Start your career with Butcher & Barlow

The legal landscape is changing and there has never been a more exciting time to join the profession. The challenges that Brexit may bring both for the profession and its clients, the advancement of LawTec, the continuing fight to maintain Access to Justice, and the increased importance of the need to look after employees’ mental health and general wellbeing are just a few of the challenges facing the profession in 2020.

That is why at Butcher & Barlow we are recruiting for the future of the Firm. We see our graduate recruits as being instrumental in shaping the Firm, facing these challenges head on within a genuine supportive, collaborative and inclusive culture.

Our business is your future and your success is our success.

What we offer

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Stimulating Work

From an early stage you will be liaising with clients, preparing legal documents and researching for projects or articles.

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Giving Back

We support our community. Join in with community and charity events in which the Firm get involved.

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Wellbeing

We are committed to ensuring our staff have a work/life balance. Some days you may need to put in extra hours, but we’ll give you time back when you need it.

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Support

Our departmental structure means that there is always someone on hand to ask advice from or share a problem with wherever you are in the Firm.

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A Voice

We encourage all our staff to take responsibility and to offer ideas to those they work with. A firm that does not listen, will not maintain its position nor grow as it should.

A word from our Future Lawyers

I joined Butcher & Barlow LLP in January 2021, working as a Paralegal within the Commercial Property and Dispute Resolution departments at the Firm’s Leigh office, under the supervision of Partner Adam Shawcross. However, I also assisted Mark Fletcher, Consultant, and Claire Jackson, Partner, with various matters. My workload was varied and no two days were the same. This was quite a welcome relief as prior to working at Butcher & Barlow I had spent five years in a specialist personal injury firm. Having a varied caseload opened my eyes to several areas of law that I hadn’t previously considered to be of interest to me.

Very quickly I was trusted to work independently on a wide range of tasks although the Partners were always available to offer support when and where required. On a day to day basis I was typically meeting with clients, taking instructions (both face-to-face and via telephone), reviewing and drafting Leases, drafting divorce petitions, drafting Wills and also preparing matters for Trial. I was also given the opportunity to conduct an Infant Settlement Hearing on a personal injury matter. At the time this felt quite daunting, however it was a great learning opportunity for someone starting their legal career and support was available to me throughout to ensure that I wasn’t too far out of my comfort zone.

I commenced my Training Contract in September 2021 and this saw me move from Leigh to the Firm’s head office in Bury. There is usually a lot of anticipation around seat moves and it can leave you feeling a little apprehensive – despite the fact that you’re still working for the same firm it does feel like starting a completely new job. I reached out to some of the other Trainees and Paralegals at this time to find out a bit more about the office that I was moving to and what the day to day tasks would be in my new department. Up until this move I hadn’t fully appreciated how helpful it is to hear about the different experiences from the other Trainees.

During my time in Bury I worked in the Residential Conveyancing department with Joanne Barton, Associate. Admittedly this was not my first choice of seat but I realise now how important it is to have an understanding of the residential conveyancing process. As my training contract has progressed I have gained a greater appreciation of how the other areas of law have varying levels of interaction with property transactions. I was exposed to all aspects of residential conveyancing including taking instructions, interacting with estate agents and lenders, reviewing searches, preparing and reviewing contract packs, raising and reviewing enquiries, and drafting reports on title. I was also exposed to probate sales, with internal instructions coming from the probate department.

After my seat in Residential Conveyancing I moved to the Gadbrook Park office to work with Alex Sandland and his team in Commercial Dispute Resolution. This built on the experience I had gained in Dispute Resolution whilst working in Leigh. I was excited to get back into a contentious area of law.

In all of the departments that I have worked in so far, responsibility and variation have been two key themes. A large amount of trust has been placed in me from the beginning and I feel that I am able to develop my skills independently whilst seeking support from experienced fee earners as and when required. Working for different Partners and Solicitors has exposed me to new ways of working – everyone has their own personal flair and understanding how to manage and interact with a broad spectrum of clients is something that you learn very quickly.

No two days are the same and I feel well supported in my role that I am able to work independently within my capabilities, whilst pushing myself to learn new things. I have also been given plenty of opportunity to request exposure to particular areas of law that interest me, so as to ensure that each seat has been fulfilling both from a training perspective but also from my own personal perspective.

As my training contract progresses I am enjoying the exposure to new offices, departments and people, and I am looking forward to continuing my learning with such supportive Partners.

 

There are many advantages of training in a regional firm compared to a larger city or magic circle firm.

The main advantage is probably the responsibility that you are given from day one.

As a Trainee in the Dispute Resolution department at our head office in Bury, I was working directly with the Managing Partner of the Firm.  This afforded me the opportunity to gain invaluable experience learning from a Legal 500 ranked lawyer who has over 20 years’ experience in the area and who is an accredited Member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Scheme. In a ‘Magic Circle’, or City law firm it would be very unusual for a trainee to work with somebody so high up in the firm and you may never even meet the Managing Partner. I am now qualified and have remained in this department.

I was given the responsibility to conduct the initial meeting with the clients and take an active role in all stages of the litigation process – from meeting the clients and taking their instructions, to drafting Particulars of Claim and other formal documents, to liaising with Counsel and relevant experts and attending Court hearings/trials.

This differs somewhat to training with a larger firm where the interaction with clients/counsel/counterparts is very limited and a large proportion of work is centred on more research based and admin tasks.

The work is very varied at the Bury Office which has allowed me to gain experience in a greater number of areas which is crucial for making a more rounded and knowledgeable qualified solicitor. The areas I work in are clinical negligence, contentious probate, and commercial and property litigation.

There is no such thing as a ‘typical day’ working in the Dispute Resolution department; one day I could be reviewing medical notes/reports for a potential clinical negligence claim, the next I could be in a conference with Counsel discussing case strategy or drafting a letter of claim in a boundary dispute – no two days are the same and this is what I find most interesting and engaging.

Working at Butcher and Barlow allowed me to put into practice what I learned at University and see how the legal principles you learn at an academic level translate into everyday use in a commercial and business environment.

At Butcher and Barlow, you are valued as a key member of the team in the firm and treated as such. This is reflected in the opportunities you are given to be heavily involved in all stages.

I have found that having this exposure, although at times difficult, has given me the confidence and skills I need to become a competent and successful solicitor.

 

Tom qualified as a Solicitor in September 2021

I have been working in the family department for a few months now. I usually get to work a little early and have a coffee whilst checking over any emails that have come in overnight. I like to write myself a to-do list of everything I have outstanding so nothing gets overlooked.  I log onto CCMS (the online portal for Legal Aid) and deal with any notifications or actions that have arisen.  Usually within the first hour or so I will have a meeting with my supervisor, Kevan Hankinson, who is the head of the Family department, to go through any queries I have on cases, check over work I have done the previous day and set me some additional tasks.

Often my to do list will alter throughout the day following phone calls and emails received after I arrive and a skill I think I have developed is being able to prioritise the tasks I am given.

Work in the family department is very varied and everyday tasks for me include drafting divorce petitions, liaising with clients in order to draft statements on their behalf and preparing financial disclosure as part of a couple’s separation.  I assist in children’s cases by drafting applications for Child Arrangement Orders and Prohibited Steps Orders.  Kevan will check any drafting  before sending to the client for approval.  Kevan will give me tips on suitable wording and answers any questions I have.  Since joining the department I have been involved with cases from opening of the file to close and I have enjoyed seeing how cases develop and what can crop up along the way.  By being at a large regional firm like Butcher & Barlow I am getting a very high quality of training and the opportunity to be hands on throughout the entirety of the case as opposed to only working on certain aspects

I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend conferences with counsel and PLO meetings.  I will make myself familiar with the file beforehand and make a note of any key questions or points that need to be raised.  I have really enjoyed having such a high level of contact with clients and being trusted to carry out tasks such as this.

Occasionally I will be asked to assist counsel at a finding of fact hearing or a final hearing.  Whilst at court I stay with the client, assist counsel in finding any necessary information or contacting the office.  I take notes of the hearing to send to counsel to assist them in their final submissions.  I find the experience of assisting counsel particularly valuable and I especially enjoy listening to the cross examination.  Advocacy is definitely something I would like to do more of as my confidence and knowledge grows within the department and I am looking forward to getting more involved with that.

These opportunities came quite early on within working in the department and in part I think this is due to being part of a team in a regional firm.  The family department at Butcher & Barlow work departmentally across the offices meaning there is often opportunity to assist in different matters with a range of different fee earners, something you would not get the chance to experience in smaller firms.  This style of working has also meant I have felt a part of the team from when I first joined and I have always been given as much support as needed. I am looking forward to commencing my training contract with Butcher & Barlow.

 

Tiffany qualified as a Solicitor in June 2022

I joined Butcher & Barlow in September 2021 as a Legal Secretary in Frodsham, working in the Residential Property department. I had previously worked in a law firm dealing with Road Traffic Accident claims so residential conveyancing was a new area of law for me, although the module had interested me on the LPC.

As a legal secretary, I began to build upon my basic knowledge of the conveyancing process. I was given the opportunity to learn as much as I wanted to at my own pace and eventually I was given more responsibility. I was trusted to work independently to progress transactions and dealt with exchange of contracts and completions, developing my confidence and knowledge within this area of law. Even though I was starting to work more independently, I was supervised and there was also a support network to call upon should I need to ask any questions.

I was coming to the end of my LPC and Masters and decided that Butcher & Barlow was the type of Firm at which I would like to complete my training contract. I knew that whatever office I was in, and whoever was my supervising Partner, I would benefit from guidance and support throughout my training. I started to look into getting a training contract with Butcher & Barlow. I completed the online form and send over my CV, was interviewed by Anthony Higham, the Firm’s Managing Partner and shortly after offered a training contract.

I began my training contract in March 2022 and continued within the Residential Property Team in Frodsham.  I am happy to continue in this department so that I can develop my knowledge and skills, as this is the area of law in which I want to practice in once qualified. I will stay in this seat until September when all the Firm’s Trainees and Paralegals will move to new offices and teams.

Working within Residential Property is varied and no day is the same. My everyday tasks include drafting contract paperwork, reviewing contract paperwork, raising or replying to enquiries, reviewing and reporting to the client on search results, reporting to the client in relation to the property they are buying, ordering mortgage funds and requesting redemption statements. I deal with a variety of files that range from purchases, sales, transfers of equity, re-mortgages, new-builds, and shared ownership. I have also been given the opportunity to deal with some of my own files under supervision.

One of the values of Butcher & Barlow most attractive to me is the intention always to be client-focused and this is reflected through the service provided. I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to build professional relationships with clients. My usual day consists of communicating with clients, answering any queries and providing information to them. I am also able to have meetings with clients to discuss the progress of their case or to sign any documents required.

Due to the size of the Firm and the nature of the people in it, the quality of training provided by Butcher & Barlow is very high. I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given so far working at Butcher & Barlow and I look forward to developing my skills further throughout my training contract.

Graduate Opportunities


Whether you are still at University, or have completed your education, we have an opportunity for you.

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Trainee Solicitor

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Paralegal

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Summer Vacation Scheme

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