Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Anthony Collins Solicitors

The lowdown - Trainees (in their own words) on Anthony Collins Solicitors

Why did you choose this firm over any others? ‘Social purpose’, ‘values, culture and morals’, ‘Anthony Collins has a values-driven purpose to improve lives, communities and society which is unlike any other firm’, ‘the social purpose and ethos of the firm’

Best thing about the firm? ‘Social purpose’, ‘they care about society and doing the right thing’, ‘lots of responsibility and client contact’, ‘the social purpose and ethos’, ‘the people we work with and the fact that the firm has a strong social purpose’

Worst thing about the firm? ‘Outdated technology’, ‘remuneration and benefits’, ‘for a trainee, the lack of social events and opportunities. Some departments also have a poor work/life balance’

Best moment? ‘Attending court’, ‘winning a case’, ‘the client contact I’ve been given’, ‘attending inquests and negotiations for high-value settlement meetings’

Worst moment? ‘The uncertainty of being in and out of the office’, ‘getting used to starting from the bottom every six months’, ‘being placed with a line manager who was in a different team’

The Legal 500 Future Lawyers verdict on Anthony Collins Solicitors

‘Anthony Collins has a values-driven purpose to improve lives, communities and society which is unlike any other firm’. Indeed, it was the Birmingham firm’s ‘social purpose, morals and culture’ which convinced most of the respondents to join. Anthony Collins trainees are affordedlots of client contact and responsibility’, which is ‘great for developing essential skills and experience’. Recruits also appreciate that they are given the opportunity to get their teeth into ‘high-quality work’ on a regular basis. Some respondents praised the ‘excellent supervision’, although it was noted that this can vary from department to department. Trainees grumbled about the pay, which is considered not to be as competitive as that offered by some other firms in the area. Recruits would also like to see more social events. Luckily the people we work with’ make up for it, at least in part! Worst moments were ‘making mistakes in my first few months’, although ‘supervisors were very understanding and didn’t make me feel bad about it’, and ‘having to work from home for long periods at a time’. On the upside, many trainees had enjoyed ‘attending court’, ‘winning cases’ and ‘getting involved in complex inquests and investigations’. To work at a firm with a ‘focus on social impact’ where ‘the work almost always comes with a high sense of achievement and satisfaction’, research Anthony Collins. 

About the firm

The firm: ACS is a specialist law firm with a unique social purpose, ‘to improve lives, communities and society’.

For almost 50 years we have successfully combined market-leading expertise with a commitment to excellence and long-term relationships underpinned by a strong set of values. In this time we have grown to become one of the top UK firms supporting all aspects of social housing, social business, health and social care, education, charities, local government and private individuals.

Our main office is located in Birmingham (approx. 330 staff), while we also have a growing presence in Manchester (30+) but we work nationally throughout the UK as leaders in our field.

With revenues of £22m+ and rising, we attract highly skilled and dedicated people whose passion for their work keeps us at the forefront of the crucial sectors we serve. With many of our partners qualifying and starting their legal careers with us, we put people first in an environment that is both supportive and close-knit, and which offers the challenges and exposure you would expect from a large, expanding and market-leading firm.

The deals: Appeal against pension regulator fineassisting St Vincents Housing Association with legal due diligence surrounding mergersclinical negligence claim against Booth Hall Children’s Hospital, Manchester in the 1990sMind and McVitie’s fundraising campaign partnershipWessex CLT projectRiverside Group stock rationalisation programmeKnowsley Housing – a new type of trust.

Senior partner: Peter Hubbard

Other offices: Manchester

Who we are: Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS) is a thriving specialist law firm with a revenue of £22.3m, offices in Birmingham and Manchester, and a national reputation for advising individuals, charities and other not-for-profit organisations, local authorities, public sector bodies and businesses throughout the UK. For over 45 years, we’ve been successfully combining market-leading legal expertise, with a commitment to excellence and long-term relationships underpinned by a strong set of values.

What we do: Our practice areas span seven different sectors that reflect our passion and expertise while focusing on client needs: charities; education; health and social care; housing; local government; private legal services; and social business.

What we’re looking for: A successful trainee will combine a strong academic record with innovative thinking, a compassionate and caring approach, and an appreciation of client needs and concerns. We’re looking for people who can build excellent relationships with colleagues and clients alike, and who share our passion and enthusiasm for making a difference to society.

  • Passionate about and committed to the values of ACS. We want people who love the work that they do and are enthusiastic about it.
  • Innovative and creative thinkers. We want people who can help us evolve and reinvent ourselves.
  • Intellectually curious to research and enquire. We want diverse and independent thinkers.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and high levels of emotional intelligence – knows how to contribute most effectively in the workplace. We want individuals to join our firm.
  • Flexible team worker. We want people who contribute positively and proactively when working in a team.
  • Accomplished communicator. We want people with the ability to inspire and positively influence others.
  • Manages personal performance to meet expectations, demonstrating drive, determination and accountability while doing so. We want people who are committed to succeeding.
  • Resilience, perseverance and positivity when meeting new challenges. We want people who don’t give up.

What you’ll do: ACS is made up of a variety of departments, allowing you to work on commercial and private client work aimed at transforming our society and the lives of individuals, alongside a range of fee-earners with different skills and talents. During your training, we’ll expose you to as many work areas as possible, helping you to discover which area of law best suits you. You will discover that you can use the law to make a real difference in society.
During your training contract, we’ll introduce you to a variety of clients and professionals. Responsibility for your clients and matters will naturally increase as you gain the relevant skills, knowledge, experience and confidence.

Training contracts are made up of four seats, each lasting six months. We will consider your experience, skills and preferences when allocating seats, together with business need and completion of SRA regulations.

As a trainee, you’ll be encouraged to get involved in a range of activities from client events and training seminars, to regularly attending trainee forums. It’s all about making the most of the opportunities available here.

Sponsorship: Anthony Collins Solicitors provides funding towards LPC fees for those who are joining us as trainees and are currently or about to commence their LPC studies and we are going to be replicating such arrangements with SQE, in line with our current offer.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

Many businesses say they promote equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) but at Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS), it’s always a top priority for us.

We make specific goals and commitments, then do everything we can to meet them. We celebrate the diversity of our teams in different ways, from marking religious occasions to taking part in Pride Month together. We continue to be flexible by adapting to our employees’ needs and protecting their mental wellbeing. There’s always room to improve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a colleague or client, you can challenge us. Raise your voice. We’re listening, whoever you are, whatever your background. Tell us what we could do better or if you think something isn’t working.

37% of our partners are female and 18.5% of our workforce identify as ethnic minorities.

Organisations we work with: Living Wage Foundation; Birmingham Law Society (BLS); REACH Subcommittee; Social Mobility Subcommittee; Equality and Diversity Committee; and Diversity Inclusion Scheme (DIS).