Michelmores LLP brochure 2020/21

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gradrecruitment@michelmores.com +44 (0) 1392 688688



• Welcome to Michelmores

4 6 8 9

• Our sectors

• Recent highlights • Case study: Seasalt

• International

10 13 14 15 16 18 20 22 24

• Interview with our Training Principal • Corporate social responsibility

• Diversity and inclusivity • Our Graduate Scheme • Summer Vacation Scheme

• Application process

• Training, development & support

• Key dates



A t Michelmores, we put a strong retaining exceptional trainee solicitors, who are central to our ambitious growth plans. We are really pleased to be retaining 100% of our trainees for the third consecutive year. Having previously been the Training Principal, I have really enjoyed watching our former and current trainees develop into excellent lawyers, with many becoming leaders in their field. We know choosing a law firm is a really important decision - hopefully you will stay at your chosen firm for the long term and grow your career. Every firm is different and we hope this guide will give you a good insight into what it is like to work at Michelmores and whether we are the right firm for you. emphasis on home grown talent – we pride ourselves on recruiting and

Like many of our clients we have managed our growth in a steady and sustained manner. From our South West and London offices we service clients both nationally and internationally, focussing on our chosen sectors. We have invested in the areas we believe add value, without losing our culture and personality. Michelmores is a firm where you will undertake challenging work with quality clients on high-profile cases – in a supportive and collegiate environment where colleagues, clients and community are valued highly. I am very proud to be the Managing Partner at Michelmores and am committed to retaining the Firm’s ethos of being ambitious and innovative, whilst also being inclusive, collaborative and remembering to have fun!

Tim Richards, Managing Partner


AMBITIOUS Founded in 1887, we have now grown to a Firm of over 400 people. Over the past 10 years we have doubled our turnover – and we want to keep growing. We hold a prominent position in the South West, are continuously moving up the national rankings and are known as a challenger firm in the London market. We attract an increasing amount of international work each year. We provide the best possible service to our clients, delivering complex and high-profile work. When recruiting trainees, we are looking for driven individuals who share our ambition and want to play a key part in our future growth. COLLABORATIVE Collaboration and team work are central to the way we operate. Although we are located across three different offices, we work as one firm. We service clients across multiple locations using multidisciplinary teams in an innovative and dynamic way. We encourage all of our people to build relationships across the Firm through collaborative client work, social events and CSR activities. The structure of our training programme allows our trainees to be part of our collaborative, cross-office culture from day one.

High-quality regional, national and international clients

100% trainee retention – 2018, 2019 & 2020


trainee seats to choose from across 3 locations


INCLUSIVE There is no such thing as a typical Michelmores trainee. We look for exceptional individuals from all different backgrounds. What all of our trainees have in common are the skills and attributes needed to become an outstanding lawyer. As a firm, we recognise that creating a culture of inclusivity is key to maintaining a competitive advantage and enabling us to achieve our strategic goals. We want everyone to have the opportunity to reach their full potential, whilst being themselves at work.



At Michelmores we take a sector approach. This means we can better support our clients by offering tailored legal advice informed by our shared sector knowledge.






This sector is a key pillar of both the UK and global economies – a sector which continues to evolve within our challenging economic and political climate. We work with high-profile clients such as Barratt Homes and Greenland Group, and provide a full range of expertise, including planning, funding, environmental, tax estate management, real estate litigation and dispute resolution and secured lending.



Across the Firm we provide a wide range of advice to privately owned businesses and to the entrepreneurs and families who own them, helping them to enhance and protect their businesses and other assets and interests. We also advise high net worth and other private equity investors, as well as the wealth management entities and other advisers who help them.

CE & I


Our Finance & Investment sector offering draws

together experience from across the financial services spectrum in alternative finance, banking, ethical and sustainable investment, FinTech, insurance and re-insurance, secured lending and wealth management.


Corporate | Commercial | Employment Regulatory | Property | Planning Litigation | Insolvency | Banking Environmental | Construction | Tax Family | Tax, Trusts & Succession Probate | Conveyancing Procurement | Competition

AGRICULTURE We have the largest team of agricultural solicitors in the country, offering practical and

commercial advice to landowners, farming businesses, landed estates, institutions and others with interests in land and the wider rural economy.

MANUFACTURING We advise a wide range of clients in the

EDUCATION Our Education team is dedicated to providing high- quality advice to schools, universities and higher education colleges across the UK. The team is well known for its innovative work with maintained schools, academies and free schools. ENERGY Our Energy team work at the forefront of the energy sector, both in the UK and internationally. The team delivers specialist legal advice, from regulatory to project finance, from generation to supply, and across all technologies, with a focus on low carbon solutions. PUBLIC SECTOR We are the legal partner of choice for over 150 public sector clients across England and Wales, including Central Government departments, executive agencies, non-departmental public bodies and local authorities.

manufacturing, engineering and technology sectors. This specialist sector group delivers commercial legal advice, from the acquisition and disposal of companies, employment, IP, dispute resolution, to the acquisition of land and premises. RETAIL Our Retail team advises retailers across the UK, providing proactive advice on all aspects of the retail sector, including commercial contracts, employment matters, intellectual property, IT and outsourcing, supply chain contracts and property investment. TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION The Technology & Innovation team consists of specialist lawyers dedicated to advising clients on all aspects of non-contentious and contentious technology, digital media and communications issues. The team act for both suppliers in the technology sector and end user organisations, nationally and internationally across the private, public and voluntary sectors.



We act for public and private corporates and individuals on a wide range of matters. Some of our recent deals and instructions include advising:

BRAC INTERNATIONAL on the transformation of its microfinance operation in Uganda into a bank, giving access to mainstream banking to many thousands of individuals HIGH-NET WORTH INDIVIDUAL on a multi-million pound cross border trusts dispute in the Cayman Islands which involved various family members, and complex corporate structuring in multiple jurisdictions RGL MANAGEMENT LTD on group action proceedings for multiple thousand claimants against Clydesdale Bank and National Australia Bank relating to their Tailored Business Loans THE MAYOR’S OFFICE FOR POLICING AND CRIME on its acquisition of The Empress State building in Earl’s Court for a purchase price of £250m

AMERSHAM INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT on its sale of Warren Power Limited and its anaerobic digestion plant in Norfolk, to John Laing Environmental Assets for an initial consideration of £14.8m


the impact investment fund established by billionaire George Soros, on its commitment to the InsuResilience Investment Fund, and on the sale of its majority stake in the Indian venture capital firm, Aspada, to LGT, the investment management company owned by the Princely House of Liechtenstein MINDFUL CHEF on its £6m investment from Piper, a leading investor into fast growing consumer brands KOOVS PLC on its £12m AIM fundraising to grow its e-commerce fashion business within the Indian market GOLDTREE on its merger with Natural Habitats Europe Africa that will drive the sustainable production of certified organic palm oil in Sierra Leone DOWNING on its exit of four anaerobic digestion facilities to listed infrastructure fund JLEN for more than £60m


on a range of marine regulatory and marine licensing matters, including a multi-million pound coastal development EMMA BRIDGEWATER on its £8m investment from the Business Growth Fund, and accompanying £2.5m debt facility from HSBC to drive international growth



WHO IS SEASALT? Seasalt is a thriving national and international clothing brand owned and run by the Chadwick family. The business, which was founded in 1981, is based in Falmouth, Cornwall and has a turnover of £51m. In 2019, Seasalt hired its 1000th employee, making it one of the largest private sector employers in Cornwall. Seasalt was the first Soil Association accredited organic cotton brand. The business has a clear aim to do business responsibly by caring for its people, supporting its surrounding communities and minimising its environmental impact.

HOW MICHELMORES SUPPORTS SEASALT Michelmores has acted for Seasalt since 2016, on a range of legal matters, whilst also supporting the founding members of the brand, and their family, on private client matters. We provide Seasalt with a wide range of ongoing legal advice, including employment, IP, commercial litigation, corporate, tax, real estate and estate planning. In 2018, we acted for Chadwick Holdings Limited (Seasalt’s holding company) in connection with a £13m investment by Business Growth Fund. Santander Corporate and Commercial provided an additional £4.5m in funding, bringing the total investment to over £16m.

We have also recently helped Seasalt to establish its own charitable foundation.



Michelmores has a significant international practice, representing clients based or doing business outside of the UK on a wide range of matters. These can include corporate deals, international disputes, trust administration, international funds, and commercial and residential property transactions.

This is a growing area of our business and there are opportunities throughout our three offices and across our key practice areas to support international clients.

For business and private clients our services include:

• foreign direct investment (into the UK and overseas)

• private equity and funds

• real estate investment

• corporate investment

• tax efficient offshore trusts.



We act for UK and international clients undertaking cross-border and international investment activities worldwide.

As an independent English firm, we have no formal alliances and instead invest significant time and resource in getting to know and maintaining strong relationships with market-leading, independent law firms in each jurisdiction where our clients are likely to do business. This approach means that we are able to work with the best lawyers from around the world and deliver a seamless end- service to our clients. I started my career as a Trainee at Michelmores and during my progression to partnership have had the opportunity to work with clients from all over the world. Colleagues from across the Firm regularly travel overseas. As a Firm our outlook is very much beyond Exeter, Bristol and London and our objective is always to get our trainees and junior lawyers working on international matters and building global relationships from the start of their careers.

HENRY TAYLOR Partner and Team Leader Corporate

I am a Co-Chair of the Firm’s International Committee. Growing our international practice is a key part of our strategy. Many of our lawyers want to work on challenging, complex, international deals, and my role is to help them do that, and to build a global reputation. We are regularly instructed on matters which have a cross-border element and which involve us working with lawyers in other jurisdictions. A large proportion of our work has some sort of international dimension.





ALEXANDRA WATSON Training Principal and Partner, Corporate

Selecting and training our trainees is a critical part of the Michelmores success story. We are looking for dedicated, driven individuals to develop and continue our ambitious growth plans. We are a full service firm in three strategic locations, meaning we are able to offer our trainees a varied training contract, which enables them to develop into well rounded legal and commercial advisors. Our trainees typically join us at our Exeter HQ and spend a period of their training in either Bristol or London, with the opportunity to qualify into any location. Trainees are encouraged to get involved with every aspect of life at Michelmores – from CSR initiatives and sports, to marketing, sector groups and secondments. We will support you through the training contract journey and beyond.

What stands out to me about Michelmores is the focus on client service and the opportunities available to work on high profile and interesting work, from multiple locations, within a supportive and positive environment. I moved to Michelmores as a Senior Associate from a national firm and spent the first couple of years working across Exeter and Bristol. I chose Michelmores for two reasons: the people and the strategic vision. You get the best out of people when they are passionate about what they do, and are working together towards to a shared goal. As the Firm’s Training Principal I take an active interest in the development of our trainees and meet with them regularly to discuss their seat choices and, nearer the time, qualification. It is great to be involved in helping to start and shape people’s careers, and to watch our trainees develop into stand- out solicitors.



Legal walk in London

excess of £300,000 for local organisations over its 18 year history. In addition, there are opportunities to get involved in offering legal advice through pro-bono activities with our local Citizens Advice Bureau. Finally, we take our commitment to running our own business on a sustainable basis extremely seriously and have introduced a range of changes to ensure we minimise our own carbon footprint.

CSR isn’t just a ‘tick box’ exercise for us. It is about celebrating the values that we share with our communities and our clients. It provides a framework for our environmental responsibilities and is one of the ways in which we help to foster a well-rounded and happy workforce. Our CSR falls into four main categories: supporting our communities, providing access to justice, charity partnerships and sustainable business. Engaging with and supporting the communities where we live and work is a priority. This might be through our people giving their time to support a community project - everyone is encouraged to volunteer a day a year - or through the variety of fundraising activities that take place across our offices. One of our flagship events, our annual 5k Charity Run, has now raised in

Land’s End to John o’Groats cycle

Three Peaks Challenge

5k Charity Run in Exeter



All the research shows that diverse teams make better decisions. So promoting a culture of diversity and inclusivity isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. We are currently championing an inclusion programme across the Firm, which we hope will have a positive and long-lasting impact.

For example, our commitment to Women@Michelmores supports the

development and progression of women and aims to create a better gender balance across our partnership group. In addition we have signed up to the Mindful Business Charter and partnered with Stonewall to support LGBTQ inclusion so that everyone can be their authentic self at work. We are committed to creating a culture where everyone can be happy, healthy and more productive, and where we remove unnecessary sources of workplace stress.


Up to 10 trainees join our Exeter HQ each year and undertake an office secondment to Bristol or London OUR GRADUATE SCHEME


Opportunity to qualify into any location

Four seats of six months

Fully-funded Legal Practice

Course with the University of Law (outside of London)

Additional living allowance and accommodation provided in Bristol/London during office secondments

£28,000 first year salary

Financial support whilst you study the LPC

Ongoing training and development programmes for all lawyers at every stage of their career Access to high-quality clients and challenging legal work

14 seats to choose from across all departments


Client secondment opportunities


CALLUM O’DOHERTY Newly Qualified Solicitor, Transactional Real Estate

Regardless of whether or not trainees undertake a seat in a different office, trainees often work with colleagues across all of the Firm’s offices and are provided with a wide range of high quality and interesting work. During my training contract I had conduct of a number of matters, was regularly involved in client meetings, and had the opportunity to attend hearings in the Royal Courts of Justice and employment tribunals. I spent the majority of the final seat of my training contract working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Firm has been really proactive in ensuring that trainees continue to receive the support they need whilst working from home, from arranging IT equipment to organising regular trainee catch-ups over video conference. Supervisors are always available to answer any questions or to have a general catch-up over video conference or telephone, meaning you always feel supported.

A training contract at Michelmores offers a variety of different opportunities. One example is the opportunity to undertake seats in each of the Firm’s main offices (Exeter, Bristol and London). Although my training contract was predominantly based in the Exeter office, I chose my second seat in the Corporate team in the London office. This provided me with a fantastic opportunity to experience working and living in London and to undertake a variety of international work. This included assisting on cross border transactions, such as the largest commercial property deal in Bucharest in 2019, and the sale of a stake in an Indian venture capital firm. Outside of work the London office had plenty of regular social events to offer - I particularly enjoyed taking part in a Dragon Boat Race in aid of our charity of the year.



SUMMER VACATION SCHEME Our Summer Vacation Scheme is a great way to find out what it is like to work at Michelmores. We run two, one week vacation placement schemes during July at our Exeter HQ. The scheme is as much about you getting to know Michelmores, as it is about us getting to know you. You will have the opportunity to spend time in one of our legal teams for the week, as we aim to give you a real hands-on insight into life as a trainee by attending client meetings and dealing with ‘real work’.

OUR ASSESSMENTS Whether you attend our Summer Vacation Scheme or an Assessment Day, you will get the opportunity to meet a number of partners, lawyers and trainees across the Firm and gain a true insight into working here. Our assessments for training contracts include a group exercise, written exercise, psychometric test, one-to-one discussion with a partner on a current legal issue and an interview with a partner and a member of the Graduate Recruitment team.



NATALIE MEEHAN Second year trainee, Banking, Restructuring and Insolvency

Upon receiving my invitation to the Firm’s Summer Vacation Scheme my first emotion was absolute joy and my second absolute fear! However this was soon alleviated. We were provided with a timetable for the week which was reassuring as I knew what to expect. As well as being allocated to a specific team for the week, the placement involved various assessments, including a group presentation. This assessment helped the group to get to know each other and was a testing challenge at the end of the week.

In the teams we were given trainee level tasks to undertake, such as researching and drafting. We also received presentations from the various departments, which provided really useful insights into the Firm’s wide variety of practice areas. There were plenty of opportunities to socialise with the other Vac Schemers and current trainees, including lunch out with the trainees on the first day and socialising after work with a mixture of lawyers and partners later in the week. Throughout the Vacation Scheme the Firm was supportive and approachable. This has been the case since being offered my training contract. Before joining, we received invitations to dinners and social events, balls (including the Firm’s annual Summer Ball), the AGM and the annual Charity Run. These events were invaluable for developing relationships with existing trainees and my future cohort. The pre-induction event, which took place after I finished the LPC, was a great bridge and final preparation before commencing in the September. I couldn’t wait to join and am really enjoying my time at the Firm so far.



Get to know us • Visit our website • Attend an Open Day • Speak to us at a law fair • Connect with us

Decided we are the right Firm for you?

Apply online

If you meet our selection criteria the next stage will be to shine at video interview

If you are successful at video interview you will be invited to the next stage



WHO ARE WE LOOKING FOR? When recruiting trainees we are looking for people who are academically strong, logical thinkers, practical problem solvers, and are as passionate about the success of the Firm as we are. Successful applicants will be well-rounded team players, who demonstrate drive and enthusiasm and embrace responsibility.

If you impress us during your time at the Firm we’ll be delighted to offer you a training contract with Michelmores

You’ll be invited to attend an Assessment Day or the Summer Vacation Scheme

You’ll be invited to attend an interview with the Graduate Recruitment team



Our trainee development programme is designed to create well-rounded individuals who have developed the skills and expertise to qualify as exceptional lawyers. We believe that providing the right support is crucial for development and therefore offer support from the point of offer and a tailored development programme throughout the two years of training. Before joining the Firm all trainees are paired with a buddy and are invited to attend regular Michelmores social events and a pre-induction day. Upon joining, trainees receive a thorough induction, covering everything from systems to marketing, finance and personal wellbeing. During each of the four seat rotations, trainees work closely with a designated supervisor and are given early responsibility and client exposure.

Trainees receive regular feedback and formal reviews, where they work with their supervisors to create a personal development programme.

Throughout the two years, trainees continue to attend regular workshops to develop their skillsets, including networking, negotiation, technology, project management and presentation skills training. Trainees also have access to Trainee Mentors, attend regular trainee meetings and receive career coaching on seat and qualification choices. Upon qualification, all of our lawyers have a clear promotion structure and access to bespoke training programmes for each stage of their careers.


JASMINE IVORY Associate, Contentious Probate

I joined Michelmores as a trainee in 2015 and, following qualification in 2017, am now one of the Firm’s Trainee Mentors. The Trainee Mentors are a group of junior lawyers who have very recently been in your shoes, experienced seat rotation and have a detailed knowledge of the training process and the Firm. We act as a sounding board for all of our trainees, are able to provide guidance, help you find answers to your questions and are committed to supporting you and your training needs. As part of my role as a Mentor I help chair the bi-monthly ‘Trainee MiVoice’ sessions. Each peer group of lawyers and support staff across the Firm have regular ‘MiVoice’ meetings, which are a forum to share ideas, discuss feedback and help shape the way the Firm operates. The Firm supports the trainees from the moment of recruitment through to qualification and beyond.

Prior to joining I remember having lots of questions about the Firm, study choices and about what will be expected of you as a new trainee. It was therefore really helpful to be paired with a current trainee buddy who was able to provide an insight into life as a Michelmores trainee and was a familiar face on my first day. The seat rotation process is a key feature of the training contract and I remember it always being a hot topic of discussion! Support is provided from our Training Principal and HR at key stages throughout your Training Contract, but particularly at seat rotation and approaching qualification so that you can openly discuss what you want to achieve, how that might be accomplished and how the Firm can support you. As a group of Trainee Mentors, we are also always available to talk about these key decisions and can share our experiences and advice.






Summer Vacation Scheme (Exeter)

Weeks commencing 5 and 12 July 2021

31 January 2021

Summer Vacation Scheme 2020 (Exeter): Apply before 31 January 2020 Spring 21 Assessment Day

31 January 2021

2022/2023 Training Contract

Summer 2021 Assessment Day

30 June 2021

2021/2022 Training Contract: Apply by 31 January 2020 for Spring Assessment Days and by 30 June 2020 for Summer Assessment Days Our Open Days will be taking place across December 2020 and January 2021. For further details including how to apply please visit our website. Our Summer Vacation Scheme and Open Days are open to all current university students and graduates. We welcome applications from individuals who have graduated and commenced another profession before choosing to pursue a career in law. Exeter Open Day: 12 December 2019 Bristol Open Day: 23 January 2020 Find out more about our graduate recruitment opportunities:

London Open Day: 13 January 2020

Email: gradrecruitment@michelmores.com Website: www.michelmores.com/graduates Trainee Blog: www.michelmores.com/news-views/news @MMCareers @MMTrainees

@michelmorescareers @MichelmoresCareers LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/michelmores-careers/


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