National firm Thrings has roots going back 300 years. In 2000, Swindon-based Townsends merged with Thrings & Long. Then in 2007, the firm merged with Lee & Pembertons to form Thring Townsend Lee & Pembertons. In 2011 there was a rebrand and ‘Thrings’ officially came onto the scene.
Thrings has offices in Bath, Bristol, Romsey and London but is headquartered in Swindon – it only recently opened its London outpost so its focus is very much in the South West. The firm is a big agricultural player with the largest specialist agricultural legal team in the UK. With revenue at £29.5 million in its most recently disclosed financial results, it just makes the top 100 UK law firms by revenue, sitting at 92nd place.
The firm made two big expansions last year. In 2018 it opened a new office in Romsey, Hampshire, to capitalise on agriculture work that Brexit has thrown up. The same year it moved into a new office in London with the hope of generating more international work, particularly in real estate. These bold moves were made as part of the firm’s attempt to grow organically.
The firm does not run any vacation schemes and its ideal candidate for training contracts will have already completed the LPC or have begun it, so unfortunately there is no sponsorship on offer.
However, once you are in the door, the level of training is “very good” and trainees are provided with a “challenging mix of work”. Niche seats include agriculture and personal injury, but there is also the standard corporate and commercial litigation. Legal Cheek understands that at the time of writing there are no client or international secondments on offer.
Significant clients of Thrings include Grant Thornton, HSBC, Matchesfashion.com, House of Fraser and Arkell’s Brewery.
You won’t be chained to your desk here, as the work/life balance is “about as good as can be expected” in the legal world. One trainee championed the firm’s social life, vouching that “as top 100 firms go, Thrings no doubt has one of, if not the best, work life balance”. The general feeling was that the healthy work/life balance “feeds into the firm’s culture”.
This culture was a standout feature of the firm: “everyone is very supportive at Thrings” and this goes “right up to the managing partner”. Fellow ‘Thrings’ were “very supportive” and “friendly and willing to answer any questions” that trainees may have.
The firm has moved away from individual fee-earning targets and replaced them with new team targets, which may have helped to create “a good team atmosphere”.
One trainee was keen to emphasise the “non-hierarchical feel to the firm” which they put down to the partners, who are “approachable and encourage you to ask questions and are happy to give feedback”.
The social life received mixed reviews. There was general agreement that it was “fairly good” but varies “depending on office location”. If you’re wondering which of the five, one trainee was confident that the “Bristol office is the place to be”.
Thrings may be without a canteen but the firm does have a range of perks on offer. These include “private medical insurance for every staff member, birthday leave… and dental insurance”.
Whilst there is “no bonus scheme”, one trainee reported that “our team achieved our billing target and were given an extra half-days holiday” which was one of a few “frequent little rewards throughout the year”.
Some of the more interesting work Thrings has been involved in includes advising Matches Fashion on a lease of two floors of the Shard, advising Kathryn Sargent (the first female tailor on Savile Row) on setting up a store, and advising on the crowdfunded purchase of an Exeter-based student property.