Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Bevan Brittan LLP

The lowdown - Trainees (in their own words) on Bevan Brittan LLP

Why did you choose this firm over any others? ‘Due to the firm’s prowess in the public sector and clinical negligence’, ‘I have two small children so it was important for me to choose a firm with a good work/life balance’, ‘award winning but without being too in your face about it’, ‘friendly atmosphere at interview stage’, ‘on the vacation scheme all teams were really welcoming and there was no sense of ‘hierarchy’

Best thing about the firm? ‘Colleagues are all so approachable and supportive’, ‘huge focus on corporate social responsibility drives’, ‘the firm specialises in lots of really interesting areas and there are real experts to learn from’, ‘good work/life balance at the firm and early responsibility (with close supervision) which allows you to develop your skills and get a real sense of what the job of a solicitor involves’

Worst thing about the firm? ‘It’s still quite small in comparison to other City firms’, ‘the pay’, ‘currently (at least in Birmingham) there is very little office culture’, ‘the IT system. There is generally a major IT crash at least once a fortnight’, ‘the salary is lower than other similar-sized firms’, ‘potentially moving towards remote working so struggling from lack of supervisor/team contact and being unable to work in the office environment and learn that way’

Best moment? ‘Receiving good feedback from my supervisor after really struggling at the start of the seat’, ‘attending and assisting with a trial at the RCJ’, ‘attending employment tribunals’, ‘being able to work as part of a cross-office team on a very large case for an important client’, ‘being complimented on my work by a client’, ‘getting positive and encouraging feedback from partners’, ‘attending several remote hearings and a large trial in person’

Worst moment? ‘The Christmas deadlines in property are pretty gruelling. I was still working four days after I was meant to have started my annual leave’, ‘multiple urgent deadlines all piled on at once’, ‘not being given any of my preferences for my second seat’, ‘being told off by a client for something that was not my fault, and because of remote working I could not get my supervisor to help on the call’

The Legal 500 Future Lawyers verdict on Bevan Brittan LLP

Bevan Brittan is a smart choice for those looking for a ‘good blend of public and private sector work’. A significant proportion of the current trainees chose the national firm because ‘it works largely for the NHS’. Bevan Brittan has earned a Future Lawyers Winner for work/life balance: ‘whilst you are expected to work hard, you are generally encouraged not to work stupid hours, and if a supervisor sees you online late in the evening, you will be asked if you’re OK and whether your workload needs reducing’. Recruits enjoy being part of a small cohort ‘where you really feel like you can talk to all the trainees’ and ‘you also get a lot of partner interaction’. In fact, at Bevan Brittan, ‘everyone is extremely friendly and approachable’ and ‘people really do have your back’. Some recruits consider that ‘the salary is lower than at other, similar-sized firms’. Other concerns are that ‘the vast majority of staff members work from home’, at least in certain offices, which makes it harder for trainees to learn by osmosis. Consequently, some trainees reported instances of ‘feeling overwhelmed with work in the first few months and feeling like I was just expected to know how to do things’ and ‘having to complete tasks where no example or detailed explanation had been given by supervisors’. On a more positive note, ‘running my own files and seeing them through from start to end’, and ‘completing an acquisition where I had taken the lead for negotiations, liaising with the clients and coming to an agreement’ were highlights. To train at a firm which ‘specialises in a lot of really interesting areas’, where there are ‘real experts to learn from’, take a closer look at Bevan Brittan.

About the firm

Senior partner: Jodie Sinclair

Managing partner: Duncan Weir

Other offices: Birmingham, Leeds, London

Who we are: Bevan Brittan is a UK top 100 national law firm which operates nationally across a comprehensive range of legal and advisory services to over 300 private sector businesses, as well as being a market-leading firm within health and social care, housing, and local and central government.

What we do: The firm’s award-winning legal and regulatory teams, based in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds and London, provide legal advice across the construction, energy and resource management, higher education and financial services sectors, complementing the firm’s market leadership within housing, local and central government, and health and social care.

What we’re looking for: We are looking for bright people with sound common sense and plenty of energy, who can think logically and clearly. An interest in the type of clients we work for is essential. You need drive, commitment, willingness to take responsibility and the ability to work and relate well with others.

What you’ll do: Our trainee solicitors get a tailored training and development programme that gives them early exposure to real work for real clients. Trainees complete four six-month seats with a choice across all our departments.

Perks: Life insurance, private healthcare insurance, pension, group income protection, health assessments, cycle scheme.

Sponsorship: We sponsor fees for you if you have not yet completed the GDL/PGDL/LPC/SQE. We will also pay you a £5,000 bursary while you study.

Diversity and inclusion

At Bevan Brittan, we actively value and promote equality, diversity and inclusion across our leadership, workforce, clients and partners. We have a strong and vibrant diversity programme that gives colleagues across the firm an opportunity to take part, led by our equality, diversity and inclusion committee and supported by our ambassadors, who drive engagement in our strategy and raise awareness across the firm.

By celebrating and reflecting on the diversity of experience within the firm, we are building our culture of inclusion, increasing understanding and breaking down barriers to inequality.

We regularly monitor diversity within the firm and we run online diversity training which we expect all our employees to complete. We are members of the Law Society Diversity and Inclusion Charter and actively work with the Law Society to demonstrate our commitment to diversity. In addition to this, promoting a culture that recognises health and wellbeing, and a wide range of benefits that offer support, guidance and information, are our key priorities.

You can find out more about our equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives on our website.