Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP

Address: The St Botolph Building, 138 Houndsditch, London, EC3A 7AR




Survey results


The lowdown (in their own words...)

Why did you choose this firm over any others? 
 '‘An interesting mix between tradition and innovation’; ‘its international aspect’; ‘Clydes is litigation focused, which was important to me’; ‘industry specialisms’; ‘insurance capabilities’; ‘because of my experience on the vacation scheme’; ‘presence in uncommon locations’; ‘the friendliness of the staff’; ‘because they specialised in marine and insurance’; ‘use of languages’; ‘leader in insurance law’; ‘international secondment opportunities’
Best thing about the firm? 
 '‘Calibre of the work’; ‘the lawyers in many areas are the best at what they do’; ‘it is very relaxed for an international law firm’; ‘global nature of business’; ‘the quality of work’; ‘good trainee group’; ‘the sectors that the firm specialises in’; ‘very social’; ‘the firm’s collegiate nature’; ‘the biscuits’
Worst thing about the firm? 
 '‘Occasionally having to do relatively tedious work’; ‘seat choices sometimes seem arbitrary’; ‘low pay when an associate’; ‘lack of pastoral care’; ‘lack of dialogue between graduate recruitment and trainees’; ‘not very good at communicating big changes’; ‘it feels like it is lacking strategy in the London corporate teams’
Best moment? 
 '‘Being given my own case to run by a partner during my second seat’; ‘chairing a client meeting’; ‘the banking and finance seat’; ‘working on sanctions advice’; ‘being given important work to complete independently’; ‘doing a first draft of submissions in an arbitration’; ‘winning several points in a hearing for a major shipping case’; ‘working in San Francisco’
Worst moment?
 '‘Bundling for a week’; ‘missing social engagements to stay at work’; ‘being sent to the Guildford office for six months without prior notice’; ‘the nerves when I rang the other side for the first time to demand payment’; ‘having to take a note at a four-hour meeting where I had very limited understanding of the concepts involved’'

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

Sinbad the Sailor – goes on many adventures around the world and manages to navigate some stormy seas

The Verdict

The firm

Clyde & Co is acclaimed for its insurance, aviation and shipping capabilities. The firm has continued its international expansion in 2016 by opening offices in Miami and Dusseldorf. In recognition of his role in Clyde & Co’s continued success, senior partner James Burns won Management Partner of the Year at the Legal Business Awards 2016. The firm has also posted an impressive 13% revenue rise for the last financial year. 

The star performers

Art and cultural property; Asset finance and leasing; Aviation; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Commodities: physicals; Education; Employment; Environment; Health and safety; Immigration: business; Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP); Islamic finance; Mining and minerals; Oil and gas; Personal injury: defendant; Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables); Rail; Shipping; Trade finance.

The deals

Advised West Africa Gas as project sponsors on the financing for the importation of LNG into Ghana for regasification and onward sale to the Ghanaian government; advised Pyranha Mouldings in corporate manslaughter proceedings; continued to act for Estée Lauder on all employment matters, with multiple tribunal claims and two potential acquisitions occurring in the last year; assisted Peterborough City Hospital with a number of matters regarding the £335m Greater Peterborough Health Investment Plan PFI project; advised DEG, FMO and Proparco on the financing of a 40MW solar photovoltaic plant in Kenya.

The clients

AIG; Airbus; Asda; Beehive Group; Glencore; Just Retirement; PetroSaudi; QBE; Qantas Airlines; Universal Music Group.

The Verdict

Clyde & Co is well-established as a ‘large and very prestigious City firm’, with a ‘good reputation in shipping’ and other areas of expertise including insurance and aviation. As well as offering ‘great exposure to different areas of the law’, the firm’s ‘global presence’ and ‘approach to international expansion has been particularly energetic’. The firm has a ‘down-to-earth feel’ and an ‘open-door policy’ which creates an ‘inclusive and friendly atmosphere’. There is a ‘fantastic work/life balance’ as employees are ‘treated like human beings’. Recruits train alongside ‘smart, savvy lawyers who know what they are doing’, and the ‘mostly fair supervisors’ are a ‘privilege to work with’. ‘Everyone is extremely welcoming, supportive and friendly’ and the ‘good quality of work’ is coupled with a ‘decent level of responsibility for trainees’. Trainees describe the work as ‘hands-on’, and best moments involve ‘being heavily involved in a multi-billion pound deal’, ‘working on high-profile deals that make the news headlines’ and the ‘secondment in San Francisco’. An added bonus for new recruits is that when they join ‘the firm pays for gym membership’. There are a few problems with the ‘disorganised HR administration’ which at times appears to ‘lack direction and can be frustrating’. ‘Unnecessary stress’ can be placed on trainees when there is a ‘late timing of announcements’ and ‘lack of clarity on how many seats are given’. Trainees report ‘receiving responsibility from the start’ and feel in control of ‘managing small cases or issues, drafting documents and attending client meetings’. Take time to research Clyde & Co if you want a ‘good training programme’ with ‘international opportunities’.

 A day in the life of...

Jonathan Cockerill first-year trainee, Clyde & Co LLP 
Departments to date:  Marine and international trade, client secondment at the Automobile Association
University:Oxford University 
Degree:BA History 2(1) 

8.00am:  Straight out of law school, I am a first-seat trainee within Clyde & Co’s marine and international trade departments. My day begins early, as I head from the London suburbs into the centre of the city where Clyde & Co is based.

9.00am:  I have been allocated a supervisor who is my day-to-day mentor and guides me in my work. Today, I’ve been asked to support on a demurrage case. Demurrage is a fine ship charterers pay if they are late loading or discharging their cargo. I am responsible for running each of the many claims in our demurrage file and on this occasion I need to call a ship charterer to discuss their payment of the demurrage that they owe.

10.00am:  The ship charterers are based in Singapore, so I take account of the time difference and decide to call them around 10.00am so that I can ensure I speak to them before the end of their working day. The discussion is productive and we agree for the payment to be made as soon as possible. I follow up the call with an email to confirm the discussions and keep my supervisor informed of developments. This is just one example of the kinds of matters I am involved in across my department. They are truly global in scale and the degree of responsibility I am exposed to is great experience for me.

11.30am:  Another project I am working on is the drafting of an arbitration notice and I work closely with my supervisor to discuss what I need to include. I have learnt that being communicative and staying organised are two key skills that enable me to manage my workload effectively.

12.30pm:  By the time lunchtime comes around, I am eager to get together with the other trainees at Clyde & Co. We gather in the top floor cafeteria and discuss our experiences – it has been fantastic to get to know other trainees who are going through the same experience as me.

1.30pm:  During the afternoon, I’m briefed by an associate solicitor who needs urgent help to file the skeleton argument of a case we have been working on at court. While the details of the case are confidential, I rush off to court and file the skeleton argument. I then serve a copy on the barristers involved at their chambers.

3.00pm:  Returning to the office, I’m engaged with another urgent request, reflecting thetimeliness of legal work. An associate solicitor needs an exhibit bundle for a witness statement he has drafted. I build the bundle using documents he has earmarked for copying and update the witness statement to reflect the document references. This could eventually end up in court so everything has to be just right and attention to detail is crucial.

5.00pm:  I finish the afternoon by getting back to a research task I’ve been working on for a couple of days concerning a defective notice.

6.30pm:  By the end of the day, my department heads out to enjoy a few drinks at a local wine bar. It is great to have the opportunity to socialise and get to know my colleagues better.

About the firm

Address:The St Botolph Building, 138 Houndsditch, London, EC3A 7AR

Telephone: 020 7876 5555


Senior partner : James Burns

Other offices: 45 offices globally (see website for details). 

Who we are: Clyde & Co is a dynamic, rapidly expanding global law firm focused on providing a complete legal service to clients in our core sectors. With over 1,800 lawyers operating from 45 offices and associated offices in six continents, we advise across a wide range of contentious and transactional matters.

What we do: Our five core global sectors: insurance, energy, trade and commodities, infrastructure, transportation. Other areas of expertise: banking and financing, corporate disputes, cyber security, education, emerging markets, employment, financial services, fraud, healthcare, hospitality, intellectual property, litigation, pensions, real estate, trade sanctions.

What we are looking for: The firm is looking for candidates who combine excellent academic results with strong commercial acumen and a practical approach to problem-solving. Trainees need to communicate effectively and build relationships with clients and colleagues.

What you'll do:You will gain early responsibility with opportunities to develop your skills through close personal supervision and a wide range of training courses. You will undertake four six-month seats, which will cover both transactional and contentious work. You may also choose to be seconded to one of our overseas offices, or have the opportunity for a client secondment.

Perks: Private medical insurance, dental insurance, 25 days’ holiday per year, life assurance, pension, interest-free season ticket loan, subsidised gym membership, employee assistance programme, cycle to work scheme and a subsidised restaurant.

Sponsorship:Full fees for GDL and LPC as well as a maintenance grant.


Facts and figures

Trainee places available for 2019: 45-50

Applications received pa: 2,000 

Percentage interviewed: 10% 


First year: £36,000

Second year: £38,000

Newly qualified: £63,000

Total partners: 350

Other fee-earners:1,800

Total trainees:100

 Application process

Apply to:Graduate recruitment team –

How: Online.

When to Apply:Please see our website.

 Vacation schemes

Two-week Easter scheme, please visit our website for further details and closing dates.

Two summer London schemes as well as one Manchester summer vacation scheme, each for a period of two weeks. We also run a two-week summer vacation scheme each year in our Dubai office. Please visit our website for further details and closing dates