“We’d like a commercial lawyer to join who wants to build on what we have and ultimately lead it.  They’ll be working with a great team of lawyers, many who have City expertise. We’re driven and proud of our Legal 500 ranking but we get the balance right; we’re down to earth, friendly and above all, people like working here”
Andrew Yates, partner corporate and commercial 

“There is the same expectation for excellence you would find at a London firm but with a better work life balance; if you show initiative you are given the scope to grow your own business”.
James Brawn, partner corporate and commercial

“I thought that the price I’d pay for moving out of the City would be quality of work and quality of clients and it was such a lovely surprise when that wasn’t the case; I am dealing with high-net-worth individuals, business owners, professionals, local SMEs who manage businesses”.
Juliet Schalker, partner commercial litigation and insolvency

The opportunity

We are looking for a senior associate (commercial/IT contracts) for our corporate and commercial team. This dedicated commercial role is supported by the wider commercial practice that includes employment, property and litigation/insolvency. With partner led teams in each of these commercial areas, there is plenty of scope for working with lawyers of all levels and there is also a dedicated trainee solicitor in the corporate and commercial team who you will have the opportunity to develop and work with.

We are looking for someone who likes the law firm environment and all that it entails: working with like-minded, intelligent, professional people doing good work with quality clients. The right person will have the opportunity to progress to partnership by building a dedicated commercial practice and team.

“We take a holistic approach to the service we offer, whilst remaining focused on positive client outcomes; I believe that because of the unique nature of the role an individual with the right skillset and energy can really make it their own.”
James Brawn, partner corporate and commercial

The work

This is a dedicated commercial role (no corporate work) so you will have varied commercial work across multiple sectors drafting, advising on, and reviewing commercial contracts, including franchise agreements, supply terms, distribution, agency, e-commerce and software as a service agreements.

St Albans has a thriving and prosperous business community, and many large businesses call Hertfordshire their home. We have a solid portfolio of good clients who come to us for corporate, litigation, employment and property law needs but we also want to support them with the commercial side of their businesses.

We need someone who wants to build and develop this side of the business but rest assured, you will not be starting from scratch, there are clients already waiting for you.

“We need somebody technically excellent, who knows what they’re doing and needs little supervision. They are used to running their own cases and used to servicing a wide variety of clients because they will effectively be servicing the clients of the rest of the commercial teams, a broad spectrum from local SMEs to bigger multi-nationals.”
Juliet Schalker, partner commercial litigation and insolvency

“The team works incredibly effectively, with similarly high baselines for commitment to client care and quality work.”
James Brawn, partner corporate and commercial

The clients

We work with some impressive companies who instruct us on a wide range of high-quality work. Our lawyers mainly help medium-sized owner-managed businesses but we also work with some large organisations including a national pharmaceutical company, a subsidiary of an international eyewear company and well-known banks.  Clients come from a mix of industries but over the years we have developed sector focuses on healthcare, charities and private wealth (entrepreneurs and family business).  Hertfordshire has a strong business community with clients who do not necessarily want to go into London or pay London prices to get quality legal advice.

The opportunity to build your own practice

There is a real opportunity to build your own practice; it is vital for us to be able to offer new and existing business clients a complete service to deliver our growth plans. With full autonomy and support to grow the practice, you will have access to an extensive client base and day to day collaboration with the commercial teams.

“You will get a lot of internal support in terms of feeding client work through, introducing you to our networks and checking in on you to see how you are getting on.”
Juliet Schalker, partner commercial litigation and insolvency

The candidate

  • A minimum of 6 years PQE with a high level of commercial technical knowledge across different sectors.
  • The ability to work with minimal supervision and a genuine enthusiasm to focus on commercial contracts work.
  • Creative problem-solving ability, commercial insight working as an extension of the client’s business to provide commercial, practical advice with their business needs and objectives in mind.
  • A client-centred focus, taking responsibility for service levels and proactively maximising and improving client relationships.
  • A can-do, motivated and positive attitude.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

“For any hungry individual who wants to grow personally and professionally, this is a great opportunity to work with quality clients locally, in London and nationally. Debenhams Ottaway is a genuine alternative to a London firm.”
James Brawn, partner corporate and commercial

Debenhams Ottaway

Our recruitment and retention programme is a key success factor in our three-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, and access to an extensive client base. Debenhams Ottaway is a progressive law firm with a long history and a reputation built on providing outstanding support to clients and staff alike and our teams of talented and ambitious people work together to help clients succeed. You will join an exciting and demanding work environment that offers support and guidance to help you achieve your best. Our career framework gives you the opportunity to learn and develop in a structured but flexible way.

“Working at a firm with a 252-year history is an honour and I believe that by looking after our people, they in turn will look after our clients…our people are welcomed, heard and respected”.
Susan Glenholme, managing partner

“There is a spirit of continuous improvement at Debenhams Ottaway and we want talented lawyers with the same approach to be part of our future success. We have a solid business development plan and a real ambition to grow.”
Andrew Yates, partner corporate and commercial

The next steps

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