The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Farrer & Co has a 300-year heritage and has built its success through a focus on long-term client relationships. It has earned a reputation as one of the best all-round private client firms, plus has impressive corporate and commercial expertise, while maintaining outstanding charities and agriculture departments.
The star performers
Agriculture and estates; Art and cultural property; Contentious trusts and probate; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Charities and not-for-profit; Education: institutions; Education: schools; Employment: employers; Employment: senior executives; Family; Fraud: civil; M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m; Media and entertainment (including media finance); Partnership; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Planning; Property finance; Reputation management; Sport.
Instructed by a group of trustees regarding claims of more than $2bn against Sergei Pugachev; defended Axel Springer in libel proceedings pertaining to an article published in a German business magazine; advised the Duchy of Cornwall on its Poundbury Development; acted for Hub Group on the acquisition of an office block in Wembley; acted for the Institute of Cancer Research in a planning application for a new research building in Sutton.
The Art Fund; British Olympic Association; Deutsche Bank; Eton College; Imperial College; the Natural History Museum; RBS; Royal College of Surgeons of England; Save the Children; the Telegraph Media Group.
Trainees value the ‘sense of history and longevity’ at Farrer & Co. The firm has earned a ‘reputation for excellence’ because of its ‘strength in certain practice areas’, and respondents enjoy the ‘kooky clients and unusual work’ this brings. The ‘quality and breadth of work’ can lead to prominent tasks for trainees, including ‘getting involved in a highly publicised and complex case’, ‘assisting in a high-profile litigation’ and ‘going for lunch with a celebrity at their country house’. When not undertaking ‘interesting work’, juniors can be handed ‘monotonous tasks’ which have led to ‘Friday night bundling’ and ‘completing a file review for over a month’. The training contract is ‘well-structured’ as it provides ‘great variety through the six-seat programme’. ‘Working directly with partners’ is another plus as it means recruits ‘learn from and get one-to-one time with the best in their fields’. One recruit speaks of ‘constant client contact’, and this has led to welcome recognition for trainees whose highlight moments included ‘getting praised by a client for my work’. Having a ‘small intake of trainees’ is also considered beneficial as ‘you feel valued as an individual’. This notion is enhanced by the firm’s ‘genuine appreciation of your private life’ and ‘respect for work/life balance’, and Farrer & Co is named a Lex 100 Winner for work/life balance, as well as in a staggering nine other categories. Minor grumbles are reserved for the ‘lack of a communal eating area or place for everyone to congregate’, but this doesn’t hinder the ‘good social atmosphere’ as trainees label the ‘working environment’ as founded on ‘friendliness’ and ‘inclusivity’. There is ‘real investment in trainees as the future of the firm’, so take a detailed look at a career with Farrer & Co.
A day in the life of...
David Morgan trainee, Farrer & Co
Departments to date: Residential property and secured lending, IP and commercial, reputation management and media disputes
University:Sheffield University, Kaplan Law School
Degree:Psychology (1st), LLM (Distinction)
8.30am: After braving the traffic on my new bike, I arrive at the office, shower and log on for about 8.45am. Throughout the year departments hold regular breakfast seminars which we are invited to attend; for example members of the family and private client teams hosted a recent event on mental capacity. As well as a good introduction to different areas of law it is also an opportunity to meet some of our clients.
9.30am: The reputation management team handles a range of interesting and high-profile matters. I get involved in a variety of tasks including: drafting instructions for counsel; writing letters to internet search providers to remove defamatory search results; and liaising with other professionals including PR advisors and forensic investigators. Defamation is a particularly exciting area of law and I have seen significant developments in case law since the introduction of the Defamation Act 2013. This morning I have been preparing trial bundles ahead of a hearing in which our client has been subjected to a malicious and damaging attack. I am scheduled to attend the hearing next month where we are seeking both damages and an injunction against the defendant.
11.00am: The team involves me in as many client meetings as possible and this is something I really enjoy as we have a wide range of engaging clients which include sporting bodies, museums and galleries, entrepreneurs, families and individuals. I will be responsible for recording the key details of the meeting and will have a chance later today to practice my dictation skills to produce an attendance note.
1.00pm: On a sunny day, our location by Lincoln’s Inn Fields is a great place to catch some fresh air or meet up for lunch with colleagues. There are often also lunchtime talks that we can attend. These may be specifically for our trainee intake or for wider firm attendance.
2.00pm: This afternoon I have been asked to produce the first draft of a letter before claim for an important client. As a trainee you are subject to a high level of supervision (particularly in litigation where mistakes can be costly) which took me a while to get used to but I do appreciate the support while I develop my own experience and judgement.
4.00pm: We represent a number of magazines and throughout the week our team provides pre-publication advice on articles and stories the journalists are working on. In addition to the law, I have had to develop a substantial amount of knowledge on certain reality tv celebrities and popstars! Yet while fun, this area of our work also engages some tricky and interesting questions on privacy rights and data protection.
5.00pm: Business development is an important part of fee-earners’ time and you get involved as a trainee by attending functions or helping draft articles or newsletters that are published on the firm’s website and circulated to interested clients. I have been asked to draft a short piece for the Farrer’s sports group on the US PGA putting controversy. The firm has been involved in advising on sporting rules and the tournament provides a good opportunity to remind clients of the need to ensure their procedures are robust enough to withstand all scenarios.
6.00pm: I usually finish work between 6.00pm and 7.00pm. I will sometimes attend client functions or go for drinks with the various chambers we instruct. Farrers is a very sporty firm and I play for the Farrer and Co football and cricket teams which is a great way to get to know other people outside the office.
About the firm
Address:66 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3LH
Telephone: 020 3375 7000
Fax:020 3375 7001
Senior partner : Richard Parry
Who we are: Farrer & Co is a leading modern law firm with a distinguished history of providing expert advice to a diverse range of clients, both UK and international.
What we do: We are leaders in private client, agriculture, sports, defamation, heritage, family and charity law. Our IP and commercial practice, disputes and employment teams are also highly rated.
What we are looking for: Team spirit, leadership, dynamism, versatility, a questioning mind, great communication skills, commercial awareness and a sense of fun.
What you'll do:The trainee will experience six seats across the firm, handling ‘real’ work with early responsibility and an excellent legal and skills-based training programme.
Perks: Flexible benefits scheme, sporting teams/clubs, season ticket loan, 25 days’ holiday, group income protection, group life assurance, company doctor, subsidised yoga/pilates, subsidised gym membership, pension scheme, private medical insurance after one year, wellwoman/wellman checks.
Sponsorship:We pay all LPC and GDL fees, plus a maintenance grant of £7,000 per year of study.
Facts and figures
Trainee places available for 2019: 10
Applications received pa: 800
Percentage interviewed: 6%
First year: £35,000
Second year: £38,000
Newly qualified: £59,000
Total partners: 73
Apply to:Donna Davies, recruitment consultant.
When to Apply:By 31 July 2017 for 2019 contracts.
3-13 April 2017.
26 June-7 July 2017; 17-28 July 2017.