Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Anthony Collins

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

Why did you choose this firm over any others? ‘It is family friendly and offers a good work/life balance’, ‘the sector and practice areas it operates in, as well as ethos and variety of clients’, ‘I liked the firm’s social purpose and goals’, ‘the social purpose of the work the firm does’, ‘the firm’s emphasis on social impact work, and its values’, ‘Anthony Collins has a focus on social purpose which differentiates it greatly from other firms’

Best thing about the firm? ‘The firm’s emphasis on social impact work, and its values’, ‘it is not frowned upon to do just your 9-5′, ‘its goals and ethos, and work/life balance’, ‘some departments will treat you like an NQ from the beginning of a seat (with supervision)’, ‘the emphasis on social impact work – it can genuinely make even the more dry tasks feel rewarding’, ‘the people are very friendly and approachable. Feels like a family’, ‘the work/life balance’, ‘social purpose and care for others’

Worst thing about the firm? ‘The lack of trainee socials’, ‘the fact that Anthony Collins is a social purpose law firm is reflected in the salary. People might find that they will earn less if they work here’, ‘the availability of preferred seat choices’, ‘the salary; trainee solicitor salaries are very good and competitive. NQ and above, less so but still good’, ‘more could be done for sustainability’, ‘the retention rates! It does not feel like the firm is committed to keeping trainees on as NQs, or that this is a priority’

Best moment? ‘Passing my finance and business skills exam’, ‘the quality of work and the variety of sectors that I have been able to work with’, ‘doing the first draft of a multi-billion-pound contract’, ‘attending court’, ‘winning a case’, ‘the client contact I’ve been given’, ‘attending inquests and negotiations for high-value settlement meetings’

Worst moment? ‘Getting used to starting from the bottom every six months’, ‘being placed with a line manager who was in a different team’, ‘when I had to stay up till midnight doing a piece of work with an urgent deadline’, ‘boring research tasks’

The Legal 500 Future Lawyers verdict on Anthony Collins

‘It was clear from the outset that Anthony Collins’ dedication to improve lives, communities and society is not just lip service, rather it is at the core of everything we do’, said trainees. Indeed, the Birmingham-based firm’s ‘clear social purpose’ which is ‘echoed throughout the firm’ was the main attraction for many respondents. Others had worked at Anthony Collins as legal assistants and liked the ‘values, friendly staff, good clients, interesting work and warm culture’. Everyone at the firm ‘whether they are a legal assistant or a senior partner, is so approachable and supportive’. Trainees get the best of both worlds: ‘you are challenged intellectually, but you never/rarely feel overwhelmed or as though you have no one turn to when you have a question or need support’. What’s more, there is generally ‘no expectation to stay late’. On the contrary, any trainees still in the office at the end of the working day are ‘approached by senior staff and encouraged to log off’. One thing that trainees complained about was that there is ‘some disorganisation surrounding the training contract arrangements, for example when we find out about our next seat, NQ roles or other opportunities’. That there are ‘fewer social events post pandemic and due to the hybrid-working policy’ is also a bugbear. Best moments were ‘drafting a letter of reply with no amendments’ and having ‘heavy involvement and responsibility on high-value transactions and lots of in-person client meetings’. Worst moments were ‘having to stay up until midnight doing a piece of work with an urgent deadline’ and ‘boring research tasks’. For a firm with ‘admirable goals and ethos’ with plenty of responsibility and an excellent work/life balance, consider Anthony Collins.

About the firm

The firm: Anthony Collins (AC) is a national sector specialist law firm with a clear purpose to improve lives, communities and society. The firm has 300+ staff, physical premises in Birmingham, Manchester and Macclesfield, and is a national leading advisor to the social housing, social care and charities sectors (among others), supporting clients with work in business and charity law, governance, property, housing management, employment, and dispute resolution, as well as individuals requiring personal planning, those affected by critical events and the organisations that support them. AC’s expertise is centred on a deep understanding of its clients’ needs, as well as on developing and maintaining strong relationships. The firm has grown steadily over the past five years, merging with Macclesfield private client law firm Jobling Gowler in July 2022, and now has 39 partners. 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.

Senior partner: Matthew Wort

Managing partner: Peter Hubbard

Other offices: Manchester, Macclesfield

Who we are: Anthony Collins (AC) is a thriving national sector specialist law firm with offices in Birmingham, Manchester, and Macclesfield, 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 nearly 50 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 AC. 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: AC 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 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.

Diversity and Inclusion

In our 2021 gender and ethnicity pay gap report, we published our ethnicity pay gap for the second time, as well as sharing our partner pay data for gender and ethnicity. What we found:

  • 20% of our employees identify as from ethnic minorities.
  • Our mean ethnicity pay gap is 9.9% across the employees of the firm.
  • Our ethnicity pay gap is understood when we see that only 12% of our upper pay quartile employees are from an ethnic minority.
  • 23% of our partners identify as from ethnic minorities.
  • Our mean ethnicity pay gap for partners is 9.2%.
  • Our combined partner and employee mean ethnicity pay gap is 7.6%.