Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Bevan Brittan
The lowdown - Trainees (in their own words) on Bevan Brittan
Why did you choose this firm over any others? ‘Mainly for its defendant clinical negligence work but also because it seems to have a real emphasis on recruiting people rather than grades’, ‘the culture – everyone is really approachable and I feel like I have learnt a lot in my first seat as a result’, ‘from my research it was clear that the firm understands that work/life balance is so important for wellbeing’, ‘its values were most aligned with my own’, ‘practice area expertise, reputation, better experience during the vacation scheme, the firm’s strategy’, ‘public sector work’, ‘it offered the scope of work I was seeking’
Best thing about the firm? ‘Some of the people are wonderful, and we complete meaningful work for good clients’, ‘the approachability of everyone – including partners, the quality of work and its flexible working arrangements’, ‘you can be yourself and show your personality’, ‘the team and the clients are very friendly, this makes the work more enjoyable and less stressful’, ‘the interesting work that they get you involved in and the level of responsibility that they support you to work up to’, ‘the people – approachable, generous and knowledgeable’
Worst thing about the firm? ‘Sometimes more admin rather than legal work’, ‘our salary is lower than competitors in the market’, ‘the IT’, ‘the Birmingham office, but we are moving in May’, ‘probably the pay’, ‘lack of socials/poor office vibe, especially in Birmingham, and a lack of willingness from partners to come into the office and socialise’, ‘some of the systems are convoluted and seem to lack functionality’, ‘recently the firm has updated all its IT systems, which has been fairly disruptive’, ‘we are probably not as well paid as other firms – but it is still a very decent wage to live on’
Best moment? ‘Receiving good feedback from the team’, ‘probably one of the many social events we’ve had where we could chat/socialise with team members’, ‘attending a trial at the Royal Courts of Justice’, ‘I have really enjoyed building relationships with lawyers at all levels, including partners’, ‘I was given the responsibility of attending a hearing alone (without counsel) on a watching brief. I was completely responsible for seeking instructions from the client as the hearing progressed and liaising with the parties to support the procedure and agree further directions’
Worst moment? ‘Occasionally, like many places of work, there are characters in the office who can be difficult to work with. I really struggled in one of my seats due to my supervisor’s behaviour and limited supervision’, ‘making a mistake’, ‘there were some exceptionally busy periods during my first seat – lots of early starts and late nights’, ‘I have had to cancel evening plans once or twice and that has been disappointing’, ‘when a large number of the team were on leave and it was difficult to know who to turn to for support’
The Legal 500 Future Lawyers verdict on Bevan Brittan
Bevan Brittan has ‘incredible knowledge and reputation in some really interesting and niche areas of law’ with ‘a mix of private and public sector clients’; the latter makes trainees ‘feel like the work we do makes an important, tangible difference’. The London, Bristol, Birmingham and Leeds-based firm’s healthcare work appealed to recruits in particular. Bevan Brittan ‘has a culture that is incredibly inclusive’; the firm ‘values individuality’ and focuses on ‘wellbeing and a good work/life balance’ something which can be rare in the legal sector. It follows that the culture is described as ‘supportive’, and that ‘people at all levels of seniority are friendly’. Bevan Brittan is the winner of three Future Lawyers Winner medals for work/life balance, hybrid working and sustainability. Some trainees would like to be paid more, and feel that ‘despite the firm doing well, we are not rewarded enough for our hard work’, though others pointed out that ‘recent pay rises have started to close the gap with competitors’. The lack of social life in the Birmingham office and the limited diversity across the firm were also bugbears. Nevertheless, trainees enjoyed ‘attending the Technology and Construction Court for a hearing’, ‘receiving excellent feedback on my work’ and ‘working on a serious medical treatment case – quite literally life or death!’. The workload at Bevan Brittan can fluctuate; trainees lamented ‘times when I didn’t have enough work’, as much as other ‘times when I felt slightly overwhelmed with work’. A period of ‘poor supervision from one partner in particular, who didn’t speak to me for months’ was also stressful. To work with a number of well-known public sector clients on very interesting matters in a supportive firm where you ‘can be yourself’, research Bevan Brittan.
About the firm
Senior partner: Jodie Sinclair
Managing partner: Duncan Weir
Other offices: Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds, London
Who we are: Bevan Brittan is a UK Top-100 law firm providing legal and advisory services advising businesses across construction, energy and resource management, higher education and financial services sectors, complementing the firm’s market leadership within housing, local government, and health and social care.
What we do: Our award-winning teams provide commercial, corporate, property, finance, regulatory, employment and litigation (commercial and clinical negligence) legal advice.
What we’re looking for: We are looking for individuals with enthusiasm, especially for the sectors and areas of law in which we specialise. Individuals who are happy to work in a team, with a good understanding of commerciality.
What you’ll do: At Bevan Brittan we provide aspiring lawyers with the skills and support to set them up for a successful career. Our trainee solicitors get a tailored training and development programme that gives them early exposure to real work for real clients, and this careful management of the learning process allows confidence to grow alongside experience.
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 PGDL/SQE. We will also pay you a £5,000 bursary while you study.
Diversity and Inclusion
Percentage of female associates: 67.7%**
Percentage of female partners: 47.3%**
**data taken from employee survey, which 86% of lawyers and 88% of partners completed