“We absolutely need the right person for this role. We will take time to find them as they are integral to our success. It’s a great place to work, keeping up with the times without losing sight of our traditional values.”
Helen Young, Family Partner

The opportunity

We are looking for a salaried partner to join our family team of an equity partner, two associates, one junior level solicitor and a trainee.

Ranked in Tier 1 in Legal 500 and Tier 2 in Chambers UK, our family team sits at the heart of Debenhams Ottaway’s premium private wealth sector.

We have an extraordinarily strong team of ambitious lawyers, encouraged to develop their skills, and reach their full potential regardless of where their journey started, and the team is known for being transparent and honest in the way it works with its clients and each other.

For the right person this is an incredible opportunity to have a long term, sustainable career. It needs someone who brings with them the highest standards of technical excellence and client service, who can encourage and develop a team and generate work.  It needs energy and dedication but not at the expense of family commitments and outside interests.  Putting life outside of work on hold is neither healthy nor sustainable. We don’t want or expect that. We offer flexibility to work from home or the St Albans office, an excellent benefits package and the opportunity to join a team with a proven reputation for delivering an outstanding client experience.

It’s a given that you are a good lawyer, you need a genuine enthusiasm for the work and a commitment to getting someone through. The work will satisfy you intellectually and the social piece is something you can’t buy – it’s a really lovely atmosphere.”
Helen Young, Family Partner

The work

Much of our work is advising, often wealthy, clients on complex financial issues in divorce proceedings. We also advise on:

  • Pre and post nuptial agreements
  • Cases involving children of separating couples, often with international issues
  • Agreements for cohabiting couples and TOLATA cases
  • Disputes concerning children
  • International relocation
  • Collaborative process

“Personal relationships are key, and that goes for the team, the clients, other departments, referrers, other family lawyers. We want to help people be better solicitors, help progress their careers, help them gain more knowledge and broaden their experience – and we have a responsibility to make sure they get the best out of us”.
Helen Young, Family Partner

The clients

Our client base is more comparable to London firms rather than other regionals and we often come up against notable firms, such as Irwin Mitchell, Russell-Cooke, Taylor Wessing and Stewarts on the other side. Much of our work comes from clients who have recommended us to friends and family – they like our honest and transparent approach and trust us to help the people they care about.

As a key part of Debenhams Ottaway’s wider private wealth sector, we work with other teams in the firm to provide our high-net-worth clients, including city professionals, celebrities, and successful entrepreneurs, with a bespoke and fully integrated service.

We have strong connections with leading financial advisers who refer their clients knowing their relationship will only be strengthened by the service we offer; we also continue to receive referrals from accountants, banks, and other family lawyers where there is conflict.

“Debenhams Ottaway has something different to offer, a full-service law firm with a great reputation – I have been able to develop my personal brand in the local community, in London and even had international opportunities. I would not have gained the breadth of experience at larger firms; I was supported every step of the way and have a transparent career framework – it’s just a great place to be”.
Natalie Lester, Senior Family Lawyer

The candidate

  • A minimum of 7 years PQE, solid technical knowledge across all areas of family law
  • A proactive client-centred approach taking full responsibility for the level of service
  • A proven track record in developing client relationships and winning new clients
  • A strong profile within the family law community and/or the local area
  • An existing client network/base and a strong set of existing contacts
  • A reputation for team building and developing relationships across all practice areas
  • Creative problem-solving ability when it comes to meeting client objectives
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Experience of and enthusiasm for developing individuals to reach their full potential

“50% of the partners started in the trainee programme, we have home grown excellence. There is a spirit of continuous improvement at Debenhams Ottaway, we want to change the way people think about lawyers”.
Alex Langley, HR Business Partner

The firm

Our recruitment and retention programme is a key success factor in our 3-year growth and succession plans – we are committed to growing our people, looking after our clients, and remaining financially strong.

Developing our future talent is a priority and we help our lawyers to develop specialisms and skills to succeed. With full autonomy and support, access to an extensive client base and working directly with our private wealth partners, there are opportunities to progress to equity partnership by growing the family work through successful business and team development.

 “Working at a firm with a 252-year history is an honour. My old boss used to say ‘thank you for your hard work every day’; I believe that by looking after our people, they in turn will look after our clients. We have a positive culture, but its more than just saying it, it’s actually doing it….. our people are welcomed, heard and respected”.
Susan Glenholme, Managing Partner

The next steps

Please drop our HR team a line at recruitment@debenhamsottaway.co.uk for a full job description and to arrange an initial telephone chat.

“We like to give candidates an opportunity to work out for themselves if we’re the right firm for them”.
Alex Langley, HR Business Partner