The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Cooley launched in London in January 2015, establishing the California-headquartered firm’s 12th office and first in Europe. The firm is a global leader in the TMT and IP spaces, and is also respected for its litigation capabilities. In recognition of Cooley’s impact on the City’s legal scene, it was shortlisted for Legal Technology Team of the Year at the Legal Business Awards 2016.
The star performers
Brand management; Commercial litigation; Corporate restructuring and insolvency; Data protection; EU and competition; Financial services (non-contentious/regulatory); Fraud: civil; IT and telecoms; Insurance and reinsurance litigation; Insurance: corporate and regulatory; Insurance: insolvency and restructuring; Intellectual property; International arbitration; M&A: mid-market, £50m-£250m; Media and entertainment (including media finance); Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology; Product liability: defendant; Public international law; Reputation management; Venture capital.
Advised Anthos Capital and Index Ventures on a $15m Series A financing for Facelt, an online eSport gaming platform based in London; acted for Bambino Holdings in defending proceedings relating to the sale of Formula 1 racing shares; advised the Federal Government of Nigeria on sovereign immunity issues arising from the attempted enforcement in England of a Nigerian judgment against the client; acted for Tesla Motors in a trade mark dispute with a Polish electric powerboat manufacturer; advised Warner Music International on various data protection issues.
Apollo Global Management; Betway Group; Citibank; Fox; Guardian Media Group; Igas Energy; Munich Re; Nikon Europe; Twitter; XL Catlin.
Having already earned an ‘excellent reputation in the US’, Cooley has ‘clear objectives for the development of the London office’ since entering the City in 2015. Current trainees applied to the now-defunct Edwards Wildman before Cooley hired the bulk of that firm’s London staff, but the trainee cohort notes that Cooley ‘provides many opportunities for trainees and associates’. Much of these are centred on the firm’s ‘areas of expertise’, as it represents ‘many high-profile and cutting-edge clients’ in the ‘technology, life sciences and venture capital’ sectors. This leads to ‘interesting work’ and as the firm has a ‘small trainee intake’ there is ‘a lot of exposure and responsibility on matters at an early stage’. Examples of this include ‘discussion of case strategy with a QC’ and ‘being involved in a large-scale investigation process’. Despite working for an American firm with ‘international scope’, trainees complain that there are ‘no international secondments’. The small office size is deemed advantageous as it ‘creates a friendly, supportive and cooperative atmosphere’ and means that ‘moving to a new seat does not feel like moving to a new firm as in larger offices’. There can be a ‘lack of transparency on seat rotations’ and currently ‘the choice of departments for your training contract is slightly restricted’. Partners and associates are ‘really good about involving you on particular types of deals if you express an interest in them’, and the ‘frequent social events are attended by all employees, not just fee-earners’. The social life has earned the firm one of four Lex 100 Winner awards. To train at a firm newly-arrived in the City that boasts an ‘entrepreneurial feel’ and an ‘excellent reputation in the technology sector’, consider Cooley.
A day in the life of...
Laura Dietschy second-year trainee, Cooley (UK) LLP
Departments to date: Commercial litigation, insurance and reinsurance
9.00am: I sort through my emails and to-do list (and add to my diary the Cooley cocktails event organised by the firm for the next day). When my supervisor comes in a few minutes later, he gives the go-ahead on an injunction application we have been preparing for a few days.
10.15am: I have finalised the witness statement and its exhibit, and prepare to obtain the witness’ signature on my way to counsel’s chambers. I draft the covering letter for the opposing party so I can head to their offices as soon as the application has been heard at the RCJ. This is a time-sensitive matter, so preparation and planning is key.
10.45am: In the cab on my way to counsel, I get a call from the partner in charge of the matter, explaining that the hearing will not go ahead today because the opposing party has agreed to negotiate. I still head to chambers to update counsel’s bundle in case the negotiations are unproductive and the application needs to be lodged later in the week. We still need to keep thinking ahead.
11.50am: I am back in the office in time for a corporate training session which is followed by my current department’s marketing meeting. These types of lunch breaks provide me with the opportunity to not only have a sociable breather, but also to get updated on the firm’s priorities, opportunities and new clients. These meetings offer great exposure to different partners’ approaches to business development and I appreciate being included.
2.00pm: A piece of advice I drafted for a pro bono matter has been amended by the partner I have been working with. I head to his office to discuss certain points. We discuss one problematic paragraph and he explains to me what the standard industry practices, in his experience, actually are. I am encouraged to form opinions and be ready to defend them, which is a by-product of the constant exposure I have to associates and partners alike.
4.20pm: I have now made the final changes to the memorandum of advice and the partner in charge has sent it to the client. I head to the canteen for some strawberries and cream, and meet with a couple of other trainees for an update on their day. One of them is very busy with a complex litigation matter, which I know a few of us will be helping with soon. I return to my desk to clear my diary for the coming days.
4.35pm: I have been toying with a complicated piece of research for a while and am determined to finish it. I call the information services team to see whether they have found any further jurisprudence on the question. They have found a very helpful case that confirms my findings and reassures me that I have taken the right approach so far.
5.30pm: Now that I know how to frame my research results, I amend the memorandum I have been drafting and add the case found earlier.
6.30pm: Another trainee kindly offers to proof-read my research memorandum before I send it to the relevant associate; precise attention to detail is key here. In the meantime, I quickly set out the CPR procedure for applying to obtain default judgment in an email, as we haven’t received the defence in one of our matters. I discuss it with my supervisor, who seems happy with the answer, and add the deadlines to the relevant team members’ diaries.
7.40pm: The trainee who has helped proof-read my research memorandum is also done with her work for the day, so we head off to play our tennis fixture on the courts just beside our office.
About the firm
Address:Dashwood, 69 Old Broad Street, London, EC2M 1QS
Telephone: 020 7556 4373
Fax:020 7785 9355
CEO : Joe Conroy
Managing partner (London) : Justin Stock
Other offices: Boston, Colorado, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, Reston, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Shanghai and Washington DC.
Who we are: Cooley is an international, commercial law firm and is best known for its representation of high-growth companies, often on matters where technology and innovation meet the law.
What we do: We have pre-eminent technology, life sciences, venture capital and fund formation practices. We solve legal issues for entrepreneurs, investors, financial institutions and established companies.
What we are looking for: Individuals with incisive minds, who enjoy solving complex business and legal challenges. High levels of achievement, both academically and in activities beyond study are key.
What you'll do:Trainees rotate every six months through some of the firm’s contentious and non-contentious areas. Many of our clients are household names and the quality of the work is extremely high. Our smaller working teams mean the level of exposure and ability to contribute in meaningful ways is significant. A development programme, including the professional skills course, supplements this hands-on approach.
Perks: Gym subsidy, fitness reimbursement, life assurance, pension scheme with company contribution, private healthcare, STL and social events.
Sponsorship:Course fees and a living allowance while studying: £8,000 if studying in London, £7,500 outside London.
Facts and figures
Trainee places available for 2019: 4
Applications received pa: 400
First year: £44,000
Second year: £48,000
Newly qualified: £90,000
Total partners: 28
Apply to:Sarah Warnes – trainee recruitment and legal talent manager.
When to Apply:By 31 January 2017 for 2019 contacts.
26 June-7 July 2017 and 17-28 July 2017 (apply by 31 January 2017).
At Cooley, our commitment to diversity and inclusion is integral to our culture, as well as to our efforts to leverage human talent and enhance competitiveness. We are dedicated to maintaining a truly diverse workforce that values and celebrates differences – from the way we hire and train our lawyers, to the way we work together as one firm to meet the needs of our clients. It is the unique abilities and perspectives of every individual at Cooley that creates such a rewarding workplace and constantly reaffirms our inclusive culture.
Diversity is championed in Cooley’s London office through the leadership of partner and associate members of the Diversity Committee and Women’s Initiative. The Diversity Committee and the Women’s Initiative work closely alongside the Management and Hiring Committees and serve as springboards for programmes and policies to increase the representation of women and other diverse talent across all levels in the firm. Notable initiatives since Cooley’s London launch in 2015 include:
- Growing the Minority Associates Group
The Minority Associates Group (MAG) is an affinity group comprised of non-partner lawyers and patent personnel with a shared goal of promoting the interests of diverse lawyers both within Cooley and within the legal profession. The London chapter of MAG sponsors a variety of activities throughout the year, including opportunities for client mixers with outside counsel to promote diversity in the industry, internal networking events and small group luncheons with firm leadership. In an effort to be inclusive, participation from all with an interest in diversity is encouraged.
- Launching unique mentoring opportunities
Women lawyers across the firm are engaged in Connection Circles, which facilitate mentorship opportunities within each of our offices. This initiative came about as a result of feedback from our associates and relies heavily on the involvement of senior associates to build and strengthen relationships among our women lawyers.
- Celebrating Diversity Awareness Month
To further weave diversity into Cooley’s culture, the firm recognises Cooley’s Diversity Month each October. Throughout the month, communication from the CEO, partners and local diversity committee members focus on the importance of diversity to the firm and our clients. Updates on the progress we are making to hire and retain more diverse lawyers is shared. Cooley employees participate in a variety of social, educational and cultural events centered around diversity in an effort to celebrate differences and increase overall awareness.
- Piloting trainee recruitment best-practices and widening access placements
In an effort to ensure equitable hiring opportunities for all, Our London Diversity Committee members piloted a programme to review application forms on a name-blind basis and invested in behavioral interviewer training for all our lawyers, directors and managers. We are also sponsors of Pathways to Law; a work placement scheme with a social mobility focus, offering 4 placements to A-level students each year.
- Exhibiting leadership in the community
We are proud members of diversity and women’s legal organizations in the London market, most notably Women in Law London, a network founded by a Cooley associate to promote and engage the next generation of women leaders in law. As signatories to IP Inclusive, a pan-professional diversity task force, and the Law Society and Inclusion Charter, we are able to exchange ideas and promote diversity outside the walls of Cooley.
For more information on Cooley’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, please visit: