People & Culture
At Birketts we recognise our future depends on how we nurture great individual talent and provide an environment where people can flourish personally and professionally.
Culture at Birketts
Here you can discover what some of our people have to say about the firm and what work is like beyond the training contract.
I joined Birketts as a Trainee in September 2008, having studied Law with German at the University of Birmingham and completed my Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in York. Whilst at University I participated in vacation schemes and summer placements at a variety of law firms – from international city firms to high street practices. These experiences gave me a great insight into and an understanding of a career in law, and more importantly, where I would fit in.
When it came to applying for a training contract I had a rather simpler job than many of my peers; through my work experience I knew where I wanted to apply, which was more than half the battle. I knew that I wanted to work for a large firm and that, after spending four years in Birmingham, Germany and York, I wanted to come home. However, I did not want to sacrifice the quality of my training by living in the regions. My choice was therefore rather an obvious one, and having read the Lex 100 and various other publications aimed at graduates, I knew that the training offered by Birketts was second to none. I also understood that it was a firm with ambition that would give my legal career an enviable foundation.
During my training contract I spent time in the Private Client Advisory, Property and Property Litigation departments. My final seat was with the Shipping Team, where I qualified in September 2010. Throughout my training contract I was given real responsibility and was entrusted with running my own files from an early stage. I was reassured and encouraged to progress and never felt afraid to ask questions. The exposure to real work and clients from the start of my training gave me the opportunity to prove myself and increased my confidence exponentially. It also allowed me to make a smooth transition from trainee to solicitor. Birketts, and the training it provides really is second to none – there is a reason it is a leading East Anglian law firm. Everybody within the firm is professional, hugely knowledgeable, down to earth, and crucially, approachable.
When I started my training contract I was looking for a new challenge, and Birketts certainly did not disappoint! I began in the Commercial Litigation Team, and after a quick and fairly informal induction process, I was immediately given files to work on. Within a week of starting I was taken to my first client meeting, and shortly after I was asked to attend my first court hearing with one of the other trainees. The work has been fantastically varied, which means that there is rarely a dull moment.
The firm is very active in marketing itself on both a local and national scale, and trainees are really encouraged to get involved with networking events. A particular highlight for me so far was an evening event held at JD Classics’ showroom, which houses an enormous collection of mint condition classic cars, including my personal favourite – an Aston Martin DB5.
Obviously there are also plenty of chances to socialise. The firm-wide Summer Party was held shortly after I started my training contract, and the firm has an annual quiz held at Ipswich Town Football Club every April. I have also been asked to play for the Chelmsford office football team, with the promise of the Birketts cricket team reforming again next summer to play other professional firms in the area.
If you are looking for a challenge, a sociable atmosphere and some real variation in the work you do as a trainee, then Birketts is an excellent choice for a training contacts.
I am a Partner in the Commercial Property department, having joined the firm in 2013 from Eversheds. Over the past few years I’ve lived in York, Peterborough, Norwich, Cambridge and Ely (basically anywhere with a cathedral!) but, being a Norwich boy originally (and one of many UEA alumni here), it’s great to be back in the Fine City!
I have been really impressed with the range of skills and expertise for the size of the firm – we can comfortably say that we can provide a full range of services to companies and individuals alike – which is a great achievement for a regional firm.
The Commercial Property Team has grown significantly since I joined and we continue to be busy – we now have ten solicitors, a paralegal and four secretaries. It’s a really friendly working environment and everyone is approachable and happy to discuss problems as and when they arise to try and help each other find solutions.
I think that Birketts has a really good work life balance, and I enjoy being in a sociable team (rarely a week goes by without a lunchtime trip to Zaks). I also organise the five-aside football for the Norwich office (knowing that if you are in charge then you get to play in every game).
Outside work, I like to take part of silly challenges and adventures (the latest is a 2500km rickshaw drive across India) and the firm is always supportive of time off to allow us to unwind away from the office and see the world.
Ready to join?
We are delighted that you have decided to apply to Birketts, follow the link to start your application process.