1st October 2018

We are currently recruiting trainee solicitors to start their Period of Recognised Training in September 2019.

To apply please send your CV and cover letter to Rachel Floyd at applicants@benhoarebell.co.uk or to 19 John Street, Sunderland, SR1 1JQ. The deadline is 5.00pm on Friday 30 November 2018.


Supervised by: Katharine Lawrence (Training Principal)

Based at: One of the firm’s offices in North East England

Aim of position

The aim of the position is to produce and present (under supervision) high quality work on behalf of the client. This is developed through an in-depth experience and understanding of the practical aspects of different areas of law and it is hoped this experience will underpin and highlight the direction of a future career within a specific field of law. This position involves work with clients and other professionals, research and financial and administrative tasks.

Job performance and future development is reviewed at the end of every seat. The post holder will be invited to contribute to these reviews.


Ben Hoare Bell LLP is well established, operating from 3 sites in Newcastle, Sunderland and Gateshead. The practice has 9 partners.

The Practice has a strong ethical base and wishes to remain committed to offering a high quality service to people regardless of means. A proportion of our work is publicly funded and we wish to retain this but we have increased our privately funded work in recent years and intend to continue to do so.

Trainees will usually carry out 3-4 seats doing work with clients under supervision of specialist solicitors.

To develop into a good solicitor requires considerable dedication and commitment. We have achieved Investor in People Status and we do recognise how important it is that staff have a balance between work and home life. We also feel that to do this job well requires flexibility in meeting the needs of clients, and this cannot be achieved by restricting the hours of work to 9:00 to 5:00.

Key Result Areas


– To attend clients and witnesses; to give basic advocacy; to take instructions from them; to draft statements; to advise on points of procedure and basic points of law.

– To liaise in the furtherance of the client’s case.

– To represent the Firm as directed by the relevant solicitor.


– To undertake administrative tasks relating to the work with clients.

– To develop knowledge of civil and criminal legal aid funding.

– To undertake billing of routine files.


– To research legal and factual matters as directed by the supervisor.

– To work with the management team on specific issues relating to the management, administration and development of the firm’s work.

Please see note at end regarding the Criminal Department Police Station work. 

This Job Description is not intended to be a complete and detailed statement of the responsibilities of the post. The Post will be reviewed on an annual basis. The Post Holder will be invited to contribute to this review.


This person specification is an outline of the competencies required for this post. Other skills may be used. This document will form the basis for regular appraisal and will be revised accordingly. The holder will be invited to contribute to the revisions.

We are frequently asked what are the main criteria used for gaining a training contract with this firm, in addition to the “basic” skills required to be a good solicitor. Experience has indicated that given the nature of our work it is important that candidates can show a commitment to, a real enthusiasm for, and experience of work with people who have suffered disadvantage. You must also be able to demonstrate commercial awareness.

  1. Good communication, written and oral.
  1. Good advocacy and negotiation skills.
  1. Ability to work to tight deadlines.
  1. Good interpersonal skills with a wide range of people.
  1. Evidence of ability to handle a range of tasks and to prioritise.
  1. Proven computer skills (essential), particular experience in use of Microsoft packages and the ability to be self-servicing for word processing.
  1. Numerate.
  1. Evidence of research skills.
  1. Ability to work as a team member with different levels of staff in different departments and offices.
  1. Proven problem solving ability
  1. Enterprise and leadership skills
  1. Legal Practice Course (Essential).
  1. Evidence of good level of academic ability (Essential). This is likely to involve a 2:1 degree or above, and good “A” Level results, but we place considerable importance on skills, abilities and personal qualities as noted in this specification.
  1. Current full driving Licence (desirable).
  1. Proven interest in social aspects of law and development of human rights law.
  1. Experience of administrative work (desirable).
  1. Proven commitment to working with people who are disadvantaged.
  1. Experience of working with people from a range of backgrounds.
  1. Experience which indicates commercial awareness.
  1. Sympathy with ethical principles of Firm.
  1. Resilience.
  1. Willingness to undertake or attempt the unfamiliar.

The Criminal Department

The criminal department operates an out of hour’s rota system for the police station which is staffed between the fee earners within the department who are remunerated for the out of hours work.

If as a trainee you have a placement within the criminal department, you may have an opportunity to join this rota which will entail you undertaking the external Police Station accreditation process.

The external accreditation process includes the submission of a portfolio of cases (including ones that you have observed and been observed doing). All personnel undertaking the process are given the appropriate level of support, training and supervision required. You will be expected to submit your preliminary portfolio within 3 months of commencing your Criminal Department placement and you will be expected to complete the whole process as soon as is practicable within a timescale agreed by your training supervisor.

It is essential that if you are given this opportunity you make yourself available for police station attendances for all periods that you are on the rota.

If you wish to be considered for this opportunity then you must make your interest known as soon as possible after joining the firm.

Further details of the accreditation process are available on request.