Tim Carter - Partner
I joined S&B as a trainee in September 1995. I decided, having worked as a paralegal for a City and West End firm for the previous year, that a firm where the work/life balance was more readily achievable was highly attractive; although it was equally important to me that the lawyers, the work and clients were also of high quality. S&B fitted that brief even 24 years ago!
The firm has of course gone from strength to strength since and continued to grow significantly both organically and through external hires with the office now holding in excess of 220 people. Despite this growth I believe that the firm has managed to retain its unique culture, helped by the single office model and all the extra-curricular activities which are on offer if you are up for it: ranging from the sports-orientated to choir, pilates and book-reading clubs as well as socials and CSR events to support our chosen charity (chosen by the staff and rotated every 2 years). The culture and attitude of the firm has been important to me and I think underlies our ability not only to retain, but successfully attract new staff. Coupled with the firm’s commitment to learning and development, and through the numerous and diverse range of its specialist areas, there is much on offer not only to trainees but to all lawyers post-qualification.
I have been lucky that my own (career) aspirations have largely coincided with those of the firm. Having qualified into the commercial litigation team in 1997, I soon developed a specialism in insolvency litigation and that expertise grew to acting (largely) for insolvency practitioners on the many technical areas of insolvency law, encompassing the non-contentious side of distressed transactions, including pre-pack administrations. I became a Senior Associate in 2001, head of the insolvency group in 2007 and a partner from 2010. The insolvency group back then was largely cross-departmental but now as a finance, restructuring and insolvency department is standalone and 13-strong.
The fact that the firm invests in its people and looks to offer a career to hard working and talented individuals has kept me at S&B for all these years. The people here really do make a big difference to your working day. As you might expect, as a partner, each day can look very different from another, ranging from client work or business development (each involving the associate lawyers in the team) to management or furthering our international presence by attending conferences or tailor-made trips to help establish and/or build our strong international relationships. This has been a great success and source of work both for the firm and my department. For example, earlier this year I was at INSOL International in Singapore and I am shortly to fly out to attend the American Bankruptcy Institute Conference in New York.
Trainee Solicitor, Stevens & Bolton LLP
Katie Philipson - Senior Associate
I joined S&B in 2002. Having completed two 6 month periods of legal work experience during my Law Degree at Brunel University, I knew I wanted to join a firm where I would be given responsibility and be really involved from the start. I didn’t want to be one of a huge intake of trainees in a larger firm with no client (or even partner!) contact. S&B proved to be the perfect match for me - there were just 5 trainees in total so I benefitted from seeing clients and working with partners from the very first week!
S&B has grown hugely over the last 19 years and its been exciting to see it develop into the leading national law firm that it is today with its vast international network and client base. Despite its growth, the firm retains its collegiate and supportive environment and continues to offer trainees everything I wanted as a trainee and more. S&B runs a diverse range of ongoing training for all of its staff, helping us to deliver high quality service to our clients.
Upon qualifying I joined the dispute resolution team and over time developed a specialism in Corporate Disputes. I am a member of our Entrepreneur Sector Group and a co-editor of Business Bridge (our entrepreneur publication). I became a senior associate in 2008 and have had 2 periods of maternity leave. Since 2007 I’ve worked a 4 day week and I’m one of many part-time lawyers at the firm. The firm has embraced flexible and part-time working and its infrastructure provides all the support that we need.
No two weeks are the same and the working hours are by and large family friendly although there will, of course, be some busy periods! The firm positively encourages social interaction and there’s all manner of clubs and groups to join whether you’re sporty or prefer something more sedate! We have lots of socials and an active CSR team arranging firm-wide activities to enable us to support a number of charities (as well as our chosen charity which is nominated by staff every 2 years). You can get involved as much or as little as you like!
Trainee Solicitor, Stevens & Bolton LLP