Senior Associate - Commercial Employment - Cambridge

Vacancy ID




Preferred location

Vacancy type

Qualified Lawyer
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We are excited to be searching for an employment lawyer to join our top-ranked team in Cambridge.  You will undertake a broad mix of contentious, non-contentious and transactional work with appropriate supervision as needed, predominantly for employers in the private commercial sector.


The Cambridge team is part of the firm's' cross office Employment, Pensions and Immigration National Service Line (“NSL”) which is led by Cambridge-based Partner, David Mills.  You will be able to develop your career within the NSL, which nationally consists of over 50 lawyers, with 17 of these in Cambridge.  The lawyers in Cambridge work in sector teams, supporting employer clients in the Commercial, Health, Higher Education and Charity sectors.  This opportunity is to join the Commercial team.


The NSL is supported by two professional support lawyers who deliver our monthly in-house updates and assist with our know-how, precedents and client training.  We also have an in-house advocacy unit which supports some of the NSL's Tribunal work.


As well as advisory work, you will be involved in delivering our annual programme of training, seminars and legal updates to clients and targets.


As a Senior Associate, you will be expected to:


Client service

  • Retain and develop client relationships by delivering outstanding client service to both internal and external clients

  • Have a sound understanding of clients¿ legal, commercial and service requirements

  • Demonstrate commercial and personable client relationship skills


Technical excellence

  • Have strong technical competence and legal knowledge in employment law

  • Deliver accurate, technically correct and commercial ¿advice that delivers advice¿ in writing, on the telephone and in person


New clients, new work

  • Support the team¿s business development activities and initiatives with existing, new and target clients as well as multipliers and other professionals


The person

You will have 5+ years¿ experience gained in a reputable firm with an established employment law practice


What skills and attributes will I need?



  • Strong experience of acting for employers on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters

  • Good academics

  • Clear drive and enthusiasm for employment law

  • Excellent written English for drafting purposes

  • Well-developed presentation skills

  • Self-starting with common sense, initiative

  • The ability to work effectively both within a team and also independently

  • An appetite to work on complex matters

  • Proactive case management skills

  • Keen attention to detail

  • Ability to establish personal chemistry and build effective and long lasting relationships with colleagues, clients, targets and multipliers

  • Appropriate IT skills, including an ability to use online information sources

  • Sound research skills

  • An understanding of business management and an ability to deliver profitable work

  • A desire to develop yourself and your career within the team



  • Previous experience of advising commercial clients in relation to a broad range of employee relations matters including workplace conflict (discipline and grievance), workforce planning (redundancy and reorganisation), capability and performance management (including ill health matters) and equality, diversity and inclusion matters

  • Experience of drafting contracts of employment, executive service agreements, policies and procedures, settlement agreements and COT3s

  • Previous experience of providing employment law support and input to corporate transactions, including undertaking due diligence and drafting and advising on the employment / TUPE provisions in transactional documents

  • Ability to lead on Employment Tribunal matters, including drafting pleadings, Tribunal applications, case management agendas, witness statements, handling disclosure and conducting/concluding without prejudice negotiations

  • Experience of conducting some Tribunal advocacy or an interest in doing so

  • Experience of supporting clients in the Life Sciences and Technology sectors would be advantageous but not essential


Who will I be working with?

You will join a team of collaborative commercial lawyers in our Cambridge office, ranging from newly qualified Associates through to Partners. You will primarily work with Partner, Melanie James, who will be responsible for mentoring, supervision and supporting your development.


What else should I know?

This is an ideal opportunity to build your skills and experience with a major UK law firm, listed as one of the “Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For” for the last 17 years - the only law firm to achieve this. This year we were named as Roll on Friday's Firm of the Year for 2020. We have also achieved the much sought after Three Star Accreditation and been named as one of 100 Best Mid-Sized Companies to Work For as a result of outstanding levels of staff engagement and the firm¿s commitment to creating a positive working environment for all employees.


Mills & Reeve is a major UK law firm renowned for its outstanding service to national and international clients, for its collaborative culture and for its deep sector expertise.


The firm has a strong sector focus with expertise in agriculture, charities, education, food and beverage, health, insurance, life sciences, private wealth, real estate investment, sport and technology. Clients include businesses from PLCs to start-ups, landowners, high net worth individuals, household and high street names, more than 120 universities, colleges and education bodies and over 100 NHS and private healthcare organisations.


Pre-employment screening

Please note that, in the event that we make an offer of employment, we will conduct pre-employment screening that includes checks relating to your professional and academic qualifications, references from previous employers, your eligibility to work in the UK and any disciplinary history recorded with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). You will also be required to complete a self-declaration to access your character and suitability.


Disclosure and barring service check


This post is also subject to a satisfactory response from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to check for any previous criminal convictions.


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As you would expect, the firm offers a generous salary and benefits. Everyone has different priorities and preferences, so at Mills & Reeve you can choose the benefits that appeal to you. From buying holiday and undergoing health screening to leasing a bicycle – the choice is yours.

Our core benefits are:

  • Equal all staff bonus based on the firm’s financial performance
  • Generous pension including the option to salary sacrifice
  • Five weeks' annual leave and the option to buy or sell a week each year
  • Extra day of leave for wedding/civil partnership, religious holiday and house moving
  • Bonus week leave every 11th year of continuous service
  • Enhanced maternity, paternity and adoption pay
  • Income protection after two years’ service
  • Life assurance with the choice of covering between two and 10 times annual basic salary
  • Confidential employee assistance programme providing guidance on every day issues to more complex matters and both telephone and face to face counselling.

More information can be found here.


The firm

What really sets Mills & Reeve apart from other law firms is the way we work with our clients. We understand that clients, in the 21st century, no longer want a traditional law firm – they want one that embraces forward thinking approaches to service, billing, commercial know-how, innovation, people management and community engagement. 

And finally

Mills & Reeve is committed to providing an inclusive and supportive working environment. We are happy to consider flexible working arrangements and endeavour to achieve the right balance for both our people and the business. This attitude to flexible working ensures we continue to provide outstanding service to our clients, whilst allowing our people to develop their careers in the knowledge that personal priorities will remain just that.

Mills & Reeve is committed to promoting equality, diversity and to providing an inclusive and supportive environment. Please click the link below to find further information regarding diversity and inclusion at Mills & Reeve.

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