Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Thrings

The lowdown - Trainees (in their own words) on Thrings

Why did you choose this firm over any others? 

‘I like that the firm works with smaller to mid-size businesses, with a focus on business growth’, ‘it has a really nice firm culture of approachability and friendliness’, ‘expertise in a variety of practice areas’, ‘being a leading firm in the few practice areas I am particularly interested in and the positive feedback from trainees’, ‘I was recommended to apply to the firm by a client’, ‘friendliness and pay’ 

Best thing about the firm? 

The work/life balance’, ‘the people’, ‘the flat hierarchy structure, the amazing work/life balance, and the ability to approach your supervisors in any given situation with ease’, ‘the exposure to good quality work, flexible working, client contact and overall a very friendly environment across all offices’, ‘approachability of colleagues’ 

Worst thing about the firm? 

‘The remuneration and the lack of clarity around the availability of NQ roles when approaching qualification’, ‘the technology and IT systems’, ‘currently the flow of work is not constant enough and I have days where my workload is very low’ 

Best moment? 

‘Representing Thrings at a business hub drop-in session by speaking to entrepreneurs of upcoming businesses and answering their queries relating to commercial law’, ‘attending client lunches with my supervisor and conducting site visits during my property seat’, ‘attending an in-person client meeting on a relatively large transaction on my first day in the corporate seat’, ‘being invited to a day-long client meeting with one of the most important clients of the practice area where I am currently doing my seat’ 

Worst moment? 

‘Drafting a lengthy summary of legislative changes coming into force only then to be told it was not what the partner had initially asked for’, ‘changing offices every six months, which although is a good experience, can be time consuming and tiring’, ‘the days where my workload is very low’ 

The Legal 500 Future Lawyers verdict on Thrings

Thrings excellent reputation and geographical coverage combined with its collaborative culture make it stand out in comparison to other law firms’, commented one trainee. Recruits here are likely to spend time in a number of the firm’s London, Bristol, Bath, Swindon and Romsey offices during their training contract. It’s always heartening to hear that many respondents had been encouraged to apply by clients and employees of the firm. Trainees are ‘given more opportunity to be heavily involved in a matter, as opposed to working in the background’, and have ‘responsibility for our own case load – essentially a real experience of being a solicitor’. Supervisors at Thrings ‘seem a lot kinder than at other firms too – you can ‘approach your supervisors in any given situation with ease’. There is ‘plenty of client contact on offer’, and the training contract is ‘well structured’ enabling recruits to make the most of our two-year training period’. It follows that Thrings is a Future Lawyers Winner for job satisfaction, quality of work, and approachability, to name but a few. The worst things about Thrings are the ‘lack of clarity around the availability of NQ roles’, and thatthe flow of work is not always constant enough so there are days when your workload can be very low’; one trainee’s worst moment was a ‘day where I had very little to do’. Best moments included ‘attending a full day appeal hearing with counsel on a complex insolvency matter at the Business and Property Court, ‘running a conveyancing file independently from start to finish’ and ‘taking responsibility for my own work and completing complex matters and advising my own clients under appropriate supervision’. To work at a firm where ‘good quality work for trainees is the norm and where your ‘supervisors always try to get you involved in all aspects of work to ensure you get the full breadth of experience’, research Thrings. 

A day in the life of... Sam Longmore, trainee, Thrings

Sam Longmore, Thrings

Departments to date: Succession and tax; Planning and environmental; Succession and tax

University: University of Law (Bristol)

Degree: Law LLB (Hons) 2:1

8.00am: Morning prep. A cup (or two) of coffee in hand, I skim through legal journals and news to stay updated on recent changes in my practice area. Before diving into my workload, I catch up with the team and then review emails to ensure I address any client queries that have come in overnight.

9.00am: Meeting with supervisor. One of the most valuable parts of the day is meeting with my supervising partner to discuss my workload. This mentorship provides me with guidance through the complex legal matters of ongoing cases, strategies and any queries I may have. The support I receive from my supervisor and team is invaluable towards my professional growth.

9.30am: Client meeting. I have a meeting with executors to discuss a new probate matter, trusts arising out of the will and taking instructions for updating the will of the surviving spouse. This is a complex meeting advising on various different elements, answering the clients’ queries to arm them with the information required to take their decision to advance the estate, discuss the ongoing trust and to carry out tax planning for the surviving spouse.

11.00am: Trainee team meeting. All the trainees have a Teams catch up every two weeks, which is a really good opportunity to see everyone as we are spread across the offices. In our chat we will discuss what we have been up to both in and out of work and use this time to plan the upcoming Christmas party for the firm.

11.30am: Clearing a property, registering a death and organising a funeral. The partners of the firm are appointed as executors in a will and so we take on responsibility for administering the estate. Part of this role is collecting the keys for the property and then liaising with estate agents and auctioneers to ascertain the value of the home and its contents. I need to find as much paperwork as I can to work out who the deceased banked with, whether they have shareholdings, etc.

On this occasion, it also fell to me to register the death with the Registrar, so my name appears on the death certificate as the informant. After I have obtained the death certificate, as they had no relatives, I organise their funeral.

1.00pm: Lunch break. Taking a slightly later break today to recharge, with a few colleagues, we head outside to the square – when the weather is nice enough. We are really lucky to have an office in the centre of Bath so I can take a stroll and get my steps in for the day.

2.00pm: Client enquiries. I am on the enquiries’ rota today and so it’s my turn to field the calls from prospective and existing clients who are looking to get our help and expertise. I really enjoy this part of the job because it offers lots of client contact and the opportunity to get to know people – every call is different with varying client needs and complexities. Once speaking with them, I can offer fee estimates for our work and set up appointments to confirm their instructions.

2.30pm: Drafting. This afternoon, I have a large inheritance tax account and probate application to prepare for one of the numerous high-net-worth estates on the firm’s books. As there is inheritance tax to pay because the value is in the millions, I need to liaise with the institutions to check on their requirements to release money to pay the tax bill; it is important to ensure that we are using the right assets to pay the tax and, of course, paying the right amount.

4.00pm: Networking. I get a slightly earlier finish from the office today to attend a networking event in Bath – axe throwing, playing electronic darts and enjoying a G&T. Trainees have so many opportunities to get involved in networking opportunities across all the offices, not just in their base.

6.00pm: End of the day. I’ll pop back to the office briefly to check over any emails that came in towards the end of the day and start preparing my to-do list for tomorrow.

About the firm

The firm: Thrings is focused on providing exceptional legal service and collaborative long-term business relationships which enable its increasingly broad client base to succeed and grow. From its offices in London, Bristol, Swindon, Bath, Romsey and the Wye Valley, Thrings’ teams of experts act for clients across a range of sectors, from agriculture and development of land to business growth, banking and finance, as well as through a comprehensive array of private client services.

The clients: Newland Homes; Truespeed Communications Limited; The National Farmers Union (NFU); Lovehoney; GS Yuasa; HSBC; Sothebys International Realty (UK Franchise); Boost & Co (now Growth Lending); The Government of Romania; NatWest Bank.

The deals: Successfully represented the state of Romania in the Supreme Court on an international costs dispute; won a high-profile proprietary estoppel appeal in the Supreme Court on behalf of clients David and Josephine Guest, with the judgment set to have a lasting effect on future legal claims over family farm disputes; advised Truespeed Communications Limited on £100m follow-on investment from Aviva; acting for Texas-based entrepreneurs Whit and Kim Hanks as lead advisor on the acquisition of England’s oldest hotel, The Old Bell in Malmesbury, Wiltshire; advised 34 landowners in relation to options for easements and leases for the new Fawley to Heathrow oil pipeline.

Senior partner: Jonathan Payne

Managing partner: Simon Holdsworth

Other offices: Bath, Bristol, Swindon, Ross-on-Wye, Lydney, Romsey and London.

Who we are: Thrings is based in the South West and is a major player along the M4 corridor and surrounding area. We are a vibrant law firm with a diverse client base, offering excellent structured career prospects to ambitious trainees. We operate from offices in Bristol, Bath, Swindon, Wye Valley, London and Romsey.

What we do: Thrings is a trusted legal partner offering specialist advice to a number of clients across a variety of disciplines; our clients range from small start-up organisations to household names you would know and recognise. We have specialists who support in areas such as agriculture, banking and finance, development of land, business growth and private client, with a growing presence of clients operating internationally.

What we’re looking for: We’re seeking talented graduates to join us in 2024 and beyond.  We typically look for candidates who have a 2(1) as a minimum who have already completed (or are imminently completing) their LPC.  We haven’t yet transitioned trainee recruitment solely to the SQE route but expect this will happen in a few years.  Someone who has an eagerness to learn, will throw themselves in to a challenge and put our clients and colleagues at the heart of what they do will fit in well at Thrings.

What you’ll do: With a dedicated Thrings Academy to support the development of skills outside of those trained within your team, you can expect professional development that will equip you for a long and varied career at Thrings. It is one of the reasons our trainees really rate the opportunity at Thrings. We feel it’s important to develop your skills from the get-go and a supported training contract will mean you will get the opportunity to experience at least three different legal disciplines. Outside of everything legal, you’ll be involved in supporting our social calendar, alongside getting the opportunity to go along to networking events to represent the firm. All in all, a training contract at Thrings teaches you more than just the legal skills you need to succeed.

Perks: We offer a competitive salary and benefits package, including life insurance, private medical insurance, health checks, discounted shopping at a number of retailers, gym discounts, season ticket loans, cycle to work schemes, 25 days’ holiday plus Christmas closedown days, and a day off for your birthday.

There are a number of office organised social events that run throughout the year that everyone is encouraged to join. Joining Thrings is more than just joining a law firm.

Diversity and inclusion

Percentage of female associates: 85% (of the associate/senior associate group)

Percentage of female partners: 44% (of all partners inc equity)