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London - Associate, Planning

London (Central), London (Greater)
Closing date
9 Aug 2022

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Vacancy Type
Solicitors – Private Practice
Contract Type
Practice Area
Real Estate, Planning
Experience Level
0-2yrs PQE
Role Classification
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Job Details

Purpose of role

Our top rated Planning and Public Law team has been involved in some of the most exciting and high-profile projects of recent times. With work including new settlements and urban extensions; major regeneration and town centre redevelopment projects; mixed used, retail and residential led schemes; promotion of, and objections to, compulsory purchase orders; our lawyers advise on a huge variety of both contentious and non-contentious planning matters. Our client base is impressive and diverse, covering central and local government, leading developers, retailers, investors, corporate vehicles, national representative bodies and local community organisations. 

Required experience, skills and attributes

The role is varied and you will be required to advise landowners, developers, and local planning authorities on all aspects of planning law, including:

  • Complex planning applications and environmental assessment processes
  • Section 106 agreements/undertakings, highways agreements, stopping up orders, and infrastructure agreements
  • Community infrastructure levy
  • Development of local plans, neighborhood plans, and local development orders; review, assessment, and drafting of planning policy
  • Garden cities and urban extensions
  • Affordable housing and viability
  • Complex issues presented by major infrastructure and transport projects, and urban development and regeneration schemes
  • Public inquiry work, including instructing Counsel and team coordination
  • Judicial review and High Court litigation, including instructing Counsel and team coordination
  • Listed building consents, neighborhood plans, local plans, assets of community value, and conservation areas
  • Compulsory purchase
  • Planning due diligence on commercial and corporate transactions

It is important that the successful candidate is able to communicate clearly with colleagues, clients, and the wider market. The successful candidate will be expected to be able to work independently within a collegiate environment and to act as a mentor to others, driving their own practice through networking and other marketing. The successful candidate will be expected to take on extensive responsibility and play a pivotal role in developing the business and the profile of the team.

Technical Skills (Essential)

  • A strong academic background
  • Effective delegation skills with strong team collaboration
  • Business development — the experience of contributing to developing and maintaining existing client relationships, as well as wider marketing, networking, and thought leadership
  • Demonstrable experience in several of the following:
    • Drafting and negotiating complex section 106 and infrastructure agreements
    • Advising on CIL charging schedules and triggers for payment
    • Judicial review and High Court litigation
    • Advising on urban extension/ development and regeneration schemes
    • Compulsory purchase orders
    • Planning due diligence on commercial and corporate transactions, including the negotiation of planning warranties and indemnities

Technical Skills (Desirable)

  • Experience - broad planning experience with some real estate experience
  • Legal ability - detailed grasp of complex legal concepts, excellent drafting skills with a plain English approach, ability to see issues from a commercial perspective and ability to communicate complex legal advice to clients effectively
  • Delivering excellent client service - excellent communications skills, driven to deliver to clients promptly, sets themselves challenging goals and resilient in achieving them
  • Initiative and managing change - resilient in the face of multiple priorities, able to deliver difficult messages, takes ownership for resolving problems pro-actively
  • Teamwork and communication - seek out the views of others, always willing to assist others, assured and succinct in communications with other departments
  • Impact and personal development - proactively request feedback from others, is able to deal with constructive criticism, and takes ownership for self-development
  • Finding and winning - able to build relationships with clients, identify opportunities and networks effectively internally
  • Practice/firm promotion - acts as an ambassador for the firm, writes blogs/articles for publication, is visible in the planning world on social media
  • Financial performance - familiar with key drivers of firm performance
  • Developing and retaining - works to become a trusted advisor to the client, aware of client industry dynamics
  • Risk management and professional ethics - take responsibility for personal and professional ethics, understanding of reputational risk and the regulatory framework, prepared to seek advice where appropriate
  • Firm contribution - high level of personal integrity, contributes to developing a diverse and innovative culture, prepared to go the extra mile

Personal Skills / Attributes

  • Proactive with a passion for planning 
  • Have opinions on planning issues and be willing to defend them
  • The ability to take responsibility to manage your own workload, with attention to detail and high accuracy
  • Excellent service orientation and communication skills
  • Ability to cope with conflicting demands and meet deadlines
  • Ability to establish professional credibility
  • Strong influencing skills
  • Intelligent and commercially minded
  • Good time and people management skills
  • Keen interest and enthusiasm to learn about our clients' business
  • Empathetic, responsive, and reliable
  • Ability to offer pragmatic and innovative in solutions offered to clients
  • Good at fostering relationships with clients
  • Entrepreneurial vision and a desire to assist in the growth of a practice area.

The firm

Dentons is the world's largest law firm, delivering quality and value to clients around the globe. Dentons is a leader on the Acritas Global Elite Brand Index, a BTI Client Service 30 Award winner and recognized by prominent business and legal publications for its innovations in client service, including founding Nextlaw Labs and the Nextlaw Global Referral Network. Dentons' polycentric approach and world-class talent challenge the status quo to advance client interests in the communities in which we live and work.

Diversity & Inclusion

Essential to our success as a global law firm is our ability to attract and retain the best talent from a diverse range of backgrounds. We want a work environment where everyone can reach their potential and we have an inclusive culture that respects individual differences.

We undertake and support a number of internal and external initiatives aimed at increasing diversity within the profession and we encourage all our partners and staff to get involved. We welcome you to learn more about diversity and inclusion at Dentons.

Equal opportunities

Dentons is committed to providing equal opportunities for all. We welcome applications from candidates with disabilities and support those in the workplace who have a disability. Any disability disclosure will be dealt with confidentially and sensitively and if you want to speak directly to a member of our team, please email


If you are interested in applying for this position, we welcome direct applications via our careers page, but if you have any questions beforehand please email – Enquiries only please, applications will not be accepted via email.

Please note that we will not accept unsolicited CVs sent to the business, nor will we accept any associated terms of business.


Looking for a firm where you can realise your potential and build a rewarding career? Then apply yourself at Dentons.

Dentons is the world's largest law firm, with more than 12,000 lawyers and professionals. It is a force for innovation and change in the commercial legal market today.

The legal profession is changing rapidly and Dentons is leading the way in advancing change for the benefit of clients. We are driven to challenge the status quo, delivering consistent and uncompromising quality and value to our clients in new and innovative ways.

Global and local market forces are rapidly changing the practice of law. Clients expect high-quality, seamless service delivered faster, cheaper and better everywhere. Globalisation and the corresponding desire to protect cultural identity are creating challenges and opportunities for law firms around the world. By joining Dentons, you can help us meet these challenges.

Our vision is to be the law firm of the future, right now. Our strategy is to grow, integrate and reinvent our business. You have the opportunity to help build the law firm of the future and be a part of the strategy that gets us there.

Who do we hire?

One of the things that makes Dentons unique is our polycentric approach: we have no one global headquarters and no dominant national culture. That means that, here in the UK and Ireland, we have colleagues performing all functions of the Firm. We not only hire qualified lawyers and other fee earners, but also the full suite of business support professionals.

Our UK and Ireland core values are important to us – "Always Human", "Stronger Together", "Here to Win". This helps to shape our culture and how we work with each other, our clients and our communities.

At Dentons, we believe that inclusion and diversity are essential to the success and strength of the Firm and the quality of our advice to, and representation of, our clients. We are committed to providing a flexible environment where everyone respects, supports and learns from our collective skills, talents and differences. By attracting, supporting, promoting and retaining individuals from all backgrounds, inclusive of race, ethnicity, faith, religion or spiritual beliefs, gender, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, abilities, social perspective and other characteristics, we create a dynamic and inclusive work environment that is critical to our success. You can read more about what we are doing to achieve this on our Inclusion & Diversity pages.

We welcome applications from candidates with disabilities and support those in the workplace who have a disability. Any disability disclosure will be dealt with confidentially and sensitively. If you want to speak directly to a member of our team, please contact

We are a truly global law firm and, as such, always welcome hearing from those with foreign language capabilities.

Why should you join the Firm?

We provide innovative solutions to our clients by attracting, retaining and developing the best talent. At Dentons, you will develop your skills and knowledge in an open and supportive environment. You will be both stretched and challenged. You will experience an international network that fosters a collegiality unmatched at other firms.

We are proud of the achievements of our Firm members, both professionally and within our wider communities.

Helping our clients prosper and grow is what Dentons is all about. We focus on meeting the evolving needs of our clients in virtually every sector. We care about the long-term success of each one of our clients and strive to build a trust-based partnership.

We want to give everyone the opportunity to develop their potential fully and, therefore, provide support, training and encouragement to members of staff at all levels. Our award-winning Talent & Development team has access to a wealth of resources to support you throughout your career at Dentons. With these, and our formal developmental packages, we will help you to achieve your career goals.

What benefits and support are available?

Dentons understands the need to retain quality employees, which is why the Firm offers a huge range of employee benefits. From health insurance and critical illness cover, to gym membership and income protection, employees and their loved ones are well looked after at Dentons. Dentons has an in-house counsellor and fully trained mental health first aiders.

In light of the increasing numbers of working parents with dependent children, and other caring responsibilities, Dentons provides support for loved ones through a Parents & Carers network and resources such as My Family Care and Cityparents.

Where in the UK and Ireland are we based?

We have offices across the UK: London, Milton Keynes, Edinburgh and Glasgow and Aberdeen and also in Dublin, Ireland. In addition, a growing number of our roles are for remote workers based anywhere in the UK. The description of each position details where the successful hire can be based.

The way we work

At Dentons the way we work is built on trust, empowerment and all round flexibility. With diversity at our core, our approaches to work are as varied as we are. We support our staff to be their best selves, helping them make the right choices in where and how we work in order to deliver the very highest level of service to our clients, ensuring we are able to carry out our roles in their widest sense to support our teams, our personal development and our own preferences.

We have worked with, and listened to, all of our employees and now have three recognized ways of working. These categories are as follows;

Office based - Office based workers are those who need to be in the office every day as their physical presence is intrinsically linked to their specific role, this applies to a small proportion of our workforce/teams.

Virtual workers – Our virtual workers have no need to attend an office and as such, are fully remote. We have successfully implemented this model across both our Legal Delivery Centre and ARC real estate teams. Members of these teams are provided with all necessary equipment and an allowance to create a workspace in their own home and won't be expected to come to an office. At the moment all virtual workers must be in the based in UK.

Hybrid workers – For the majority of our workforce we have implemented a hybrid model whereby there is no minimum (or maximum) number of days they must work from an office location. Instead we give them the freedom to decide with their team how efficiently and effectively they can deliver the best service to our clients, work with our colleagues and progress their own personal development whilst recognizing the need to adjust plans where circumstances require. Each hybrid worker is given an allowance to create a workspace in their own home.

At Dentons, we are always open to improvement and challenging ourselves so should you have a current way of working that is different to our model then please let us know at the application stage and we would love to discuss it with you!

Find Us
+44(0) 20 7242 1212
One Fleet Place
United Kingdom
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