The Legal Cheek View
The biggest medical negligence law firm in the UK has come a long way in the last 15 years, morphing from a high street practice in Southport into a PI giant that this year knocked global megafirm Baker & McKenzie out of the Sunday Times Best Companies To Work For list. Now Fletchers is making a major play at the graduate recruitment market, with the firm offering six training contracts this year alongside a large vacation scheme programme and a Trailblazer solicitor apprenticeship in conjunction with the University of Law.
Rookies at the firm get experience of its two core branches – a high value complex serious injury practice and their high volume medical negligence side, largely driven by their marketing brand Patient Claim Line. Connoisseurs of daytime TV may recognise the name from its sponsorship of Judge Rinder.
Insiders tell us that it is a good blend. “I have had exposure to large value cases throughout my training, which has been a great benefit, and allowed knowledge to expand over several years,” reports one. And with Fletchers feted as particularly technologically and legal process savvy, trainees emerge well-equipped to operate in a fast-changing civil litigation landscape.
What they don’t get is the bright lights of London – Fletchers remains based in Southport – although many of its young lawyers commute in from nearby Manchester and Liverpool. Indeed, so numerous are they that the trains taking them into the town are dubbed ‘The Fletchers’ Express’. The upside of the location is that Fletchers still feels to some extent like a family business, with high levels of warmth and friendliness for an organisation its size. Senior members of staff (as a limited company Fletchers has no partners) are “very approachable and supportive” and social events “well organised and frequent”.
But the meteoric growth – Fletchers has trebled in size over the last three years – occasionally causes problems. The firm’s offices are “getting increasingly cramped” and there are questions about how long it can continue to be based in a small town. Still, it’s undeniably an interesting work in progress.