Associate/ Senior Associate

PQE: 2 years +
Term: Permanent
Working hours: Full-time
Practice area: Corporate
Location: Guildford
The Role

This new position exists for a technically strong, personable and ambitious lawyer, looking to pursue a career in corporate law with one of the top corporate practices in the South East outside London.

The corporate team consists of eight partners and around 20 other lawyers, including two dedicated professional support lawyers. The work of the team is high-quality and diverse and covers a broad range of corporate transactional and advisory work, including:

  • Private M&A (both buy side and sell side)
  • Private equity (principally management advisory and portfolio work)
  • High growth companies / shareholders agreements and articles / equity fundraising
  • Corporate rationalisations / reorganisations
  • General corporate advisory
  • Partnership law
  • Inward investment  and cross border

The team is supported by the full range of specialists required to support corporate transactional work, including tax, employment, immigration and pensions, real estate, banking and finance, regulatory and anti-trust, intellectual property and commercial. A large proportion of our clients are multinational, based overseas or have international business interests, and we frequently work with overseas law firms, including the major jurisdictions in Europe and the US.

Our clients include mid-tier businesses (quoted and owner-managed), household name PLCs and other major international groups, high-net-worth private clients and high growth companies.

The aggregate value of deals we have advised upon over the past 12 months is approximately £3bn.

Examples of clients that you may experience working with are listed below and further information about our experience can be found on our website here.

Bakkavor Group PLC, BIMM Institute, Biogas technologies Ltd, Broker Network, Business Growth Fund (BGF), CANCOM SE, Flint Wines, Fuller Smith & Turner PLC, Future Biogas, ICP Nurseries Ltd, Inzpire, Kaye Enterprises, Philips, Rock Rail, Seal Software, Stackhouse Poland Group Ltd, The Karma CoKitchen, Zenitech

Catherine Sellars, an associate who recently joined the team, comments: “I joined Stevens & Bolton from a big global firm based in London, having been lured by the promise of excellence without burnout as a sure side effect. I have been consistently impressed by the firm’s dedication to caring for its employees, pursuing innovative ways of working and establishing a clear and distinctive identity within the market, all whilst maintaining the highest standard of work. My experience of joining the corporate team as a newly qualified associate has been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve been exposed to a wide range of corporate work and a higher level of responsibility than would have been the case in a larger firm and felt fully supported by the partnership in the transition from trainee to full-fledged lawyer despite having trained elsewhere. The effort invested in the wellbeing and cohesion of the corporate team is apparent in the overall satisfaction and friendliness of my colleagues and the fact that everyone still finds time for interesting hobbies alongside carrying out challenging and exciting work for prestigious clients. I particularly enjoy the wide range of clients the corporate team acts for, from start-ups and entrepreneurs to well-established household names”.

Nassar Nassar, a senior associate, comments: “Personally, the best thing about working in the corporate team at S&B is the people.  You are surrounded with very bright and motivated people who are expert at what they do without any of the hubris.  The partners are very approachable and are always willing to provide you with mentoring, support and guidance – which is essential for career progression and personal development.  The work is engaging, challenging and varied – one day you could be advising a start-up on its fundraising round and the other acting for a FTSE 100 company on an M&A cross border deal.  You will be given autonomy to run deals depending on your level of experience and confidence, with excellent resourcing and supervision.  If you are looking for deal-making at a high level without the unrelenting intensity of a City firm, this is the firm for you.”  

Qualifications and Experience

Candidates should have drive and an enthusiasm for a broad diet of corporate work but experience in all of the above areas is not required and all team members have areas of greater specialisation with the opportunity to become a “go-to” lawyer in areas or industry sectors of particular interest. An appetite to develop into a rounded and commercially focussed business adviser is a must. Successful candidates are also likely to be strong team players with good inter-personal skills, have strong academics and some relevant experience.  You might have started your career with a major City or a leading national/regional practice or be ready for a step-up in terms of your exposure to more varied and challenging work in a supportive environment which is focused on bringing out the best in you. First-class support and learning and development opportunities are provided and early responsibility is offered for those ready and able to take it on.

The Opportunity

Stevens & Bolton is a UK law firm with around 150 lawyers, approximately a third of them partners, comprising a healthy blend of home-grown talent and lawyers who have chosen to join us from City and leading national/regional law firms. They are people who listen. People who develop a real understanding of your needs, priorities and ambitions. People who care deeply about the outcome.

We provide excellent long-term career opportunities for ambitious candidates who aspire to partnership. We aim to reward associates with market-leading salaries (outside London), and a comprehensive package of benefits.

We recognise that lawyers value the ability to work flexibly and we have agile working policies to facilitate flexible working.  We are launching a new agile working policy for the post-pandemic era and redesigning our office space to accommodate more agile and flexible teams.  Whilst this is a full time role, we are happy to consider a minimum of 4 days per week. 

We have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion (D&I). This drives a strategy which focuses on constant promotion of an inclusive culture that encourages everyone to realise their full potential and be themselves at work. In 2020 we were shortlisted for “Best D&I Initiative” at The HR Awards and for “Best Talent and Inclusion Initiative” at The Lawyer Awards.

Our corporate team was the only non-City/non-US firm shortlisted for “M&A team of the year (medium-sized deal)” at the British Legal Awards 2018. Our corporate team has also been the winner of “Corporate Law Firm of the Year” at the Insider South East Dealmakers Awards six times in the last 12 years.

In addition, Chambers UK ranks us as “National Leaders (outside London)” for corporate/ M&A work, we are one of very few firms awarded this accolade. We are also top ranked in Chambers UK (The South) and The Legal 500 (South East), and ranked in The Legal 500 (London).

Our M&A team was once again ranked in the top ten law firms by deal volume in the South East, in the current Experian MarketIQ report YTD 2020.

The Firm

Stevens & Bolton – making a positive difference to your career

Stevens & Bolton is a UK law firm with over 200 staff. Of those around 150 are lawyers, approximately a third of them partners, many of whom chose to join us from City law firms. Our office is based in Guildford and our staff work from here and also flexibly.

We’ve made excellence the hallmark of our firm: in the clear advice we give, in the enduring client relationships we build and in our proactive and highly responsive service.  We seek to recruit people who will help us maintain and build on this, and in return we offer excellent long-term career and development opportunities.

You’ll work with people who listen, and who actively and willingly support one another within a collaborative and engaging environment.  We genuinely care about our people and strive to build and maintain a diverse, inclusive and happy workforce.

Our vision is to be one of the UK’s most successful law firms, offering excellence beyond the city, a supportive culture and the best client experience. Always making a positive difference. We were proud to be named Law Firm of the Year: The Independents at The Lawyer Awards 2020.