Commercial law firm, Beachcroft LLP, and the University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE) have achieved a joint training award for a unique property diploma initiative.
Presented at the 'National Training Awards Dinner' in Bristol - run by UK Skills - the coveted, regional award recognises organisations that are achieving outstanding success through training and development.
In conjunction with UWE's Advanced Legal Practice Diploma Course, Beachcroft's postgraduate property diploma is aimed at solicitors with up to three years' post-qualification experience. It is offered at each of the firm's regional offices, including Bristol, Manchester, Leeds and London. Believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, the diploma also counts towards a Masters degree at UWE.
"The programme has been developed to ensure standards of professional excellence across our national commercial property practice," said George Williamson, partner at Beachcroft. "It gives our solicitors a specific understanding of the commercial marketplace, and provides a well balanced mix of academia and practical experience.
"In addition to improving legal expertise, the programme introduces culture change and brings other benefits to the organisation. For example, our senior solicitors have worked as tutors at seminars and this has raised their confidence in public speaking and managing others.
"We believe our structured training programme, which has unanimous support across the department, is unique among law firms."
Dean of UWE's Faculty of Law, Professor Alan Bensted, said: "This is an excellent achievement for the Faculty as it demonstrates our ability to engage in Knowledge Exchange at a high level within the legal profession and in close collaboration with leading national firms of solicitors."
Seven candidates completed the Beachcroft diploma in 2005, with no failures, and a further four have completed the course so far this year - around 20 candidates are expected to complete the course in 2007.
UK Skills runs the training awards on behalf of the Department for Education and Skills. UK Skills Chief Executive, Jacqui Henderson, said: "These awards have always been about excellence, achievement and improvement. This means bottom-line benefits for employers and significant career development for individuals."
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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 six main industry groups: health and public sector; real estate and construction; financial institutions (including the insurance industry); consumer and industrial goods and services and technology and telecommunications.
The firm has received a number of industry accolades in the last year. Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession 2007, recognised 65 Beachcroft partners as leading lawyers, ranking the firm at number 16 in the UK, up from 19 last year. In Legal 500, a guide to the top 500 lawyers in the UK, the firm received a Tier 1 ranking for 17 of its practice areas across the UK. In Legal Week's client satisfaction survey, the firm came second amongst all law firms in the UK. Beachcroft is one of the largest law firms in the country to obtain the 'Investors in People' award across all of its offices.
The Bristol office currently includes 24 partners and over 400 staff. Its partners have particular expertise and experience in commercial property, public sector, PFI/PPP projects, health, IT, construction, litigation, financial services and employment law.
For further information, please visit: www.beachcroft.co.uk