• Bates Wells
  • London, UK
  • May 24, 2021
Senior Associate

Job Description

Why Bates Wells?

Our values are important to us, they shape our decisions and our working life.

Making a profit is core to all businesses but our goal is to combine this with a real social purpose. Since opening in 1970, we’ve focussed on positive social impact as much as we have on being a successful law firm and we were the first UK law firm with B Corp certification.

Today, our clients are diverse – from corporate household names, to public bodies, to start-ups. We’re also the firm of choice for thousands of charities and social enterprises.  We continue to lead the market we helped to shape. 

As a purpose and values driven firm we show commitment to our clients, our people, the environment and society.  We see it as our purpose to create a positive impact. The impact we have on our people, our communities and our planet does more than inform our work - it gets us up in the morning.

Bates Wells challenges what is possible in legal expertise delivery.

The Role

The successful candidate will need to establish themselves quickly in a busy team and look to contribute to a supportive environment across a varied caseload divided approximately equally between advisory and contentious work.

The role requires confidence in seeking and conferring with other team members on the correct advice for our client issues, including regulatory matters that involve more than one regulatory regime and inter-disciplinary cases. The successful candidate will have a curious and tenacious personality coupled with strong attention to detail and able to attend and assimilate information from various sources. Our clients include public and private sector bodies, charities, social enterprises and individuals in a variety of sectors including local government, charities, education and health and social care.

We encourage our junior lawyers to pursue their personal interests through their practice; take on early responsibility, including a high degree of client contact; contribute to business development; and work cross-departmentally through our wide range of exceptionally strong sector groups.

We have an agreed set of values consistent with our purpose and we seek people who are attuned with our purpose and values.

Key responsibilities

Client Relations:

  • To provide a high-quality legal service to clients.
  • To develop and maintain good client relationship skills, gaining clients’ confidence and that of other professionals.
  • Receive requests for legal advice from current and potential clients and deciding on the most appropriate responses to make to these requests.
  • Establishing what needs to be done to solve a client’s problems.
  • Offering advice on the law, legal procedures and a wide range of associated issues.
  • Attend and represent Bates Wells at client meetings.
  • Draw up contracts and other legal documents.
  • Research documents and case history to ensure accuracy of advice and procedures.
  • Represent clients in tribunals and in Courts where required.

Professional Standards:

  • To work and behave in a professional manner and to the highest standards expected of the profession.
  • Comply with procedures set out in the Office Procedures Manual (OPM), professional standards and any requirement set by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
  • Carry out duties given by the partners or employees faithfully and diligently and follow all reasonable instructions.
  • To participate in the growth and development of the department / firm.
  • Treat all information about the firm and its client and their business as wholly confidential.
  • Keeping up to date with changes in the law.
  • Attract additional business from new and existing clients.
  • Record all chargeable hours.

Personal Development:

  • To have a clear understanding of what it would take to develop a career to the next level.
  • Support internal procedures and systems of Bates Wells including file / case management, time recording.
  • To respect partners, staff and clients and in turn earn the respect of the department and clients.
  • Participate in team meetings.
  • Attend internal training and external training as and when required.
  • Keep up to date with law and practice.
  • Share information with colleagues.
  • Read journals and attend courses as part of continuing professional development (CPD) and keep track of CPD hours.
  • Maintain high standards of professional conduct while generating adequate practice income, ensuring that the fees earned sufficiently exceed total costs and expenses incurred.

Specific tasks may change over time, so we’ll need you to be adaptable and flexible as we continue to meet our clients’ needs.

Which qualities do we look for?
  • 0-2 years’ PQE Solicitor (essential)
  • Ideally the candidate will have experience in core public and regulatory law, whether gained in private practice or in–house at a public authority (pre or post qualification)
  • High intellectual and professional ability
  • Enthusiastic and passionate about public & administrative law, public policy and the rule of law
  • The ability to build, maintain and nurture relationships
  • A client-centric approach
  • Teamwork – there is a place for individual effort but we highly value a collaborative approach
  • A results-focused mentality – we hope you’ll challenge the status quo if you feel it’ll benefit our work
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills 
  • A genuine interest in the work we do; we encourage questions about the business and invite you to test assumptions and propose ideas


Finally, we want people whose values reflect our own and who feel inspired working in a firm with a strong social purpose.

What are we like to work for?
  • Our purpose and values both guide and drive us
  • We promote a strong work/life balance
  • We have an agile working environment – this means you might sit next to a different colleague every day or choose to work from our rooftop garden and we actively encourage people to work from home once a week.  During this period of social distancing this is of course much higher, and we are likely to review our policies to enable greater home-working during 2021.
  • Our culture encourages clear and honest dialogue and cross-team support
  • We can promote our staff throughout the year and there are annual salary reviews
  • We recognise success and contribution at any time of the year through our Recognition Scheme
  • Our benefits and wellbeing package includes firm matching pension contributions, private medical insurance plus a medical benefit cash plan, discretionary bonus arrangements, life assurance, 25 days holiday with the opportunity to buy more, subsidised gym memberships, lifestyle discount scheme, firm-wide profit sharing scheme, on site café, and Summer in the City early-Friday-finish
  • Everyone gets a bonus if there is one - a proportion of the LLP profit is distributed to our people when we exceed our financial thresholds
About the team

The Public & Regulatory Team

Our leading Chambers and Legal 500 ranked practice covers a wide range of advisory and contentious work, providing opportunities to work on cutting edge and high profile matters, and to contribute to consultations on policy reform. 

The team advises across areas such as equality duties, human rights, safeguarding, public procurement, public sector audits, inquiries and inquests. It acts for a diverse array of regulators and public bodies on the interpretation and implementation of public law obligations and resisting potential challenges, including judicial reviews. It is also frequently instructed to advise charities and non-profits on their regulatory concerns and advises on professional discipline and fitness-to-practice proceedings.

Some extra details
  • Bates Wells is a B Corporation.  B Corporations are profit-making, purpose-driven organisations unified by one goal: to redefine success in business
  • Our people rate us and we made it into the Sunday Times’ ‘Top 100 firms to work’ for in 2018
  • Bates Wells provides legal documents to clients through ‘Get Legal’ – an innovative online documentation portal, which provides an affordable suite of legal documents drafted by sector-leading experts for tailoring by individual users
  • We are committed to your wellbeing and offer physical and mental support in the way of subsidised gym membership, private health care and in-office Mental Health Awareness Ambassadors.
  • We strongly believe that everyone should have the opportunity to reach their full potential whatever their background and believe a diverse team is integral to our success