The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Cooley is a global leader for technology and life sciences and has particular expertise in complex litigation, including in high-stakes IP, white collar and insurance work. The firm has 900 lawyers across 12 offices in the US, China and Europe. Cooley was nominated for TMT Team of the Year at the Legal Business Awards 2017. The London office was the firm's first in Europe.
The star performers
Brand management; Commercial contracts; Commercial litigation; Corporate restructuring and insolvency; Data protection; EU and competition; Financial services (non-contentious/regulatory); Fraud (civil); International arbitration; Insurance and reinsurance litigation; Insurance: corporate and regulatory; Insurance: insolvency and restructuring; Intellectual property; IT and telecoms; 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 two shareholders in Finnish mobile game company, TicBits, on the sale of 100% of their shares to Hong Kong-based mobile publisher Animoca Brands; advised the Turks and Caicos Islands Government on civil recovery efforts in relation to a major land sale; acted for the family trusts of Bernie Ecclestone, through Bambino Holdings, in the defence of proceedings that related to the sale of shares in Formula 1 racing; represented Timberland on the protection of its iconic wheat yellow boot; acted for Autodata on its £340m sale to Solera Holdings.
CSL; Edif Group; Guardian Media Group; Journey Group; Nikon Europe; Swiftkey; Tesla Motors; Timberland; Twitter; YouMedical.
'Internationally-focused' US firm Cooley has an 'excellent reputation' for undertaking 'a variety of work' for a 'high-profile client base'. Trainees appreciate being part of a 'small intake' which gives them 'the ability to assume responsibility early on in the training contract' and helps them to 'develop more quickly as lawyers'. The 'high-calibre training' means that trainees are 'exposed to high-quality work from the off' and are challenged with 'complex tasks', as well as 'more client contact' than in some comparable firms. 'Friendly colleagues' and a 'relatively flat hierarchy' make for a 'great working environment' and contribute to the positive training experience. Although working in 'smaller teams' means that it is 'easier to get to know people at the firm when you start', applicants should be aware that this can also mean a 'steep learning curve'. However, trainees generally feel 'well supported' and enjoy having 'more involvement in matters across the firm'. Respondents grumbled about the 'lack of international secondment opportunities at trainee level' and because it is a 'young firm in the UK', there is 'uncertainty surrounding the retention process', which is somewhat concerning. Experiences such as 'attending a hearing at the Privy Council' and 'obtaining a worldwide freezing order' stood out as work highlights and at least partially offset having to 'work very late for consecutive weeks' and general 'long hours'. CSR and pro bono opportunities are 'plentiful' and participation is 'really encouraged by the firm'. If you want to work at a firm which offers 'interesting work' for a 'great list of clients' where 'all ideas are welcome', apply to Cooley.
A day in the life of...
Harriet Swan second-year trainee, Cooley (UK) LLP
Departments to date: Commercial litigation, life sciences, employment and employee benefits
8.30am: I usually get into the office around 8.30/9am in order to check my email and work out my priorities for the day.
9.30am: Having received an overnight email from our US team, I review the queries and prepare a draft email to run through with my supervisor. We make a few changes and I send it to our colleagues. They are working to a tight deadline on this deal and have been very appreciative of us keeping an eye on updates that come in out of London office hours.
10.00am: I am asked to prepare a settlement agreement, so I work through our template document to insert the relevant details and highlight the sections requiring further information. We have also been asked to advise our client on how to present the settlement option to the employee concerned. I outline the nature of a post-termination negotiation which will hopefully allow the client to reach an agreement quickly.
11.30am: We have recently sent out a request for data protection advice to a large number of foreign counsel. The responses have started to come in so I update my spreadsheet to collate the advice for our client and respond to those emails where the advice provided requires further clarification.
12.30pm: The associates committee is running a 30-minute lunchtime workshop, so I head downstairs to attend and grab some lunch. The sessions cover a great range of topics, and this one is on client pitches. It is a good chance to see the associates and gain useful insights from the partners' experiences.
1.15pm: The Cooley netball team has a league match today, so I throw on my kit and head out to the court next to our building. The sun is shining and it is a great day for a match! Sadly, we lose, but given we are one player down, we are pretty chuffed with 6-8.
2.30pm: The team has had a very busy couple of weeks and I finally have some time to work on a new pro bono matter. I start working through an employee handbook to determine whether anything key is missing. The main changes required are in relation to the shared parental leave legislation.
3.00pm: Having assessed the changes required, I do some research to ensure I can capture the key updates in my explanation to the client, and draft the amendments to the policy. I check any points I am unsure on with the associate in my team and then get the updated draft sent out. Pro bono work is a huge part of Cooley's culture and actively encouraged. As a trainee, it provides terrific client exposure and responsibility. I make a note of the task in my trainee diary so that I can reflect on this with my supervisor during my mid-seat review.
4.30pm: I have received an email from the corporate team about a new acquisition they are working on with details on data room access and timelines. I speak to my PA about sorting the documents required for the employment and incentives review and she can helpfully prepare a file ready for me to review on Monday morning. I pop round to the associate working on the deal for background on the companies involved, as well as to understand the client's expectations on the scope of the review. I then start working through the employment contracts to get a head start.
5.45pm: As it's a Friday, I head down to 'Cooley Cocktails' with my supervisor and the other trainees. Although the hours can sometimes be long, on a Friday everyone usually manages to get away on time. The monthly drinks are a great opportunity to catch up with the rest of the office and find out what everyone has been working on (and more importantly, what they are up to for the weekend)!
About the firm
Address:Dashwood, 69 Old Broad Street, London, EC2M 1QS
Telephone: 020 7556 4373
CEO: Joe Conroy
Managing partner (London): Justin Stock
Total partners: 27
Other fee-earners: 64
Total trainees: 7
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. An extensive professional development programme, including the professional skills course, supplements this hands-on approach.
Perks: Gym subsidy, fitness reimbursement, income protection, life assurance, pension scheme with company contribution, private healthcare, STL, and social and sporting events.
Sponsorship:Course fees and a living allowance while studying: £8,000 if studying in London, £7,500 outside London.
Facts and figures
Training contracts available for 2020: 4
Applications received pa: 400
First year: £44,000
Second year: £48,000
Newly qualified: £100,000
Apply to:Sarah Warnes - trainee recruitment and legal talent manager.
What's involved: The main route to a trainee position is via our summer placements. Successful candidates undergo online critical appraisal exercises, then a morning assessment centre with group business case study, followed by selection through to interview in the afternoon on the same day.
When to Apply:
Meet Cooley 2017: By 3 December 2017.
Meet Cooley 2018: By 28 February 2018.
Training Contracts Beginning in 2020: By 31 January 2018.
Summer Vacation Scheme: By 31 January 2018.