If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
‘First class for litigation’, Herbert Smith Freehills boasts an ‘impressive disputes division’ which trainees relish. The firm is ‘not too finance orientated’ and has ‘strength in multiple practice areas’ to the benefit of those unsure of which area of commercial law would be best for them. A Lex 100 Winner for international secondments, HSF trainees partake in overseas placements which offer ‘associate-level work’ and the chance to experience a different office culture. But, going overseas isn’t the only way trainees get to interact with diverse groups – ‘there are a number of international lawyers in the London office’ and ‘the general mix of people of different social, economic and educational backgrounds’ pleased new joiners. The ‘emphasis HSF places on training, mentorship and personal development’ was also appreciated; trainees feel ‘well supported’ and value the ‘resources available to assist with work’. The training structure is also applauded: ‘it’s good we can choose our seats in a reactive manner and adapt our training contract to our experiences in different seats’. Another bonus is that at ‘Herbies’ you can qualify as a solicitor-advocate. Pro bono opportunities are plentiful and newcomers are automatically enrolled in the Whitechapel Legal Advice Clinic. What didn’t garner praise were the ‘unpredictable working hours’, but generally speaking, ‘pulling all-nighters is rare’. ‘The varying degrees of supervision at trainee level’ was another criticism voiced by recruits. Nonetheless, going on a ‘client secondment to Warner Bros’ and ‘being involved in high-profile transactions’ made up for some of the firm’s shortcomings. If ‘cutting-edge work coupled with a decent work/life balance’ is what you want from your training contract, HSF can provide exactly that.