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At Russell-Cooke we’re not tied to process, we’re not bound by departments or fixated on job titles. We are a team of lawyers who take a more thoughtful, more rigorous, more collaborative approach to training, to practising law and to working with our clients. We think carefully about what kind of law firm we want to be and the type of work we take on. We’re not driven by profit alone: we’re committed to publicly-funded work (not just a little pro bono for show). And we do the right thing by our people, too: we’re proud to offer a better work-life balance alongside high-level legal work. We’re pragmatic and thorough, and we’re not bound by a set process or formulaic way of working. We think ahead and we work together — with our clients and each other — to give the best advice.
The reality of training contracts can often fall short of expectations. Trainee solicitors can find themselves stuck in a firm they find uncongenial, or doing jobs that bore or frustrate them. We offer you stimulating work in a friendly and well-equipped professional environment. We will also pay you well and there are annual salary reviews and an annual bonus. Our trainees are not expected to spend all their time photocopying or researching points of law (although that happens, of course).
Our aim is to give you the chance to manage your own casework and deal directly with clients, learning the practical skills of client and file management with proper support. We realise that employing trainee solicitors is very much a two-way process. So we are particularly concerned to ensure that we give you a positive and practical training. There are regular seminars for trainees and qualified solicitors. We assess you in each seat of your training and make sure that there are specific partners responsible for helping and advising you with any questions or difficulties you may have.
Who are we looking for?
On average we take on eight to ten trainee solicitors a year. Our trainees often stay on after completing their training - traditionally we have a very high retention rate. You must have three good A levels. If you have graduated you must have at least an upper second-class degree (although not necessarily in law). If you are in your final year at university you should have obtained the equivalent of an upper second in any second-year exams.
You will need to thrive on responsibility and challenges and be able to exercise your own judgement. To have a positive, social nature; to be good at the practical business of advising and representing clients; to be able to work effectively with colleagues and others that you meet in the course of your work; to have high professional standards; and to have an open mind about the areas of law in which you wish to gain experience.
Your training will have a lasting influence over your legal career, so you need to think carefully about what kind of firm and what kind of work will suit you best. There are substantial advantages in working for a firm like ours which can give you the chance to gain practical experience of widely differing types of legal practice. This is particularly important if you have not yet decided which field of law you want to specialise in. There are very few law firms where, for instance, you can spend six months involved in a real estate transaction in the City, followed by six months of practising children law. Moreover good general training will make you a more rounded lawyer which will increase your range of opportunities on qualification.
Trainees do four seats, often including a seat in our core area of real estate. The availability of other seats depends on the needs of different departments but in the past trainees have undertaken seats in litigation, matrimonial, charity and social business, corporate and commercial, employment, children law, private client, trust and estate disputes, property litigation and, personal injury and clinical negligence.
TBC - the firm is currently considering its position regarding funding/sponsorship
- education law
- Commercial litigation
- criminal litigation
- clinical negligence
- Private client
- housing litigation
- Real estate
- estate disputes
- Corporate & Commercial
- General Commercial
- General Practice
- Legal Aid
Administrative & public law
Public law comprises several interlinking practice areas which concern relationships between people and government.
Charities lawyers advising the not-for-profit and social enterprise sector cover wills and trusts to commercial and real estate law.
Clinical negligence lawyers advise on instances of injury or death arising from incorrect or inadequate medical treatment or diagnosis.
Company & commercial
Commercial lawyers focus on trade, from commercial agreements about supply, manufacture and distribution to identifying the best routes to market.
Construction & engineering
Contentious construction work involves the resolution of disputes while non-contentious work involves drafting and negotiating contracts and advising on projects.
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.
Criminal solicitors advise and appear in court on behalf of both accused persons and the prosecution.
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.
Issues such as climate change and the need for alternative energy sources make environmental laws more important than ever.
Family lawyers deal with diverse issues including marriage, civil partnerships, cohabitation, separation, divorce, financial claims and pre and post-nuptial agreements.
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.
Personal injury law falls under the law of tort and involves civil claims brought to obtain compensation for injuries.
Private client solicitors looks after the affairs of individual clients and trustees, managing all aspects of their personal wealth.
Offending behaviour can relate to incompetency or inappropriate or unlawful activities, be this fraud, assault or inappropriate sexual relationships.
Lawyers specialising in professional negligence disputes will handle claims ranging from the relatively low-value to the absolutely enormous.
Sports law involves the legal issues at play in the worlds of both amateur and professional sport.
|Profit per partner:||£190,000 (2012)|
|Training contract applications:||570 (2019)|
|Retention rate:||78% (2020)|
- Law Society Diversity Access Scheme