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Bell Pottinger North - Client News
Monday, August 07, 2006
NEWS: Beachcroft Academy: Open For Business

Press Release

Beachcroft Academy: Open For Business

As part of its commitment to becoming a more 'transparent, people-focused business', leading commercial law firm, Beachcroft LLP, has launched a national initiative designed to make it the legal employer of choice in an increasingly tight labour market.

The Beachcroft Academy will provide a central focus for all training, learning and development initiatives across the firm's network of regional offices, benchmarking performance standards and kite-marking areas of best practice.

The firm already has a comprehensive development programme for lawyers in many practice areas, including a compulsory course on the procedural aspects of advocacy in employment tribunals, a commercial property diploma delivered in conjunction with the University of the West of England, and an externally accredited programme which allows lawyers to obtain higher rights of audience.

The new Academy will seek to extend the principles of lifelong learning across all practice areas and will include opportunities for support staff as well as lawyers to pursue their professional goals in line with personal development plans.

Commenting on the new initiative, partner Jane Hayden-Smith, who is heading up the Academy team, said: " We have always taken a progressive approach to training and development and this is the next logical step in that process. We already actively encourage secondments into different teams and sabbaticals for senior staff to help them keep a more sensible life-work balance.

"What is different about the Academy is that it will combine our understanding of the skills and aptitudes our clients tell us they are looking for in a lawyer with the knowledge of our own HR professionals. In that way, we can ensure that everything we do is effective, both in terms of learning methodologies and techniques, and in developing the knowledge and skills we need all our staff to have. This gives us a 'quality control' capability and allows us to align everything that we do with the commercial objectives of the business."

Beachcroft LLP has also this month been re-accredited as an Investor In People, making it one of only five firms with more than 1,000 employees to have achieved the national standard.

National Managing Partner, Paul Murray, is delighted with the result: "We invest substantially each year in learning and development because we believe this ensures our people are at the top of their game and can provide the very best service to clients. This
latest accreditation from Investors in People is proof of those efforts. Capitalising upon this investment will now be one of the key responsibilities of the new Beachcroft Academy and was one of the chief objectives of the conversion to an LLP earlier in the year."

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For further information, please contact Deborah Garritty or Emily Goehler, Bell Pottinger North on 01625 506444.

Notes to Editor
Beachcroft LLP (formerly Beachcroft Wansbroughs) is one of the largest national commercial law firms in the UK. With over 1,400 employees, it provides legal advice and litigation services from seven locations in the UK (two in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Winchester) and also in Brussels. From routine insurance claims management to 'trusted adviser' work for major national and international organisations, the firm delivers integrated legal services to clients in four main industry groups: health and public sector; real estate and construction; financial services (including the insurance industry); and technology, media and telecommunications.

In 2005, Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession, recognised 56 Beachcroft partners as leading lawyers, taking the firm into the top 20 of all UK law firms; the firm also received 20 new entries in Legal 500, a guide to the top 500 lawyers in the UK; in Legal Week's client satisfaction survey, the firm came second amongst all law firms in the UK; and Beachcroft is one of the largest law firms in the country to obtain the 'Investors in People' award across all of its offices.

For further information, please visit: www.beachcroft.co.uk


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