Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP

Address: 12 New Fetter Lane, London, EC4A 1JP




Survey results


The lowdown (in their own words...)

Why did you choose this firm over any others? 
 ''Strong IP practice' 'my experience on the vacation scheme - I was totally won over by the great people and the amazing work' 'the work/life balance' 'the great firm culture', 'friendliness' the work on offer is varied and interesting, covering a broad range of sectors and industries' 'the strong reputation' 'the people were really welcoming' 'IP expertise'
Best thing about the firm? 
 ''Everyone is approachable from the CEO to the cleaners' 'the views' 'the people' 'the work/life balance compared to other firms' 'the friendly atmosphere - no dog-eat-dog culture' 'the culture and the work on offer' 'everyone is so friendly and sociable' 'the working hours' 'the inclusive training'
Worst thing about the firm? 
 ''No qualification leave' 'the organisation of the management' 'the salary for trainees is perhaps slightly lower than at other firms but that is the trade-off you make for the work/life balance' 'some associates could manage the workload more effectively'
Best moment? 
 ''Being given my own project in my first seat and seeing it complete' 'getting to run a client meeting' 'a three-week trial in the Rolls Building' 'attending a meeting with a long-standing client and hearing where they see the future of their business' 'my supervisor passing on some great feedback I had received' 'being taken along to multiple client meetings'
Worst moment?
 ''Disclosure tasks' 'being left unsupervised during a big deal' 'screwing up something really simple' 'doing a really dull task that took hours of my time' 'bundling alone at 1am' 'having an 80-page proof-reading task land on my desk at 5pm on a Friday night' 'when there were no associates around to supervise''

If the firm were a fictional character it would be...

Velma (Scooby-Doo) - intelligent and quick-witted whilst being sociable and fun

The Verdict

The firm

Bird & Bird has 28 offices located across 18 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. The firm is a leader across a broad range of TMT sectors, including IP, IT, data protection and brand management, and operates in key industry sectors such as aviation, energy, financial services, media and life sciences. 

The star performers

Aviation; Banking litigation: investment and retail; Brand management; Commercial contracts; Commercial litigation; Data protection; Employment: employers; Flotations: small and mid-cap; Franchising; Fraud: civil; IT and telecoms; Healthcare; Intellectual property; Media and entertainment (including media finance); M&A: mid-market, £50m - £250m; Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology; Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables); Reputation management; Sport; Venture capital.

The deals

Represented Merck KGaA in a trade mark and breach of contract claim against Merck, Sharp & Dohme; advised Chelsea FC on its sponsorship deal with Nike; acted for De Beers Group in a domain name dispute before the World Intellectual Property Organisation; represented the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in proceedings brought against Maria Sharapova following her positive test for meldonium; assisted Chiesi Pharmaceuticals with a series of multi-jurisdictional patent licensing transactions with The Medicines Company and AstraZeneca.

The clients

British Academy of Songwriters Composers & Authors; BT; Dr. Reddy's Laboratories; EE, Fabergé; House of Fraser; KCH Management; Philip Morris International; Property Alliance Group; Rugby Football Union.

The Verdict

Bird & Bird's 'fantastic IP department' won over trainees, as did the firm's 'great people and amazing work'. The firm has won three Lex 100 Winner medals this year, including one in the vacation scheme category, which proves that gaining an insight into the business never fails to convince prospective trainees that Bird & Bird is the firm for them. A recurring theme throughout the feedback was the 'varied and interesting' work on offer which 'covers a broad range of sectors and industries', as well the 'culture' and 'friendly atmosphere' of the firm. 'Inclusive' training means that 'trainees are encouraged to get involved in as much as they are able to' which ultimately leads to recruits feeling 'more valued'. Trainees also appreciate being afforded 'more client contact' whilst getting their teeth stuck into 'less run-of-the-mill tasks' and completing 'high-quality work'. Many of the current cohort praised the 'work/life balance' and 'less stressful' environment, which is complemented by staff who are 'willing to take the time to help you develop'. The 'views' from the 'lovely new office' also deserve a mention. There were some minor grumbles about 'lack of associate supervision' and the salary, which is perceived as 'slightly lower than at other firms' but this was generally acknowledged to be a 'trade-off' for working at 'such a great firm'. Best moments included 'attending an arbitration abroad', undertaking a client secondment and 'going to the Oxford vs Cambridge rugby match at Twickenham'. If you want to work at an innovative firm with 'IP opportunities' and 'great support' where the people are 'the best', apply to Bird & Bird.

 Why Bird & Bird LLP?

Adeena Wells trainee, Bird & Bird LLP 

Departments to date:  dispute resolution, employment

University:Leicester University 
Degree:Law with French law and language 

My first experience of Bird & Bird was at an open day at university and I was instantly impressed at how the values and principles expressed on the firm's website were embodied by those I met. I felt an immediate connection with the firm and knew that it was the place that would help me become a successful commercial lawyer.

During the vacation scheme, I completed research for high-profile clients, created presentations for client seminars, and networked with other trainees and solicitors at various social networking events. I can't stress enough how valuable the vacation scheme is in ensuring that not only you are the right fit for the firm, but that the firm is the right fit for you.

I spent the first seat of my training contract in the dispute resolution team where I experienced arbitration, mediation and litigation first-hand. I have also been exposed to various sectors, including banking and financial services, sports, retail and consumer, and energy, which has really demonstrated how the firm is able to work seamlessly in different key sectors across all departments, something which definitely sets Bird & Bird apart from its competitors. My current seat is in the employment team, where my work generally consists of drafting and amending employment contracts, writing articles on relevant legal updates and preparing court documents.

As well as a fast-paced and exciting legal career at Bird & Bird, I have also got involved with the firm's social and volunteering activities; as part of the women's football team and through volunteering in schools and legal advice centres, I've been able to develop a completely different skill-set and pursue my personal interests. As a trainee I have definitely felt supported by the firm both personally and professionally, which is something that I greatly value.

About the firm

Address:12 New Fetter Lane, London, EC4A 1JP

Telephone: 020 7415 6000

Fax:020 7415 6111

Facebook:Bird & Bird Graduates UK

Twitter:TwoBirds Graduates

CEO : David Kerr

Other offices: Aarhus, Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Bratislava, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, The Hague, Hamburg, Helsinki, Hong Kong, London, Luxembourg, Lyon, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Paris, Prague, Rome, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Warsaw 

Who we are: Bird & Bird is an international law firm, with a rare and invaluable grasp of strategic commercial issues. We combine exceptional legal expertise with deep industry knowledge and refreshingly creative thinking, to help clients achieve their commercial goals. We have over 1,200 lawyers in 28 offices across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, as well as close ties with firms in other parts of the world.

What we do: We work across the following practice areas: commercial, competition and EU law, corporate, dispute resolution, finance, intellectual property, international HR services, outsourcing, privacy and data protection, real estate, regulatory and administrative, restructuring and insolvency, and tax.

What we are looking for: The core skills we are looking for are the ability to work under pressure, high attention to detail, commercially aware, strong communication skills, innovative, motivated problem solver who can work as part of a team.

What you'll do:Two years of in-house training across four seats. We also run a business skills development programme to provide trainees with the basic building blocks for future development within the business of law.

Perks: Private healthcare, life assurance, pension scheme - 5% company contribution, computer loan, season ticket loan, cycle to work, gym membership, employee assistance programme, corporate discount.

Sponsorship:GDL/LPC fees; study maintenance grants of £5,500 per year of study.


Facts and figures

Trainee places available for 2020: 18

Applications received pa: 3,000 


First year: £38,000

Second year: £40,000

Newly qualified: £62,000

Turnover in 2016: £273.8m (+6% from 2015) Profits per equity partner: £454,000 (+1%)

Total partners: 303

Other fee-earners:870

Total trainees:114

 Application process

Apply to:The graduate recruitment team

How: Online at

When to Apply:By 30 April 2018

Whats involved:Online application form, critical reasoning test, video interview, assessment centre.

 Vacation schemes

Spring:One-week scheme in April (apply by 28 December 2017).

Summer:Two-week scheme in June/July (apply by 28 December 2017).