Name: Rebecca Middleton
What’s it like working at Bidwell Henderson?
Working at Bidwell Henderson so far has involved a lot of learning in a short space of time, but it’s been a great challenge. I felt so welcomed into the firm and was made to feel as though I could really work independently in a short space of time. Everyone in both Newcastle and Alfreton is happy to help and answer any questions about the work and the firm despite the distance between the two offices. I feel I can talk to anyone at any level in the firm as everyone’s so friendly.
What attracted you to the advert?
I was attracted to the role of trainee costs draftsperson because of the ability to work in the legal sector in an area of the country I love, while picking up the skill of costing. Liaising with solicitors on their costs as well as giving them advice on how to maximise them was something I was keen to do. The fact that I’d have the opportunity to manage my own caseload really grabbed my attention, as I enjoy working independently and wanted to get to grips with how a number of different solicitors’ files are costed. I noticed that Bidwell Henderson had grown within the space of four years to open the new office in Newcastle, and I thought it would be exciting to work in a firm that was growing so rapidly.
What was the test like?
I sat a couple of tests, one initial one and then another on the day of my interview with the training manager at Newcastle. I was nervous for the first test and spent a while checking my answers! It involved a number of calculations based on the Family Advocacy Scheme rates. These amounts depend on the area of the country the solicitor-client is based in, how many clients are represented, what type of client they are, and other factors. I remember it took a few minutes to absorb the information put in front of me having never looked at Legal Aid costing before, but after I understood how to calculate the sums and what factors needed taking into account, it was fairly straightforward.
Tell us about your favourite work day so far
Probably the day when all the learning started to click into place after working on practice files. Feeling a bit more confident about costing files was great, and being able to move onto real files after that felt exciting.
What do you think about the job?
There can sometimes be a few bumps in the road depending on the files you’re given to work on, such as trying to obtain forms or documents that weren’t included in the file, but I’m enjoying the challenge of obtaining them and piecing costing elements together. It’s rewarding to think that after we’ve costed a file, the solicitor will be given the best possible chance of covering their costs when it’s sent to the LAA.
What was your biggest fear before starting at Bidwell Henderson?
I was a little worried that I wouldn’t have as much autonomy as I’ve been given to cost files independently before they were checked. However, this has proved not to be the case as I’ve been able to liaise with solicitors and counsel on a number of files and get stuck into the files myself before the checking stage.
What advice would you give someone applying for this year’s graduate position?
I would advise applicants to research the firm thoroughly before coming in for tests/interviews. If you reach the tests, my advice would be to read through all the material and instructions you’re given before starting. I rushed into the first test initially, but I actually saved more time by going back after about five minutes and properly reading the instructions on costing and preparing narratives (a brief history of a case).
Claim to fame/talent?
In the past, I really loved music and reached grade 8 clarinet and grade 7 piano.
How to apply for a trainee position?
Send your cover letter and CV to firstname.lastname@example.org or click this link
“...I have found them very knowledgeable and full of expertise In Legal Aid, Inter partes and High costs cases.
They are always at the end of the phone or email if myself or anyone else in the firm have a billing enquiry and would highly recommend them to any legal firm
“Having instructed Bidwell Henderson since they formed in 2014, I can say with enormous confidence that their Costs Draftsmen are the most knowledgeable, efficient and friendly Costs Draftsmen I have had the pleasure of working with.”
“KK Law have used many cost draftsman firms within the last 10 years but have finally found the firm that is the right fit for us ”
Their service is professional, efficient, accurate and they turn our files around quickly. The Admin, accounts and cost draftsman team are all friendly and knowledgeable.
I would not hesitate to recommend Bidwell Henderson to anyone in the legal profession, they have always gone the extra mile on all of our cases both standard and complex to help expedite our bill payment.
“I would have no hesitation in recommending their drafting and processing services.”
As one of our key strategic partners we have found Bidwell Henderson to be a very forward thinking and highly professional law costs drafting firm. They should be commended on their continual investment in staff training, quality controls and GDPR principles.
Specialising in billing through Tikit P4W they fit with our services portfolio perfectly. They consistently hit the mark first time – demonstrating the quality of their work and professionalism of their team, whilst more importantly improving client cashflow.
“The Bidwell Henderson team are an absolute pleasure to deal with”
The Bidwell Henderson team are an absolute pleasure to deal with as they are all so helpful and accommodating and deliver client focused services to suit business needs.
In addition to providing an efficient, tailored and exceptionally pro-active service – they strike the perfect balance of friendly and professional.
“I have been practicing for almost 20 years and without a doubt Bidwell Henderson are the best cost lawyers and draftsmen I have ever instructed”
I have always found their managers and draftsmen to have detailed knowledge of current costs’ law, our case management system and to be knowledgeable and personable.
The managers Ann Henderson and Rebecca Bidwell are always on hand to support their cost draftsmen, and their strategic knowledge of how to manage the Legal Aid Agency costing process is invaluable and impressive.