3rd December 2015

We are currently recruiting an experienced Criminal Solicitor (preferably 1-5 years’ PQE). The post will be based at one of our offices in Byker, Sunderland or Gateshead.

The successful candidate will be required to participate in the department out of hours’ service. This includes both the Police Station and Court rotas.

Salary will be commensurate with experience.

To apply please send a CV and cover letter to Rachel Floyd – rachelfloyd@benhoarebell.co.uk or 47 John Street, Sunderland, SR1 1QU.

The deadline for applications is Friday 18th December at 5pm.



Ben Hoare Bell LLP is a well-established Legal Practice operating from 4 sites in the cities of Sunderland, Gateshead and Newcastle. The Practice has 10 Partners.

The Practice has a strong ethical base and wishes to remain committed to operating within the publicly funded areas of legal work, offering a high quality service to people regardless of means.

The Practice has grown considerably in recent years and despite the changes in legal aid funding is planning to expand further. The Criminal Department has an excellent reputation and at present employs 5 solicitors, 2 paralegals and support staff. The department also provides placements for trainees and currently has 1 trainee.

In the recent crime duty tender exercise the firm was successful in its bid to provide duty work in the Northumbria 1 procurement area and was included as a delivery partner in a successful bid in the Northumbria 2 procurement area.

In 2014 Ben Hoare Bell was awarded ‘Legal Aid Firm of the Year’ at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards.

Key Result Areas

  1. To be a specialist criminal solicitor and advocate.
  2. To assist in other areas of work as reasonably required by the firm.
  3. To participate when required in the decision making structures of the firm.
  4. To carry out administrative tasks when required.
  5. Some supervision of fee earning and non-fee earning staff.


  1. To advise, assist and act for clients in all aspects of the areas of work noted including where appropriate advocacy, briefing counsel, delegating preparatory work/enquiries and instructing agents.
  2. To keep fully up to date with legislation and case law in the area of crime and evidence by suitable training and access to books and periodicals.
  3. To comply with the firm’s file management and file organisation procedures and the firm’s time recording procedures. To prepare bills or to instruct skilled Costs Draftsmen to prepare bills.
  4. To allot time to practice development including attraction of new clients and maintenance of existing clients and client base.
  5. To use secretarial time and skills effectively and responsibly, to supervise where necessary and to support other secretarial, fee earning or non-fee earning staff as required or appropriate.
  6. To manage a caseload to the benefit of existing clients and the firm.
  7. To comply with the Law Society training requirements for continuing education.
  8. To participate in the firm’s 24 hour police station and out of hours court rota.
  9. To support the work of other departments in ways commensurate with your skills, experience and abilities.


To continue to gain expertise in criminal work generally by experience, to play a part in contributing to in-house training and assisting with supervision of support staff under the direct supervision of a partner, and to continue to develop your own knowledge and abilities with appropriate in-house and external continuing education.

To increase the reputation of yourself and the Department in the field of crime and in particular Court advocacy.

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.



  1. Qualified Solicitor
  2. Police Station Accreditation
  3. CLAS accredited – or ready to apply (desirable)
  4. Supervisor status (desirable)
  5. 1-5 years’ PQE (desirable)
  6. Clean driving licence


  1. Clear communication to clients, client’s opponents, other solicitors and professionals and any other agencies involved in a case, orally and in writing.
  2. Advocacy, advisory skills. Resilience and an ability to stand firm in acting for and representing clients in order to effect the best possible results for clients.
  3. Ability to work as a member of a team.
  4. Computer skills. Word processing and use of Excel. Use of specialist legal software is an advantage. Ability to produce own documents.


  1. Substantial experience in a primarily Legal Aid criminal practice
  2. Involvement in administration and management (desirable)


  1. Sympathy with ethical principles of the Firm
  2. Resilience