6 months ago
We are looking for a Commercial Associate/Senior Associate to join our busy team in our Bristol office.
VWV is a full service law firm ranked as a leader in both the Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 directories. Our firm-wide core values of teamwork and collaboration, putting the client at the centre of the firm and taking a commercial approach ensure a dedicated and expert service to all of our clients. Our high standards have been recognised by the Law Society through Lexcel and their Conveyancing Quality schemes.
With over 400 members of staff across four offices in London, Watford, Bristol and Birmingham, we are a medium size national law firm with a commitment to the training and development of our employees at all levels. This can be demonstrated by our Bronze Investors in People accreditation. We have the reputation of being a friendly firm with approachable staff in all areas of the business. 96% of our clients say they would recommend us which, is a strong indicator of our culture.
About the Team
The successful candidate will be based in the Commercial team in Bristol. The team in Bristol comprises 3 partners and 7 lawyers, including IP, data protection and procurement specialists. The successful candidate will be encouraged to work with all members of the team across the various areas of their work. The broader Commercial team across all offices comprises 8 partners and 25 lawyers (including specialists in the Education, Healthcare, and Pharmaceutical markets).
The core of the work will comprise of general commercial contracts work. The team deals with commercial contracts for a broad range of clients, and your work will include advising SMEs (including start-ups and scale-ups) on a range of contracts from long term supply and services agreements, to outsourcing, licensing arrangements, consultancy contracts, etc. Through our long-standing relationship with SETsquared in Bristol and Bath, you will also have an opportunity to work with a range of exciting, fast growth technology companies, and you will be expected to play a key role in further developing our base of SME clients in the region.
The successful candidate will also advise a mix of education clients (including both maintained and independent schools, and universities) on a range of contracts. This work will include assisting our procurement specialists on contracts which are subject to the Public Contracts Regulations.
Although based in Bristol, the successful candidate will work closely with members of the Commercial team across the other offices where required.
Required Knowledge and Experience
Expected level of qualification of between 2 and 6 years PQE, although candidates with more or less years PQE will be considered.
The ability to draft and negotiate commercial contracts across a range of sectors and contract types, and draft legal documents and advice notes, and give legal advice that is clear and concise.
* familiarity with drafting and negotiating IT contracts will be an advantage, but is not essential
* familiarity with data protection law will be an advantage, but is not essential
* develop strong client relationships
* advocate and present orally when required
* conduct effective transaction management
* communicate concisely both verbally and in writing with colleagues and clients
* interview and advise clients, helping them decide the best course of action
* identify the relevant legal issues applicable to a transaction
* conduct negotiations where appropriate
* researching relevant areas of law
Legal and Technical Tasks
* Take and record clear instructions
* Draft concise documents in plain language
* Provide concise letters and reports for clients, written in plain language
* Investigate evidence
* Research matters of fact and law
* Provide concise analysis of research applied to facts
* Undertake negotiation and/or advocacy when appropriate
* Apply pricing methodologies for your work which are consistent with the firm's policies, in collaboration with other members of the team
* Take responsibility for client briefings, and support the team's programme of client seminars
Learning and Development
* Comply with CPD requirements and identify specific training needs
* Attend appropriate departmental training sessions
* Attend appropriate internal courses (for example management and IT skills)
* Provide informal & formal training as appropriate (e.g. mentoring & internal team presentations)
Teamwork and Collaboration
* Play an active role within the team
* Supervise where required and take responsibility for performance management for those whom you supervise
* Involve the secretaries and other support staff in an effective way
* Work collaboratively across all offices
* Take responsibility for delegated work, ask for guidance in respect of matters which are unclear and report errors which need to be resolved
* Participate in VWV's knowledge networks and systems to share ideas, know-how, expertise, documents and precedents
Client at the Centre of the Firm
* Wherever the opportunity arises, promote the services of teams from across the Firm to the client for whom you are acting
* Provide accurate cost estimates for clients
* Update clients at regular intervals (at least 6 monthly)
* Bill clients accurately and at agreed times
* Comply with the Solicitors Accounts Rules
* Deal promptly with any working capital exercises
* Ensure any changes relating to the file are notified to the lawyer in charge of the file
* Demonstrate compliance with the Firm's quality standards and procedures
* Achieve agreed targets as set out in business plan and/or budget, including hours and billing
* Introduce new clients to the Firm
* Contribute to appropriate business development activities of the team and the Firm
* Identify and attend appropriate networking opportunities
* Demonstrate awareness through action of the Firm's core values
* Develop personal profile and recognition throughout the Firm
* Demonstrate consistent compliance with the Firm's quality policies and procedures