Why Kingsley Napley?

“It has a truly unique atmosphere. As the saying goes 'the people make the place' - this is especially true of Kingsley Napley! People of all levels throughout the firm are friendly and approachable. New joiners often comment on how helpful and welcoming the people are.”

It is our people and unique culture that define who we are as a firm. We are all dedicated to professionalism and excellence and achieving the best possible results for our clients. Our people genuinely care for each other. Everyone is valued and recognised for the role that they do and how it contributes to the overall success of the firm.

Benefits

At Kingsley Napley in addition to competitive salaries, the great working environment and exposure to high quality work we believe our people should be rewarded for their commitment and continued success of the firm. We therefore, offer a highly  competitive and comprehensive core and flexible benefit scheme. which has been designed to meet the needs of everyone in the firm. The core benefits provide the essentials for all of our employees and individuals can then opt to select the flexible benefits in accordance with their own lifestyles.

The core benefits include:

  • 25+ days holiday (depending on length of service)
  • Pension scheme with firm contributions
  • Life Assurance
  • Income Protection
  • Private Medical Insurance
  • Enhanced sick pay
  • Enhanced maternity/paternity pay (based on length of service)
  • Discretionary performance bonus
  • Free eye tests
  • Employee Assistance programme offering a free telephone advice line and counselling

We also offer a flexible, salary sacrifice benefits scheme, which includes:

  • Wellness subsidy
  • Travel season ticket loan
  • Holiday buy/sell
  • Gym membership loan
  • Childcare vouchers
  • Give as you earn
  • Shopping vouchers
  • Will writing
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Health assessments
  • Dental cover

 

Wellbeing

At KN we understand happy, balanced, healthy people enjoy their work and also perform better. We are therefore committed to the wellbeing of our people which is supported by a dedicated wellbeing policy as well as an annual wellbeing programme and wellness subsidy.

The wellbeing policy is designed to provide all of our people with a clear idea of what wellbeing means to us at Kingsley Napley and the ways in which KN can help support them, both at work and in their personal lives to manage their own wellbeing in the various areas.

The policy covers all aspects of health (physical and mental), work life balance, parental support, working hours and it also has guidelines for holiday and hand over notes as well as out of office messages.

The wellbeing programme and the wellness subsidy are designed to help our people maintain and maximise their own wellbeing by providing them with access to: relevant information; wellbeing schemes, services and initiatives; and financial assistance for wellbeing related activities.

Some examples of items covered on our wellbeing programme include:

  • On-site massages
  • Mini-MOT health checks
  • Nutrition seminars
  • Maternity and paternity coaching
  • Mental health training for managers, and all employees

 

Want to know what makes Kingsley Napley a great place to work?

Here’s what our people say.

“It has a truly unique atmosphere. As the saying goes 'the people make the place' - this is especially true of Kingsley Napley! People of all levels throughout the firm are friendly and approachable. New joiners often comment on how helpful and welcoming the people are.”

“The people and the culture. This is possibly the most united and happiest of workplaces that I have ever worked at. The business is ambitious to succeed which is a real positive but only if the workforce are fully engaged in that process. The business and management team have a strong moral compass and this positively influences how we portray ourselves.”

“The strong collegiate, family-like ethos, which runs throughout the firm, from senior partners, to paralegals and support staff, is a pivotal underpin to the positive working environment.”

“Our Managing Partner ensures that we have a great environment to work in based on strong and sound ethical principles. Everyone is friendly and pulling in the same direction.”

 “The collegiate feel and camaraderie at Kingsley Napley is second to none. There is a genuine open door policy and respect amongst colleagues regardless of their seniority or standing.”

“The people and the culture as well as the vision for tomorrow and opportunities ahead.”

“The people: we have a collective spirit which is inspiring.”

 

A day in the life of

Liam Hurren - Trainee Solicitor

My route to becoming a trainee solicitor

My father often reminisces about a time when I said something at one of my secondary school parents’ evenings which caught him completely off guard. One of my teachers had asked me what job I was hoping to do in the future and, without ever having mentioned it before, I just came out with… “I want to be a lawyer.” Law was something so far away from what my family knew, I may as well have said I wanted to be an astronaut.

Working class roots (mine a family predominantly of factory workers and lorry drivers from a small countryside town) unfortunately are not synonymous with a large network of role models and contacts in professional roles. The resources available at my secondary school were not extensive, but when the compulsory work experience programme came around in my penultimate year I saw my chance. I wrote to the only solicitors’ firm in my town and they allowed me to sit in their office for a week. Did I spend most of my days sorting out the stationary cupboard? You bet (and it looked wonderful by the time I had finished with it!), but I still think of that experience as invaluable in pushing me to seek other opportunities and ultimately towards my end goal of becoming a lawyer.

My time at university was pivotal - with government loans, grants and university bursaries, I actually had more money than I had ever had before - somewhat of a paradox compared with most people’s university experience. Prior to university I worked part-time, but no longer having to work to support living expenses meant I could instead use my holidays to expand my legal work experience (which was always unpaid) with the aim of achieving the much-coveted training contract. After hot-footing around my home county for a string of short placements, one summer I wrote to every law firm in my university city asking for a longer internship. Amongst the loud barrage of “no”s and “sorry”s, and many no responses at all, I was finally offered an opportunity in a regional firm where I ended up staying for 2 months. This was my foot in the door – I gained exposure to legal practice, as well as contacts, advice and, crucially, a reference.

I leveraged that experience to obtain a paralegal role at Kingsley Napley in 2015 when I graduated from university, eventually applying and obtaining a training contract with the firm, and the rest, as they say, is history. Were there setbacks and rejections along the way? Of course – my father and I turning up to my Oxbridge interview (through which I fumbled spectacularly) in jeans and t-shirts to be stared at by a sea of black tie certainly sticks in my mind. As do the onslaughts of emails opening with “Thank you for your interest in our firm but unfortunately you have been unsuccessful on this occasion.” I am also not downplaying the part that luck played here – I was fortunate in obtaining the opportunities I had, but I also think I worked hard for them and sought them out from places where none seemed forthcoming. Even my own father thought that when I was applying for roles in London I was overreaching and should look more locally… Thankfully I took no notice.

A typical day

I am in the second seat of my training contract in the Private Client team, having completed my first seat in the Family team. Now nearly a year in, I feel I am settled into my training contract - it is challenging and a constant learning curve, but I am assisted by incredibly supportive colleagues and an open door culture at the firm.

A day in Private Client for a trainee tends to be quite varied – the team is split between strict “private client” matters such as wills, trusts and succession planning, and Court of Protection (“COP”) matters which involve managing the finances of clients who do not have the capacity to do so themselves. Working for both sides therefore creates a very diverse workload.

My day usually begins around 9:00am with reading emails and checking my calendar for the day ahead. I create a short “to do” list of tasks that I need to complete, usually over a tea or coffee, before I get to work. I normally structure my day with any calls I need to make first. COP matters involve, for example, making applications to the court to take certain actions on the client’s behalf, and speaking with companies who hold or manage the client’s money. I may therefore need to chase the court for progress, or speak to a bank about cashing in some investments. I make these calls as early as possible in the morning to avoid the phone lines being busy.

Overnight a client has responded with some details I need to complete their Will and some instructions for how they wish to structure leaving their estate to their beneficiaries. The client is concerned about leaving a significant amount of wealth to their children at age 18, or even age 25, and prefers to create a discretionary trust through which the children can receive their shares of the estate when the trustees see fit. I include the relevant provisions in the draft Will and prepare a detailed email explaining each provision to the client for my supervisor to approve.

At 12 noon, I attend a Diversity & Inclusion subgroup monthly meeting. The firm has a number of subgroups including Social Mobility, REACH (Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage), LGBTQ+ & Allies, KN Families and (Diff)ability. The firm encourages trainees to get involved in D&I initiatives so I am a member of a number of the subgroups. Today’s meeting is for the Social Mobility subgroup and we receive updates from various members regarding on-going or upcoming events and initiatives, for example the firm’s partnership with the Social Mobility Foundation and the work experience program we will be offering to students from underprivileged backgrounds.

After the meeting, I make some lunch and take a short walk to get away from my screen. I am looking forward to returning to the office so that I can grab lunch with my colleagues. Our return to the office is made more exciting by the fact that we are moving to a new building on Bonhill Street this summer so I cannot wait to explore new lunch options in the local area.

I then attend a meeting with a partner in the team and a new client. The client is seeking advice on succession planning, including making arrangements for lifetime gifting to his family in the most tax efficient way possible. The client is not originally from the UK so his domicile and residence will impact on his tax exposure so his position needs to be managed carefully. The client is also considering whether a postnuptial agreement is required to secure his financial position in the event of divorce. My experience with the Family team allows me to give a brief overview of the process and timescale involved in preparing a nuptial agreement, which is indicative of the level of responsibility trainees at the firm are given. I take a detailed note of the meeting, and afterwards I begin to draft an email summarising the client’s background information and providing initial advice on inheritance tax, the impact of his domicile and residence, and the options for gifting. One of the tax efficient measures mentioned in the meeting is a family investment company - I research these and provide a brief list of the pros and cons for the partner to review.

I log off around 6:00pm and finish my day with some fresh air on a walk. I have volunteered to co-write a blog for the COP side of the team (something that trainees are also encouraged to do), looking at the case law around the Covid-19 vaccine and the approach with patients lacking capacity who object to receiving it. I have no other commitments this evening so I consider some ideas and make some notes as I relax which will allow me to make a start the next day. Social events often take place in the evening - later in the week I have a team social on Zoom (though we hope to return to in-person socials very soon). We are making pizzas, with pizza kits sent out to us to cook together on video while we chat (and discover who are the chefs of the group, and who are very much not).

Advice I would give to someone thinking about doing a training contract:

  • Look into diversity & inclusion programs, initiatives, bursaries etc. from your university or other external sources like the Law Society or law firms which you can apply for – There are a lot of opportunities already (and hopefully more and more will come) but any mentorship, financial support or CV-filling opportunities can be incredibly useful when you start looking for a training contract.
  • Get out there – Experience of any kind is only going to help you decide what career you want to pursue. If that is law then legal work experience is great, but so is other work experience, travelling, volunteering, hobbies and interests. All of these other things help you to develop skills which you can use to show you are suited to be a lawyer, as well as making you a well-rounded individual (the focus being on ‘individual’ – do not be afraid to show your personality).
  • Networking is more than an annoying buzzword – I found networking challenging when I first started working in law but it is so important to meet people and build connections. Attending events or reaching out to people via Linkedin can be really helpful in putting your name out there and getting tips on law firms and their application processes.

 

Emma Wardall - CILEX

I am nearing the end of a long but exciting, and I’m sure, worthwhile journey to becoming a Chartered Legal Executive, a qualified lawyer who specialises in one particular area of law, for me that being Criminal Litigation.    

At secondary school Law wasn’t something on my radar. It wasn’t spoken about in my circle of friends as many had aspirations of becoming doctors, vets and teachers and within my close family network my older brother had been the first to go to University and get an ‘academic job’. Therefore Law wasn’t something I had grown up around.

What attracted you to the CILEX route into law?

Having left school after completing A-levels at 18, it was by chance that when speaking with a friend’s mum, who was a chartered Legal Executive practising in Real Estate, had encouraged me to apply for a legal secretary diploma at Mid-Kent College.  It would then open up opportunities to then progress via the CILEX route to become a Legal Executive. Once enrolled, I found the legal studies aspect of the course by far the most interesting and I knew then that I wanted to one day go further and qualify as a Legal Executive.

At around the five year mark of working at Kingsley Napley as a legal secretary/PA, I finally felt ready to further my career and even though I loved my role I needed a more challenging work-load. I researched CILEX and the various other routes into law, as well as speaking with those at KN that were already well on the road down the CILEX route. The CILEX accreditation appealed to me more so than any other route because it provided the flexibility that I needed. I could remain working as a legal secretary but I could learn at the same time at evening sessions at the University of Westminster. CILEX aims itself at those who perhaps are mature, have children and other responsibilities and doesn’t require specific grades.

How did you get onto the CILEX route at KN?

After deciding that CILEX was for me, I produced an application to submit to the then PAL for the Criminal Litigation Team, Stephen Parkinson, setting out why I wanted to do CILEX, what benefit it would bring to the team and the firm and what I wanted to gain from it. I also produced a personal statement to submit to the University for assessment. I had a lot of support and encouragement from family and individuals in the firm.

How do you spend a typical day/week?

As a paralegal in the criminal team working towards Legal Executive Level I complete a large and varied work-load. This ranges from research, drafting letters of instructions and liaising with courts, counsel and clients to organising meetings. This work ultimately supports the associates and partners on matters to make their lives easier. The work has become progressively more challenging as I progress but I am proud of what I have managed to achieve to date

How are you finding it?

I didn’t pick CILEx because it’s an easy route into law. There is no ‘easy’ route and I often think it isn’t given the same consideration as the typical University and LPC track. I am so incredibly grateful that I was given this opportunity and have loved every minute. I never thought I would go back into education after leaving school but I am so glad I choose to. The four years of university based learning flew by, it was tiring attending evening classes, completing homework and studying at weekends and after work but my hard work paid off as I passed all my exams and coursework first time round and am now nearing the end.   

The course suited me because it was a very formulaic course, with each term at Level 3 (two years equivalent to A-level) requiring attendance two evenings a week, studying and taking exams in January and June. Specific topics were set by the University. e.g. Land, employment and criminal litigation. At level 6 (two years equivalent to Honours Degree level) I was able to pick and study the area of law in which to specialise. I am now on the home-stretch and undertaking the final required part of the course, work-based learning. This consists of three years in the area of specialism. The final two years are the key stages in which any work that meets certain outcomes (set by CILEX) can be placed in the portfolio to be assessed for qualification.

For anyone thinking about law I would definitely suggest doing CILEX. Do it and throw everything you have into it because it is challenging but it will pay off and CILEX is becoming a well-known and acknowledged route into law.

 

Una Campbell - Legal Apprentice

How did you become the Legal Apprentice at KN?

I first heard about the ‘Legal Apprentice’ competition ran by KN in an email circulated by my Careers teacher. She encouraged all prospective legal students to get involved with what appeared to be an amazing opportunity to develop skills and gain practical legal experience, so my classmate Luke and I signed up. The competition consisted of a series of heats, testing a variety of legal skills, before progressing onto the final in London. The final involved several stages, such as advising a fictional client, representing them in a police station and making a bail application. Luke and I won the competition, and were then interviewed for a legal apprenticeship, which is how I got to be where I am today.

What attracted you to a Legal Apprenticeship?

There were so many things that attracted me to do a legal apprenticeship. Primarily, the opportunity to get stuck into actual legal work and assist industry professionals from an early stage in my career was a huge attraction, as the sheer amount of exposure and experience to be gained is invaluable. This is not something that is readily possible to obtain whilst studying at a conventional university, so helped convince me that the apprenticeship route was a more engaging, practical and ultimately beneficial form of legal qualification, as the office would be a much more dynamic classroom than any lecture hall.

Also, the opportunities available from undertaking an apprenticeship are huge – after only a few months, I have assisted on matters involving high net-worth individuals, a portfolio of over 200 properties and various highly complex transactions. Exposure to these sorts of matters is incredible, and has opened my eyes to the possibilities for exciting and stimulating work within the legal sector.

Of course, the conversation surrounding the benefits of apprenticeships does tend to promote the financial benefits, which I couldn’t ignore. Earning a competitive salary, whilst obtaining nationally recognised accreditations without incurring any debt is a huge bonus and definitely helped concretise the decision that an apprenticeship would be the best route for me.

How do you spend a typical day/week?

Every day is completely different as a legal apprentice. On any given day, I usually assist different fee-earners with various tasks, be it of a legal, paralegal or administrative nature. Being part of the Real Estate and Construction team, I usually assist with the sale and purchase of residential and commercial properties; undertake legal research and complete administrative tasks.

Thursdays are my study day. I usually spend the day reading and doing the supplementary work for my module, and complete my weekly assignments. Having this day for academics provides a nice balance to the practical aspect of the working week, and ensures that the level of university content is easily managed.

How are you finding the apprenticeship?

I’m really enjoying the apprenticeship! Starting a new job from home is always a strange experience, but the team have been lovely in ensuring that I feel welcome and supported. The job itself has been really interesting and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my colleagues, and the work they do.

Any advice you would give to someone thinking about doing an apprenticeship?

My advice for someone thinking about an apprenticeship would be to try and get as much legal experience as possible, and see how the law functions on a day-to-day basis. The study of law can be very abstract, so experience is crucial in rendering it a bit more accessible and representative of the realities of working in this sector. This should help inform whether this career is right for you.

Lastly, anyone considering an apprenticeship should not be afraid to just apply! Never did I imagine that I would have the chance to work in a law firm, let alone one internationally recognised, at the age of 18, but the apprenticeship programme has allowed that to become a reality. It has opened so many doors, and should be seriously considered as an exciting and innovative option for legal qualification.

 

 

 I chose KN because everything it seemed on the outside was what I found on the inside; it is professional, competent, very very friendly, with massive integrity.

Related Pages

You may also be interested in:

Skip to content Home About Us Insights Services Contact Accessibility