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Bates Wells is a City law firm with a difference. We’re looking for trainees who are genuinely excited to join a smaller firm that’s driven by its values, where making a positive impact is as important as making a profit. If a magic circle environment is what you’re aiming at, we’re probably not the firm for you.
We’re looking for the brightest future commercial lawyers, who understand the work we undertake, the clients we work for, and who are passionate about principles. We encourage candidates with outside-work interests – we’d like to see those interests maintained and developed over the coming years. If you’re all this and an excellent communicator with a sound academic background, get in touch.
How the application process works
You’ll need to be successful at each stage to move to the next.
1. Fill in an online form.
2. Take the Watson Glaser critical thinking test.
3. Do a short, competency-based interview at our office.
How to applybateswells.co.uk/careers/trainees/
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Ms Francesca Evans
Method of applicationOnline Application Form
Method of assessment
- Assessment centre
- Partner interview
- Psychometric testing
- Written exercise
Bates Wells (bateswells.co.uk) is an expanding and progressive City law firm servicing a wide range of commercial and statutory organisations, charities and social enterprises.
The firm is ranked by Legal 500 and Chambers across 17 areas of law, with two top-tier rankings in Chambers and four in Legal 500. We are committed to maintaining a reasonable balance between work, home and other interests.
Bates Wells is the only UK law firm to have certified as a B Corporation, for which it met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.
We stand out as a law firm – combining practical, commercial legal expertise with the deep understanding of the third sector that comes from working with more charities and social enterprises than any other UK firm. We are not only recognised as the leading charity law firm in the UK; we are also ranked in the major UK legal directories for our excellence across many of our specialist practice areas.
In 2014, Bates Wells became an ABS (alternative business structure) – the first City-based firm to do so specifically to provide a unified service to our clients. Jim Clifford, a chartered accountant and leading force in social finance, joined Bates Wells along with his Impact and Advisory team. This division provides two complementary service lines to Bates Wells clients: helping to plan, measure and deliver impact, and creating and realising value through strategic projects including service development, mergers, acquisitions, fundraising, disposals and restructuring.
Our mission statement
Our purpose is to do worthwhile work to the best of our ability for clients we respect as commercial lawyers, recognising that we do so in a highly competitive environment. We will, at all times, seek to value everyone in the firm and strive to provide secure and enjoyable employment, preserving a balance between work and home.
We will encourage a diverse and open culture which fosters innovation, together with trust and loyalty among all within the firm and with clients. All this we undertake in the context of making a reasonable living and always with a commitment to justice and the public interest.
If you’re beginning the GDL or LPC after you’ve accepted an offer from us we will provide full funding and a maintenance grants of £7,000 if you’re studying in London, or £6,000 if you’re studying outside of London.
Our summer placements are a great way to make your mark – and could lead to a training contract.
If you’re committed to applying for a trainee position at Bates Wells, our vacation placements are worth a look. By applying for a vacation scheme, you’re guaranteed to be considered for a training contract. You don’t need to apply for both the vacation scheme and the training contract – you only need to choose one.
Summer vacation scheme 1: Monday 1 – Friday 12 June
Summer vacation scheme 2: Monday 15 – Friday 26 June
What you can expect from the vacation scheme
You’ll sit in two different departments during your fortnight with us. But from day one, you’ll feel part of something bigger. You’ll have the chance to explore the firm and the values that drive us, and we’ll always support you to be yourself.
You’ll meet a wide range of our people, and you’ll get to know our shared sense of purpose and values. We encourage you to get involved with the whole department and any events happening during your time with us.
How the vacation scheme fits into the training contract application process
When you arrive for your vacation scheme, we’ll let know how we’ll be assessing you throughout the placement. If you’re successful, we’ll invite you back for a final interview in July with two partners (including our managing partner). After final interviews, we’ll offer training contracts to successful candidates.
As a firm with a shared purpose, we’re on a journey to create a positive impact.
When you join us, you’ll be ready and willing to bring your ideas and the best of yourself, but in the cockpit rather than as a passenger.
We’re looking for the brightest future commercial lawyers, who understand the work we undertake, the clients we work for, and who are passionate about principles. We encourage candidates with outside-work interests, which we’d like to see maintained and developed over the coming years. If you’re all this and an excellent communicator with a sound academic background, get in touch.
Finding and developing home-grown talent is important to us. We recruit six trainees each year and look to retain all of them at the end of their training contracts.
Over the two years of the training, you’ll do two six-month seats in the first year, followed by three four-month seats in the second year.
All trainees do seats in charity and social enterprise, as well as dispute resolution or public and regulatory. Other seats are available in immigration, corporate and commercial, employment and real estate. We’ll help you to choose the seats that will best prepare you for your preferred career path.
You’ll have a dedicated supervisor in each seat, who’ll make sure your work is relevant and varied, with training where necessary. At the interim and final appraisals for each seat, your supervisor will give feedback on your performance and set objectives for the next stage.
- Dispute resolution
- social enterprise
- real estate
- General Commercial
- Corporate & Commercial
Administrative & public law
Public law comprises several interlinking practice areas which concern relationships between people and government.
Advertising & marketing
A fresh and exciting area of legal practice, specialist lawyers provide copy clearance advice and work with big-brand clients.
Banking & finance
Banking and finance involves many financial products, from bank loans to companies to highly structured financing arrangements across multiple jurisdictions.
Civil liberties & human rights
Human rights law broadly refers to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Human Rights Act 1998.
Commercial property/real estate
Commercial property lawyers work on a wide range of transactions including offices, retail developments and infrastructure projects.
Company & commercial
Commercial lawyers focus on trade, from commercial agreements about supply, manufacture and distribution to identifying the best routes to market.
Competition & EU law
Competition and regulatory work includes merger control, regulatory and court proceedings, issues arising from sector-specific regulation and utility procurement issues.
Corporate finance/mergers & acquisitions
Corporate finance lawyers advise companies on all aspects of the buying and selling of whole businesses or business assets.
Corporate tax involves advising on the most tax-efficient means of acquiring, selling or restructuring assets.
In this area of legal practice, clients generally fall into two categories: the rich or famous and the media.
Commercial litigation involves the resolution of disputes in the corporate and commercial sphere.
Employment, pensions & incentives
Employment lawyers work across all areas of employment law, including handling discrimination, staff restructuring and whistleblowing issues.
Energy & natural resources
The energy sector is an important part of the legal landscape and is making more headlines than ever before.
Issues such as climate change and the need for alternative energy sources make environmental laws more important than ever.
Housing/landlord & tenant
Relationships between the owners and occupiers of properties, both residential and commercial, can be fraught with problems.
Immigration lawyers deal with all legal matters relating to immigration and nationality.
Restructuring and insolvency lawyers are necessary when a company, individual or other organisation is in financial difficulties.
IP barristers advise on issues that range from commercial exploitation and infringement disputes to IP rights in large commercial transactions.
Media & entertainment
Among the different types of client in this area are performers, managers and agents, artists, theatres, broadcasters and publishers.
Sports law involves the legal issues at play in the worlds of both amateur and professional sport.
|Training contract applications:||750 (2012)|
|Retention rate:||75% (2012)|
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