Planning and Environmental Solicitor, 5+ PQE, Bristol - Thrings

Professional Title
PQE Guide
5 - 8+
Areas of Practice
South West
& Wales
Bristol Only

Office Locations


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Job Description

This role encompasses contentious and non-contentious work within the planning and environmental sub-team.

Planning work includes non-contentious elements such as negotiating and drafting both planning and infrastructure agreements as well as preparing and submitting Certificate of Lawfulness applications. The contentious planning work covers advising on statutory planning appeals and representation at hearings and Public Inquiries. It also covers advising clients in relation to statutory challenges in the High Court and judicial review. The team also undertakes work in the Magistrates' Court when defending/mitigating in relation to criminal offences for non-compliance with Enforcement Notices, Planning Contravention Notices, Breach of Condition Notices, breaches under the Listed Building Act and TPO/Conservation Area offences.

The Environmental work includes non-contentious work such as due diligence for acquisitions of Brownfield sites and advising in relation to the contaminated land regime. The contentious work covers the statutory nuisance regime and associated appeals against abatement notices, advising in relation to controlled waste offences under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The team also advises on the operation of the Environmental Permitting Regulations and Waste Packaging Regulations and, in particular, defending/mitigating in relation to associated offences under those regulations including the recently implemented civil sanctions regime. The team also advises on water abstraction and impoundment offences under the Water Resources Act 1991.

The successful candidate will work closely with Alex Madden, Partner in the Planning and Environmental Team.

The role is Bristol based, but the successful applicant should be willing to travel between all of the firm's offices, to clients' premises and to those of other parties when required.


Client Services
To provide a first class service to clients through effective handling of client files, under supervision as appropriate. Deal with post, email and telephone calls using initiative and good planning skills to progress matters in a timely and effective fashion.

To provide expert advice to clients in accordance with technical area of specialism; liaising with clients, colleagues/Client Partner and any relevant professionals in accordance with Thrings expected behaviours and values.

A team player, building strong working relationships with the direct Team, the wider team and office teams. Supervising more junior members of the team. Providing a proactive and constructive input into the Team's strategy.

Comply with policies and practices including Risk, Money Laundering, the Firm's office manual and regulatory requirements external to Thrings such as the SRA Code of Practice. Take responsibility for understanding these requirements, and promote the importance of these responsibilities to colleagues.

Understand and achieve targets such as chargeable hours and time recording, ensuring accurate records are maintained for both chargeable and non chargeable time. Complete billing and fee estimate tasks on time. Work proactively with the firm's credit control team in relation to client payments, having a good understanding of write off and recovery rate requirements.

Business Development
Plan and engage in targeted business development activities to obtain new clients for own team, and for other teams within Thrings as appropriate. Build networks of client referrers, understand the market place both locally and regionally. Build a strong understanding of the other business areas and people within the firm for effective internal referrals.

Understanding and Learning
Take responsibility for achieving all forms of continuous professional development. Meet the SRA (or other relevant regulatory body) requirements, and ensure continued personal growth in the technical area of expertise to meet the Team's strategic objectives. Take responsibility for the growth of others, sharing knowledge and accepting and giving feedback constructively.


Experience and Knowledge

Having undertaken both contentious and non-contentious planning and environmental work.

Skills / Abilities
Planning and organising
Time management
Turns problems into solutions
Able to convert technical legal information into commercial advice
Able to give and receive feedback constructively
Effective Negotiator
Able to business develop in own area of specialism, and on behalf of other work areas.
Numerate; able to understand budgets and targets and forecast working time
Strong IT skills; adapt to information systems quickly; able to use case management systems effectively
Excellent literacy skills including drafting style, attention to detail, and a comprehensive and accurate use of the English language
Advocacy skills

Behaviours / Attitude
Communication is clear and concise; listens well; adapts information to suit audience;
Know when to make decisions, and when to seek guidance
Takes accountability for all actions
Strong business acumen and commercial awareness
Take an investigatory approach, knowing as much as possible about the client or task from the outset
Has a courteous, considerate and respectful approach to others, show appreciation wherever it is due
Is a team player, whose personal ambition is expressed through team achievement
Has an open and honest approach including not being afraid to admit uncertainty or mistake
Seek personal achievement, improvement and development in the context of the Team's strategy