Senior Lawyer – Employment – Cambridge or Norwich

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

Contact email: [email protected]
Contact phone: 0121 456 8009
Vacancy reference: 020929
Closing date: 06 June 2024

The role

We are excited to be looking for a senior employment law solicitor to join our top-ranked team in either our Cambridge or Norwich offices at Principal Associate level.  This is a senior role as Principal Associate is the most senior non-Partner grade of lawyer that we have.

You will undertake a broad mix of contentious and non-contentious work, predominantly for higher education institutions but also for commercial organisations and charities.  We would provide training/support on working with higher education institutions and charities as we appreciate you may not have done this before.

Your role will focus on working for clients in London and the Eastern region, but you will also be involved in working for some of our national clients.

Higher education is a key sector for the firm and is highly regarded throughout the NSL and firm.  The work is technically very interesting, arising from the size and complexity of many higher education institutions as public, private and charitable employers and the national and geopolitical context in which they sit.  The clients are rewarding to work with; they are highly qualified, experienced and keen to do their best for their organisation as well as being fair to employees. Our clients are located across the country and include a range of universities and other education bodies/charities. We are regarded as one of the leading higher education firms in the country and have ambitious plans for growth.

You will be involved in delivering our programme of training, seminars and legal updates to clients and targets both in person and online.

Training will be provided on sector specific issues.  So, if you are a senior lawyer but have not worked in the higher education sector before, all you need is an interest in working at a senior level with these great clients and a desire to be part of our exciting plans for growth.

This is an exciting opportunity to join the team at a senior level, to support further growth, to lead on developing clients, and help to develop more junior members of the team.

At this level, you will be expected to perform as follows:

  • Deliver outstanding client service to both internal and external clients to encourage client retention and referrals
  • Have a sound understanding of clients' legal, commercial and service requirements
  • Have effective client relationship and client service skills
  • Demonstrate strong business development credentials in terms of growth from existing clients and bringing in new work
  • Have strong technical competence and legal knowledge in employment law
  • Deliver high quality and commercially focussed advice
  • Effective and efficient management of financial matters
  • Experience in managing Employment Tribunal litigation
  • Deliver training to clients and target clients
  • Contribute to encouraging innovation within the firm
  • Have strong leadership skills and supervise junior lawyers
  • Act with honesty and integrity in accordance with regulatory frameworks, firm policies etc

The team

The Cambridge and Norwich Employment teams are part of the cross-office Employment, Pensions and Immigration NSL of 65 lawyers (which is headed by David Mills and supported by three professional support lawyers).  There are monthly cross-office NSL training sessions delivered by our professional support lawyers, together with cross-office and sector away days.

The Cambridge and Norwich Employment teams are ranked in Band 1 in Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 and are continuing to develop and grow.  You would work closely with partners Nicola Brown,  Alex Russell and Melanie James.

The person

You will have 8+ years’ employment experience gained in a firm of similar size to Mills & Reeve with a substantive employment law practice.

Skills and attributes

Given the nature of this role, it is likely that your background and experience will include the following:


  • Good academics – 2.1 degree or equivalent with good A levels or equivalents
  • An interest in working for a range of  clients as well as a clear drive and enthusiasm for employment law
  • Excellent written drafting skill
  • Excellent presentational skills
  • Self-starting with common sense and initiative, and ability to work as a team-player working on complex matters
  • Very good time and documentation management skills
  • Keen attention to detail
  • Ability to lead on Employment Tribunal matters and run matters with minimal supervision
  • Ability to supervise and assist more junior lawyers
  • Ability to build very good relationships with clients, potential clients and multipliers
  • Very good research skills, including an ability to use online information sources
  • Excellent interpersonal and team skills, including ability to work with others, influence and persuade
  • Keen interest in developing client training skills
  • High level of IT skills
  • Marketing and business development skills


  • Experience of Employment Tribunal advocacy;
  • A passion for developing others; and
  • A track record of building a network of contacts with clients and other multipliers (such as participation in an ongoing network or group).

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’.

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.

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 assess your character and suitability.

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, 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.

And finally

Mills & Reeve is committed to building a diverse workforce and fostering an inclusive environment in which all our people can thrive. We hire people from a wide variety of backgrounds because it makes our firm stronger, and we have a collaborative culture that celebrates different perspectives and values respect for one another, working together, and openness and integrity. Our approach to flexible working means that we work in a way that achieves the right balance for our people, our clients and for our business.