Exciting, challenging, rewarding

Battens is one of the largest law firms in the South West and is a Legal 500 firm with offices in Yeovil, Sherborne, Dorchester, Wareham, Castle Cary and Bath.

We offer an interesting and varied programme for our trainee solicitors. From day one our trainees are involved in client work. We give them the opportunity to get involved in a wide range of specialist cases such as media and entertainment, intellectual property, branding and technology. We are one of the few firms in the area to offer this.

We have a high trainee retention rate and many of our trainees have stayed with us and are now Senior Associate Solicitors, Heads of Department and Directors.

What does the training programme consist of?

The Trainees scheme operates on a rotation basis to ensure they receive a wide range of practical, in-depth experience and skills in both contentious and non-contentious work. This provides an excellent foundation and helps our trainees to decide on the area of practice they ultimately wish to follow.

Our training programme is over a twenty-four month period, although we may be able to reduce this to eighteen months based on suitable experience trainees have gained prior to starting their training contract. We may also be able to offer part-time extended training for those who are unable to work with us full-time.

Training opportunities in departments include:

  • Agriculture
  • Commercial Property
  • Residential Property
  • Company Commercial
  • Media & Entertainment, IP
  • Employment
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Property Dispute Resolution
  • Family
  • Private Client

We try to assign departments according to each trainee’s preference, although this is not always possible. We will always try to make sure that they gain as much useful and relevant experience.

We give our trainees as much responsibility as they and their supervisor think they can manage, enabling them to gain expertise in each field and to become an integral part of the team. This also equips them with the knowledge they need to decide which area of the law suits them best.

Trainees find themselves drafting court orders, contracts, leases, witness statements, TV commissioning agreements and film distribution licences, attending client meetings and representing clients in court. The level of responsibility increases throughout the programme and is carefully overseen.

Reviews and appraisals are held regularly, and, at the end of each placement.

In addition to receiving on-the-job training, there is a host of SRA-chosen skills which trainees are expected to acquire. These include:

  • Communication skills
  • Dispute resolution
  • Drafting
  • Interviewing and advising
  • Legal research
  • Negotiation
  • Advocacy and oral presentation
  • Case and transaction management
  • Client care
  • Practice support

In addition, trainees learn a range of soft skills such as teamwork, networking and business development, time management and managing workload.

During the training course, you will also have to complete the Professional Skills Course.

What we look for in a trainee

We seek ambitious and dynamic individuals who will become valuable members of our team. We have high trainee retention rates and the majority of our trainees from recent years are still working with us, some in senior positions.

We look for candidates who have received a very good standard of education, wherever they have studied. We do not restrict ourselves to recruiting from any specific university and our team went to a range of universities, including Oxbridge.

We are looking for applicants who can demonstrate excellent communication skills, a pragmatic, organised approach to work, attention to detail, commitment and commercial awareness.

We are always keen to hear from applicants who have a real interest and connections to the South West and from those interested in helping the local community.

As part of your training you will be expected to take part in various projects such as presentations to local schools, attending networking events, taking part in fundraising events and business development.

At Battens, our trainees could be based in any of our offices and will usually be assigned positions in our Head Office in Yeovil, as well as our other offices in Bath, Sherborne, Dorchester, Castle Cary and Wareham. It’s therefore important that you are able to travel to each of our locations. There may also be some travel to London.

Why choose Battens?

Battens is a leading firm in the South West, with offices in Somerset, Dorset, Bath and London. We offer a wide range of services to businesses and individual clients and have built a strong reputation for legal excellence and outstanding client care.

Battens has a legal heritage going back 300 years, but with a new team of Directors in place, the focus now is very much on the future. We are a growing business with plans for expansion and we encourage staff to develop new business ideas, network and cultivate ambition. Our high trainee retention rate is testament to our training programme.

What can you expect at Battens?

  • A dynamic, forward thinking company to help you develop your full potential
  • We want you to love the work you do to achieve the best results for our clients
  • Competitive salary
  • The right work life balance to meet your needs
  • Flexible and hybrid working
  • Excellent training and benefits
  • We actively promote staff wellbeing with mental health training courses and support
  • Community counts with Battens. The firm was ahead of the curve on social responsibility launching the Battens Charitable Trust in 1985 which has given more than half a million to local charities to the vibrant communities in which they live and work. Staff get together and socialise regularly and fundraise for the trust.
  • If it is the lifestyle, you want you came to the right place. Our staff appreciate that they live and work in vibrant communities with great schools surrounded by and in close proximity to some of the South West’s most beautiful countryside and coastline.

If you have any questions or would like any further information regarding our Trainee Solicitor positions, please contact Cath Knapman at cath.knapman@battens.co.uk

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“As a trainee at Battens I get a unique hands-on approach to my training contract.
On one day I could be involved in face to face meetings with the clients and on the next I could be shadowing a fee earner in court.
I'm actively encouraged to be involved with all aspects of a case and assist a wide range of matters.
Battens has a very friendly feel, there isn't a single person be it a director or support staff who isn't approachable and happy to assist.”

Trainee Solicitor Giles Taylor

“I have already completed my first seat in Private Client and the first 6 months have flown by. Everyone I have worked with have been very warm, welcoming and approachable.
As a trainee, assigned to work on a matter from start to finish is very rewarding and with the support and training from my colleagues, it has been instrumental to my development.”

Trainee Solicitor Azima Begum

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