Misha Wiseman and Andre Varela Lopes are first seat trainees in Shoosmiths’ Nottingham office. Here they share an insight into working in Nottingham and what the midlands can offer a junior lawyer.
Since 1984, Shoosmiths has held a strong presence in Nottingham. Currently situated on the 7th floor at Waterfront House, Shoosmiths’ Nottingham office boasts an agile working space and a friendly, collaborative environment. As you enter Waterfront House, you are greeted by a bright and modern marble-clad reception space, recently refurbished. From here, you will take the lift up to the 7th floor where you encounter our reception and social space, with great views of the city. Our social committee often holds office-wide social events in this space, especially during seasonal holidays, with our most recent event celebrating Halloween with a pumpkin carving competition and office lunch. It is the perfect environment to take a breather, relax and build relationships with colleagues in the wider office.
The main office space welcomes employees into an expansive open-planned area, with sections designed with collaboration in mind. The office actively encourages ‘hot-desking’, and the open-plan layout allows for everyone to get to know each other. Everyone is able to book their desk, which boast large dual-screen monitors where you can connect your work laptop. We have four spacious meeting rooms, perfect for a client meeting or 1-1. We also have a team space with a TV screen, making it the perfect area for meetings or discussions with colleagues. This modern and collective working environment reflects Shoosmiths focus on team working and personal development.
Nottingham is home to a team of 87 spanning our major departments including real estate, corporate, business advisory and personal advisory but we are continuously expanding. Nottingham currently recruits one or two trainees each year.
At Shoosmiths, it is the people who make the office the welcoming and friendly environment that it is. Being one of the smaller offices, it’s easy to feel connected and part of the wider team and, as a trainee in Nottingham, you truly get to know everyone - there is a real sense of comradery.
No matter which team you work with, you are encouraged to grow and develop, from both a professional networking and personal development perspective. Junior solicitors, in particular, are encouraged to take on new challenges and to get involved at every opportunity. This is made easier through the refreshingly informal environment and everyone’s approachability – from the office assistants to the partners.
Most people will likely know Nottingham due to its links to Robin Hood and his band of Merry men - the city incentivises this thinking, through the city’s various Robin Hood impersonators, his statue outside Nottingham Castle and the school, pubs and streets named after him.
However, Nottingham is more than just this famed connection. In addition to being the home of Boots HQ, a central client for the firm, it is also the headquarters of other household names such as Games Workshop, Capital One and Wilko. It is a city that is ambitious and forward looking as can be seen by its aim of being carbon neutral by 2028, the first in the UK.
On the social side, Nottingham is a city of culture, nightlife, sport, and shopping. For plays and musicals, there is no better place than the Theatre Royal.
Bars and live music? Nothing beats having a cocktail in a cave many feet below the earth at Lost Property or watching a gig at the great Rock City.
If sports is more your style, go see the newly promoted Premier League team Nottingham Forest or Notts County FC, the oldest professional association football club in the world (the two stadiums are just 270 meters apart, the closest in England). Nottingham is also home to the Nottingham Panthers (as you may guess by the name…) one of the best ice hockey team in the UK and if you haven’t seen an ice hockey game live, there is no better place to do so than at the Motorpoint Arena.
The Lace Market, Victoria Centre and the many independent shops dotted around Old Market Square and the rest of the city give plenty of shopping opportunities. The seasonal Nottingham Christmas Market is one of the best in the country as the stalls all sell unique products rather than the usual Christmas knickknacks - from genuine drinking horns to home-brewed meads to local cheese and handcrafted gifts.
If you want to take a break from the city life you can relax at the Arboretum, have a drink on the banks of the River Trent or see the majestic Wollaton Hall, known as Wayne Manor in the Batman franchise (there is also the nearby village of Gotham for the super fans).
You can also go slightly further afield and explore the famous Sherwood Forest or hike for days in the nearby Peak District.
Regardless of your preference, Nottingham appeals to all and there is no end of things to do in a vibrant place such as Nottingham. “Ey up me duck!”
Facts and Figures for Nottingham (Correct as of November 2022)
- 76 people in the office, including:
- 37 in the real estate team;
- 18 in the corporate team;
- 11 in the business advisory (commercial) teams;
- 11 partners (or equivalent); and
- 3 trainees (1 first year and 2 second years).
- Trainee salary: £31,000 - £33,000
- NQ Salary: £58,000
- Universities in Nottinghamshire:
- Likely trainee seats: Corporate, Real Estate, Employment, plus some time spent on a client secondment or in another team based in Birmingham
- Local junior lawyer & business networking groups:
- Find out more local knowledge
A few facts about Nottingham
The first Boots store was located in Goose Gate. John Boot, an agricultural worker, had opened this herbalist's store to cater to the poor people in the city. After John passed away in 1860, his wife and children travelled around the country, collecting herbs and taking forward the dream of John Boot. At the age of 27, Jesse Boot took the sole ownership of the store and laid the foundation for the present-day Boot empire.
Nottingham is famed for its links to the legend of Robin Hood as well as its lace-making heritage, 11th century Nottingham Castle and famous names like Raleigh bikes and Boots. It was granted its city charter in 1897 as part of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
The University of Nottingham student’s union was the location for the first ever gig by Paul McCartney and Wings – on February 9, 1972. It was the first time McCartney had played in five years, and tickets cost 40p.
Nottingham has the biggest market square in England, at 5.5 acres.
Apply to work in Nottingham
Apply for an insight evening, placement or training contract in Shoosmiths’ Nottingham office here.
Apply for a business support or legal adviser role in Nottingham here.