Chance specialises in high value, sensitive employment disputes, advising both plc employers and senior executives across the professional practices, media and financial services sectors, drawing on her close ties with the wider firm's financial services regulatory team.

Local government Tier 3

At Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP five lawyers are the regional or London team heads: Martin Stacey (London), Iain Greenshields (London/Newcastle),   Jonathan Bower (Bristol/London), Will Fraser (London) and Mark Owen  (Leeds/London). The team advises on major regeneration and redevelopment schemes involving house building, commercial, leisure and education schemes. It also advises on State Aid-compliant funding and procurement matters, and is noted for its specialism in district heating schemes.

Oil and gas Tier 3

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP continued to expand its presence in the oil and gas sector throughout 2018 with a number of key client gains and the opening of an office in Houston. Recently, the group has been active on the supplier side of the market, where it is advising Ovo on its purchase of Spark Energy Limited and the associated supplier of last resort process. Of particular note was the firm's work for Serica on its acquisition of interests in the Bruce and Keith fields from BP, Total, BHP and Marubeni and BP's interest in the Rhum field.

Partnership Tier 3

At Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP, contentious partnership matters are handled by Michelle Chance, who acts for partnerships, LLPs and their individual members in matters including partner exits and terminations, as well as discrimination and whistleblower cases. Barry Stimpson leads on non-contentious work, which includes working with the real estate department to advise developers and real estate investors on the use of LLPs for high-value redevelopments. Stimpson also has an active advisory practice for fund managers and clients in the legal and accountancy sectors.

Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) Tier 3

The dedicated energy lawyers at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP are known for acting for an enviable international client roster including developers of new electricity generation projects, leading power companies and independents. Historically strong in matters of real estate and consenting, the firm's recent focus has been on the field of renewables and gas-fired power plants where  Christopher Towner and Paul Stockley's team continues to advise on high-profile corporate and commercial transactions, energy regulation matters and high value disputes.

Professional negligence Tier 3

After recent growth and several high-profile hires, the team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is now 'comprised of some well-known and impressive individuals from across the market'. The team recently added Simon Beckwith and Mark Ratcliff from Plexus Law, and Tim Barr from DWF. The team regularly defends claims against solicitors, valuers, construction and property professionals, auditors, accountants, tax advisors, insurance brokers, financial advisers, directors and officers, and financial institutions. The arrival of Beckwith also brings substantial pensions-related expertise to the department. Sushma MacGeoch, who heads the insurance disputes practice, 'manages litigation with skill and efficiency, and strikes a perfect balance between keeping a high-level strategic view and knowing the detail'.

Brand management Tier 4

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP focuses largely on contentious and non-contentious comparative advertising and pricing claims, advertising regulatory advice and copy clearance issues. Patrick Cantrill and Nicky Strong are the main partners and are highly experienced in IP and regulatory matters. Associates Ashley Borthwick, Rachel Hearson and Rose Smalley are also names to note for product advertising, portfolio management and contentious IP issues.

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 4

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is well equipped to service clients nationally through its various offices and also has an international reach through its transatlantic partner. Key strengths include advising on regulatory matters in addition to mergers, hive offs, fundraising and on other group structures for charities. It is also skilled at providing governance advice on constitutional matters. Key sector expertise lies in education, health and care as well as religious charities where it particularly advises Roman Catholic charities and charities in the Jewish community. Jo Coleman and Emma Moody are highly regarded.

Commercial property: development Tier 4

Development, land acquisitions, and regeneration, renewable energy and rail infrastructure projects are key planks of the development offering at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP. The practice, headed locally by Martin Stacey, is also active in the retail and corporate occupier arenas, where it undertakes portfolio management, letting work, general landlord and tenant matters and the full range of retail and trading law issues. Institutional investment is also a core pillar of the practice, which works with a broad range of clients including local businesses, councils, national and international corporates, national housebuilders, retail landlords and consumer brands.

Commercial property: investment Tier 4

Development, land acquisitions, and regeneration, renewable energy and rail infrastructure projects are key planks of the development offering at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP. The practice, headed locally by Martin Stacey, is also active in the retail and corporate occupier arenas, where it undertakes portfolio management, letting work, general landlord and tenant matters and the full range of retail and trading law issues. Institutional investment is also a core pillar of the practice, which works with a broad range of clients including local businesses, councils, national and international corporates, national housebuilders, retail landlords and consumer brands.

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 4

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP acts for individuals, trustees and corporate trustees both in the UK and offshore as well as insurance companies in resolving a wide range of trust and estate disputes. Head of team Neil Long is also experienced in bringing and defending claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 in addition to other issues such as validity/capacity disputes. The team also regularly advises on Court of Protection applications.

Fintech Tier 4

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP acts for a broad range of clients including challenger banks, financial institutions, insurers and investment companies, in tech procurement, outsourcing and other contractual agreements, IP protection, and regulatory compliance and authorisations covering PSD2 and the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive. The group actively supports fast-growth companies through its WBD Accelerate Programme, which gives developers the opportunity to present innovative solutions to drive forward progress in the sector. Practice head Alastair Mitton specialises in large scale technology implementations, outsourcing and development projects in the financial services and insurance industries. Ben Butler handles transactional work, including M&A, joint ventures, group reorganisations and fundraising.

PATMA: Trade mark attorneys Tier 4

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP impresses with a comprehensive trade mark prosecution offering, ranging from clearance searches and strategic portfolio advice to assistance in contentious matters before intellectual property offices and courts alike. While the team is sectorially versatile, instructions from the retail and consumer goods, manufacturing, hospitality, technology and leisure sectors account for the majority of cases. The team receives regular instructions from foreign firms to represent its clients in UK proceedings. The Leeds-based Patrick Cantrill and managing associate Rachel Hearson are at the helm of the team.

Pensions (non-contentious) Tier 4

Key contentious matters for Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP have seen the pensions team advising representative beneficiaries, trustees and national law firms on matters concerning rectification proceedings, historical drafting errors, professional negligence and GMP equalisation. The non-contentious offering has a scheme sponsor focus (including significant expertise in the public sector), with regular mandates including indexing advice, regulatory driven scheme redesigns, asset-backed funding strategy, insurance buy-ins, contract term negotiations and advising on SSAS and SIPPS schemes. Suzanne Duff and Joanna Bromhead lead the firm's contentious offering, while Martin Poore heads up the overall team.

Product liability: defendant Tier 4

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is a popular choice for retail and consumer brands to advise on product safety, crisis management and technical compliance. The team has also noted an increase in work in the manufacturing sector. Consultant Nicky Strong in Southampton, who is experienced in regulatory matters, and Bristol-based Jon Cooper, who specialises in health and safety issues, jointly lead the group. Other key practitioners are Stuart Wardlaw in Newcastle and managing associate Ashley Borthwick, who is based in Bristol.

Construction: contentious Tier 5

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's practice works with both construction professionals and insurers, handling disputes including arbitration and adjudications in the TCC. Simon Lewis acts for both public and private sector clients, while managing associate Helen Pearce is particularly active in the energy and PFI sectors. Other key members of the team include managing associates Emily Leonard and Belinda Fox.

Contruction: non-contentious Tier 5

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's non-contentious practice advises purchaser clients in the transport, energy and manufacturing sectors. Alex Hirom, who leads the team, has a specialist focus on renewable and conventional power and chemical projects, and was the lead partner advising South Tees Site Company on the construction contracts and procurement strategy for the decommissioning project of the former SSI steel works plant in Redcar, Yorkshire.

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 5

Clients of Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP  benefit from a large team of lawyers, chartered accountants, chartered advisers and chartered financial planners in the private wealth department nationally. It continues to be instructed in the administration of high-value estates, frequently involving complex trust issues. Alexander Dickinson specialises in succession, asset protection and estate planning matters for landowners, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals. Neil Long advises wealthy clients and trustees on estate planning and capital tax matters.

Employment: employers Tier 6

In recent months, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's employment team has been instructed to advise on a number of internal investigations for employer clients, relating to allegations of bullying, harassment and maternity discrimination. London practice head Michelle Chance specialises in high value, sensitive employment disputes, advising both plc employers and senior executives across the professional practices, media and financial services sectors, drawing on her close ties with the wider firm's financial services regulatory team.

Financial services: non-contentious/regulatory Tier 6

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP provides a broad range of financial services advice including on prudential regulation, consumer credit matters,  regulated mortgage contact matters, investment funds and financial crime prevention. In addition, the firm has expertise in the increasingly important area of payment service and electronic money regulations. Practice head Jonny Williams joined from Lloyds Banking Group in 2018 and has notable experience advising in relation to financial services products and lending, authorisation and conduct of business issues. He leads a team that also saw the 2018 arrival from Ashurst of banking specialist Matt Williams, who brings expertise in loan portfolio sales and acquisitions. Partner Andrew Barber left for Pinsent Masons LLP in 2018.

Immigration

Andrew Tingley joined Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP from Kingsley Napley LLP in November 2018, to spearhead its immigration offering. Working closely with the firm's private client and employment teams, the newly established immigration department is well-placed to advise corporate clients and high-net-worth individuals on complex immigration issues. Tingley is experienced in advising professional services and third sector clients, as well as SME start-ups, entrepreneurs and high-net worth-individuals on complex and sensitive immigration mandates.

Womble Bond Dickinson is a full-service transatlantic law firm, created on 1 November 2017, from the combination of UK law firm Bond Dickinson and US firm Womble Carlyle. The new combined firm is now amongst the Top 100 law firms globally and a Top 20 UK law firm.

In the UK, WBD has more than 120 partners and 500 lawyers based in eight major cities across the country including in London, Bristol, Plymouth, Southampton, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. The firm’s reach also extends to Europe where it has strategic partnerships with law firms in Germany and France.

Through the Lex Mundi network, Womble Bond Dickinson can offer clients access to counsel in more than 120 countries.

WBD advises in excess of 40 FTSE 350 companies, including many of the largest businesses in the country, government organisations and wealthy individuals. The firm advises clients across eleven key sectors including: energy and natural resources; financial institutions; healthcare; insurance; manufacturing; real estate; retail and consumer; transport, logistics and infrastructure; pharmaceuticals and life sciences; technology; and private wealth.

WBD also works closely with UK Local and Central Government authorities, as well as other organisations in the wider public and third sector. The firm advises the UK Government’s Crown Commercial Service, providing a full-service of legal expertise across a range of disciplines, including general commercial, litigation and employment advice. WBD was appointed as a Tier 1 firm advising Central Government Departments, Agencies and Arms’ Length Bodies.

In addition, WBD is a member of The Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG), an independent charity that brings business, government and the not-for-profit sector closer together, to learn from each other and co-create solutions. As a law firm advising public, private and not for profit organisations, WBD understands the importance for further cross-sector collaborations and WIG provides the perfect platform to build dialogue and enhance learning and understanding.

The firm has a wealth of expertise and a strong track record in all these sectors, enabling it to build strong relationships and deliver an excellent service to clients. This thorough understanding of its clients and of the sectors they operate in, means that WBD can anticipate and deliver the right expertise through innovative solutions.

WBD has a strong focus on innovation, the firm was ranked 14th in the FT’s Europe Top 50 Innovative Law Firms report. It also has a dedicated Innovation Group that works with lawyers and clients to help identify new opportunities of delivering the best value and coordinate initiatives and projects across the firm that will help drive the business – and its clients – forward.

With this ambition in mind, the firm recently launched the WBD Advance platform, a flexible solution that pulls together all of the firm’s key technology and business services that are becoming increasingly essential to clients alongside traditional legal advice. These services include support for high-volume projects such as due diligence; document review; project and risk management of legal work; automation and process design; managing knowledge and information; and flexible resourcing including flexible lawyering options for in-house counsel.

WBD is heavily involved in a comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility programme and recognises the importance of supporting projects in its local communities. The firm also has an effective environmental policy as a founding member of the UK’s Legal Sector Alliance and provides its employees with an excellent place to work. The firm featured as a top graduate employer in the UK in the Guardian UK 300.

UK offices: Aberdeen, Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Newcastle, Plymouth, Southampton.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner Jonathan Blair
UK Chairman Simon Richardson
Agriculture, farms and estates Simon Kirkup
Banking and financial services Julian Kinsey
Charities Emma Moody
Chemicals and manufacturing Peter Snaith
Commercial Paula Bartlett
Commercial disputes Paul Stewart
Construction and engineering Simon Rowland
Corporate and commercial Stephen Pierce
Corporate (inc company secretarial) Stephen Pierce
Developers and investors Mark Owen
Dispute resolution Tom Beezer
Employment Jon Hales
Energy and natural resources Simon Hughes
Finance and investment John Ralph
Financial institutions Simon Richardson
Insurance claims Sushma MacGeoch
Investment and pensions David Dale
Oil and gas Richard Cockburn
Onshore Andy Layton
Operational property (and retail) Katherine Douglas
Pensions Martin Poore
Planning and infrastructure Jonathan Bower
Private capital Helen Tavroges
Private wealth David Dale
Projects and procurement Kevin Robertson
Property litigation Jen Smurthwaite
Real estate Claire Brook
Regulatory and environment Stuart Wardlaw
Residential Nigel Emmerson
Restructuring and insolvency Andy Stirk
Retail Gavin Matthews
Scotland Richard Cockburn
Tax/trust and accounting Jeremy Smith
Technology, media and communications (TMC) Alastair Mitton
Transport and infrastructure David Rewcastle
Photo Name Position Profile
 Tim Barr  photo Tim Barr
 Jonathan Blair  photo Jonathan Blair
 James Borshell  photo James Borshell
 Hannah Cane  photo Hannah Cane
 Patrick Cantrill  photo Patrick Cantrill
 Michelle Chance  photo Michelle Chance
 Jo Coleman  photo Jo Coleman
 Alexander Dickinson  photo Alexander Dickinson
 Jon Drake  photo Jon Drake
 Will Fraser  photo Will Fraser
 Nicola Giddens  photo Nicola Giddens
 Mark Gleeson  photo Mark Gleeson
 Alex Hirom  photo Alex Hirom
 Audrey Koh  photo Audrey Koh
 Neil Long  photo Neil Long
 Sushma MacGeoch  photo Sushma MacGeoch
 Leon Miller  photo Leon Miller
 Tom Pringle  photo Tom Pringle
 Charlie Reid  photo Charlie Reid
 Rachel Scott  photo Rachel Scott
 Martin Stacey  photo Martin Stacey
 Barry Stimpson  photo Barry Stimpson
 Paul Stockley  photo Paul Stockley
 Edward Stone  photo Edward Stone
Number of UK partners : 131
Number of other UK fee-earners : 583

Diversity and Inclusion: stepping up a gear

Increasingly, clients are asking their law firms what they are doing promote diversity and to create a more inclusive place to work. Quite rightly, our clients want to know that we are able to offer up teams that have excellent cognitive diversity, and that reflect the client’s own people profile and values. This client dimension overlaps with our own people and business imperative; the right thing to do is to challenge ourselves to try new initiatives, to continue to put ourselves in the shoes of others, to discuss the issues and change our behaviours and mind-sets, and constructively challenge non-inclusive behaviour, in order to ensure that no one feels like an outsider. In theory, with more diversity, (whether gender, physical, cognitive, social, generational, cultural, ethnic or sexual), we create the chance to learn something from someone different, or with a different perspective to our own, and it creates a fertile breeding ground for new ways of working and operating. That makes us more resilient and sustainable as a business. Diversity, however, is ornamental without inclusivity; we have to make sure different people are in the rooms where decisions are made and not only make sure that they feel safe sharing what is on their minds, but actively encourage them to contribute.

The process of crafting a more diverse and inclusive environment gives us the opportunity to engage with clients on this subject, and find out what they are doing, what works, what hasn’t worked, and how their challenges are different or similar to ours. We can use it to deepen our relationships with them, and at the same time learn from each other.

In addition to continuing with our #BeYourself initiative, this year, we are focussing on making more progress on our gender balance at senior levels, and on LGBTQ+ and BAME inclusion. We were one of only nine firms in the UK to be awarded the new Women in Law Empowerment Forum Gold Standard in June 2019, but we recognise that the criteria currently are not necessarily stretching enough; it is a line in the sand for us, a minimum threshold, if you will. Creating our first LGBTQ+ network (WBD Pride) and our first BAME network (BAME@WBD) has been a huge step forward and one we hope will help us take an intersectional approach to diversity and inclusion for the first time.

A Board member is directly responsible and accountable for working with our D&I Group (comprised of a cross-section of engaged people from all around the business) and a newly created D&I Steering Group (comprised of partners who are ambassadors and “change agents”). Their remit is to evolve our strategy and to “mainstream” the infrastructural changes necessary or potentially useful to achieve the clear and measurable goals we set ourselves. A significant amount of work will be done this year in connection with our infrastructural audit, designed to remove unconscious bias in various systems, from our recruitment processes to our written communications with clients.

CSR and pro bono

We take our Responsible Business commitments as seriously as the quality of our legal advice. Our focus is about building sustainable relationships with our stakeholders. We aim to be a trusted employer and business supporting our clients, people and communities.

We have a Responsible Business programme which covers a number of areas:

  • Community support – partnering with charity partners and supporting community projects. We make financial donations via our Charitable Trust.
  • Volunteering – each member of staff is entitled to 2 days volunteering.
  • Workplace – we are committed to creating and maintaining a safe and inclusive workplace where our people can achieve their work potential, and supporting access into the legal profession. We strive to create a diverse and inclusive culture to attract and retain the very best people.
  • Environmental – we are ever mindful of the environmental impacts of our business. Our Responsible Business activity forms a central part of our commitment to being a sustainable business that has a positive impact on the UK and wider world.
  • Responsible business practices – we apply the highest standards of professionalism business ethics and risk management, building sustainable practices for the benefit of our clients.
  • Pro bono – we support organisations whose objectives are about promoting access to justice and economies by supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs.

In terms of community support and pro bono one area of focus is on social inclusion and mobility via our 3E’s strategy. We focus on empowering young people and adults to unlock potential in the areas of Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship – the 3Es. As lawyers and business professionals these are one of the areas where we can maximise our core business skill set and make the most significant impact.

We support charities through fund raising, volunteering to support mentoring and reading schemes. Our offices support a range of charities and projects local to their communities.

We support a wide range of charities and projects whose mission fits squarely with our 3E’s strategy. We have also pioneered a number of routes into the legal profession; our Early Careers programme was set up for students who don’t have any work experience or access to a network of connections. We also have an award winning apprenticeship scheme that aims to bring diversity in the workplace.

We recognise that there are other barriers to individuals accessing the 3Es, from homelessness and food poverty, to mental health and caring commitments. For these reasons we also support a range of charities helping these causes. The following examples are collaborations of us working in partnership to maximise social impact, and working in the spirt of SDG 17 “Partnership for the Goals”:

  • Since 2017 we have supported a number of foodbanks and “Food Poverty” projects in communities close to our office, thus far we have donated circa 6 Tonnes of Food. Our Foodbank Campaign and our apprenticeship scheme was referenced in the UK’s first Voluntary Local Review of city level progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Report was presented at the United Nations in July 2019 https://www.womblebonddickinson.com/uk/insights/news/wbd-takes-part-first-ever-uk-local-bristol-review-un-sdgs
  • We are a Founder Funder of Southwark a place-based giving scheme working with local charities, and partners.

We have concentrated our pro bono offering on supporting Access to Justice partners, local economies within our communities through legal support to young entrepreneurs and small businesses, student law clinics and small charities with no legal budget. We have partnered with Greenwich University Small Business Clinic to support small businesses to access high quality commercial advice. The partnership has also widened access to the legal profession. Students at Greenwich come from a diverse demographic, they are often the first in their families to undertake ‘A’ levels, and often have no connections in the law particularly in commercial law firms. Building on existing pro bono activity, in 2019 our Bristol office has partnered with Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Service providing support and raising awareness.

 

Womble Bond Dickinson
'The best firm in the north east region', Womble Bond Dickinson maintains its 'excellent reputation' due to the 'high-quality work without needing to live in London'. Many agreed they have a 'good work/life balance' and at the same time 'are afforded high levels of responsibility from day one'. The culture at WBD also stands out to many recruits; it is a firm that 'truly lives up to its values', which is shown by the 'time spent coaching trainees'. WBD is a double Lex 100 Winner for confidence in being kept on and approachability. 'The people and culture' are rated the best things about the firm, as recruits 'feel valued' and comfortable working with 'very approachable partners' who 'always take time to answer any questions you may have'. But some trainees feel that 'the salary has fallen behind the market'. Respondents were also unhappy with the 'lack of information regarding seat rotation' which at times is 'very last minute'. However, many regard their best moments as times where they've been 'actively involved', 'managing high-level projects', and 'been given the responsibility to draft and comment on documents'. Trainees relished 'being involved from the beginning of a transaction until post-completion'. Pro bono work is 'a big part of the firm' and there are a 'wide variety of activities to get involved in'. Recruits particularly enjoyed experiencing 'regional fundraising' and 'the Prince's Trust Million Makers project', although some found it difficult to manage their fee-earning work at the same time. If a 'varied workload' where you 'never get the same day twice' appeals to you, apply to WBD.