Senior Associate - Employment - Cambridge

Location: United Kingdom
Office: Cambridge
Discipline: Employment pensions & immigration
Contact name: Himpal Bains

Contact email: [email protected]
Vacancy reference: 023169
Closing date: 20 May 2024

What is the role and what does it involve?

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 but not exclusively 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 generally work in sector teams, supporting employer clients in the Private, Health, Higher Education and Charity sectors. This opportunity is focussed largely on Private Sector (i.e., commercial) work and will form the majority of your workload.  We are a collaborative team and depending on business needs, you may from time to time be required to take on work from the wider team.  This may involve occasionally working across various sectors and/or sub-sectors and potentially engaging in cross-office work and working with colleagues based in different offices (albeit your base will remain in Cambridge).

The NSL is supported by three professional support lawyers (“PSLs”) 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, the majority of which is now done online, but with occasional in-person events.

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
  • Degree or equivalent qualifications
  • 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

Who will I be working with?

You will join a team of collaborative lawyers in our Cambridge office, ranging from trainees, 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?

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, private wealth, real estate investment, sport and technology. Clients include businesses from PLCs to start-ups, high net worth individuals and landowners, more than 120 universities, colleges and education bodies and over 100 healthcare organisations.

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 20 years - the only law firm to achieve this.

We are also proud to have been awarded Platinum Investors in People status this year.  The firm joins a select club of only 6% of 50,000 assessed organisations awarded the coveted platinum status.

The firm is also delighted to report for the eighth year running we were named as one of Roll On Friday’s ‘best law firms to works at’.

Pre-employment screening

Please note that, in the event that we make an offer for a role, we will conduct pre-employment screening that includes, but is not limited to, a basic DBS check, right to work check, any disciplinary history recorded with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and a self-declaration to assess your character and suitability for the role.  A full policy of the screening the firm undertakes is available on request.

Disclosure and barring service check and security clearance

This post is also subject to a satisfactory response from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (to check for any previous criminal convictions and cautions) and, given the nature of the work-type, you may also be required to undergo national security vetting to SC level – the latter can be undertaken following commencement of employment.

The firm

What really sets Mills & Reeve apart from other law firms is the way we work with our clients and each other. 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.