In this edition of “Working at BW Legal” we are focusing on our litigation department.
Zarvin Vandrewala, the Supervising Solicitor at BW Legal, took some time out to discuss with us what life in our busy litigation team is like and to provide an insight for those looking to join the business.
Having worked in debt recovery since I qualified, I joined BW Legal in the early part of 2018 to focus on strengthening our litigation offering. We have a large litigation department here with employees working hard to achieve the right outcomes for both our clients and their customers.
One of the key features for me in my role these days is helping employees who have a desire to progress in the legal sector. I’m passionate about the work I produce but also about helping those around me to fulfil their career goals.
We have put in a structured and clear career path in our litigation department which allows you to work your way from a junior level all the way through to a qualified solicitor. It is a fantastic offering for those wanting a route to qualification.
We recently took on our first apprentice in the department and my hope for her is that we can train her up to one day be in a position to qualify in the department. It’s obviously a while off till that may happen, but it signals our intent to promote from within.
I think it’s important to recognise that whilst we want to offer opportunities to our staff, we also set high standards in the department which we expect to be met. This ranges from the basics of professionalism right through to the technical work which is produced. It is not enough to just be good at writing a letter. Other areas of the business look up to our team as role models and therefore I always stress the need for our teams attitude, conduct and behaviours to be on point.
What would I advise to anyone wanting to join a litigation team?
Working in a litigation team is never easy, more so, I feel, in a debt recovery law firm. Debt is an emotive subject and the cases we deal with are not easy, from a technical or emotional standpoint. There is a lot written about debt in the media and on the internet. I appreciate the perception but here we ensure that the team live by the guidelines our regulators set, especially treating customers fairly.
We always understand that there is a human being on the other side of a letter or a telephone call and we try to deal with them in the same way we would want to be dealt with. Believe me, it’s not easy working in any litigation department. You’re dealing with disputes all day every day. However there is still a level of professionalism and customer/client care I expect of our department. Whilst some of the sectors we operate within are not regulated, we still embody the principles of the FCA in the exact same way.
We receive a high number of CV’s for the roles which we advertise. It is always great going through an interview process and meeting new people. We focus on getting in the right people for the job we are recruiting for. Everyone wants to progress quickly but I always ask that people focus on producing strong results in the job they are employed to do.
When I first started out on my career path I was working in a telephony based role focusing on road traffic accidents. My personal approach was to focus on impressing in that role and then when the time was right I’d be looked on more favourably for internal promotions having done a good job.
It doesn’t matter what role you have. You could be a qualified solicitor. You could be starting out your career in an administrative role. The main thing I always say to people – focus on achieving strong results in the role you are employed to do and good things will just happen without you even asking for it.
BW Legal is a great place to work. We have a great department and I have fantastic support from my peers and managers. The management team are focused on achieving strong results for the business but also have a key focus on engaging with our staff and making it a positive environment to work in.
So I hope this inspires some of you out there and I look forward to one day getting the opportunity to work with you.