The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Tracing back its roots over 250 years, London-based Fladgate is organised into three departments: corporate, real estate and litigation. The firm has 74 partners and 81 other UK fee earners, and advises a wide range of corporate, institutional and private clients on their business and personal interests.
The star performers
Banking and litigation: investment and retail; Commercial contracts; Commercial property; Corporate restructuring and insolvency; Employment: employers; Family; Flotations: small and mid-cap; Fraud: civil; Gaming and betting; M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m; Media and entertainment (including media finance); Mining and minerals; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Planning; Professional negligence; Property finance; Property litigation; Sport.
Advised the shareholders of Swansea City FC on their sale of a majority stake in the club to Swansea Football; acted for Aldgate Tower Investments on its £346m sale to a joint venture between China Life and Brookfield Property Partners; advised Odeon on the opening of a cinema in the new BH2 leisure complex in Bournemouth; acted for the landlord Point West GR in a service charge dispute relating to the recoverability of building management administrator fees; representing CLTX in its appeal against an enforcement notice issued by Westminster City Council requiring the brick by brick reconstruction of the demolished Carlton Tavern public house in Maida Vale.
dbg; Digital Cinema Media; Ironman; Jurlique UK; Limelight Sports; ML Convenience; Newson Gale; Privet Capital; Roche Bobois; Sun Capital Assets.
Fladgate's 'expertise in a wide range of practice areas is well respected and revered' both by its competitors and by its trainees. In particular, the firm's 'strong performance in core commercial areas such as corporate, property and litigation' enticed the current cohort. Thanks to the variety of departments, trainees can expect to 'develop a broad legal understanding' and receive a 'much more rounded training experience'. Moreover, the firm is 'growing at a substantial rate' and recruits appreciate being able to 'play an active part in that growth'. Respondents report receiving 'much more client contact and responsibility' than at comparable firms, which they believe to be a 'product of the type of entrepreneurial client' represented by the firm, as well as the 'genuine desire to develop trainees to become partners of the future'. Typical tasks given to Fladgate trainees are 'drafting documents' and 'communicating directly with clients'. Indeed, the firm is a Lex 100 Winner for client contact. The 'sudden rush of a few completions happening at the same time can be stressful' and there is a perceived 'lack of firm-wide social events'. However, there is generally a 'positive atmosphere' fostered by 'friendly, engaging and passionate' co-workers who are 'welcoming and willing to help you learn' and 'happy to take the time to explain things regardless of their level of seniority'. 'Having an article I published get picked up by The Times' was a highlight for one trainee whilst 'assisting in the negotiation of a franchise agreement with a major international hotel chain' stood out for another. To work at an 'ambitious' yet 'genuinely friendly' firm which offers a 'really high calibre of clients and work', remember Fladgate.
A day in the life of...
Wing Tang first year trainee solicitor at Fladgate LLP
Departments to date: FFR (funds, finance and regulatory) within the corporate department, property
8.30-9.00am: I arrive at the office and review emails that have come in overnight. I am currently in my property seat; the department is renowned for being one of the busiest departments in the firm, so it is very important to keep on top of things.
9.15am: I draft responses to emails; these include responding to enquiries from the other side, emails to clients and to agents. I also received emails from associates/partners to assist in a new matter, so I diarise a time to see them during the day.
9.30am: Being a trainee at Fladgate, I am given a lot of responsibilities and matters to deal with. In order to keep track of the ongoing matters I am involved with, I keep a spreadsheet tracker showing each matter with its number and current status. After reviewing my emails, I will check the tracker to see whether I need to chase for a response from the other side, and any follow-ups I need to do today.
10.00am: I review changes on a lease that came in overnight. I mark up the lease to show what changes I will accept/reject before showing these to my supervisor and discussing them. My supervisor explains the changes to me and confirms them before sending them back to the other side.
11.30am: A partner asked me to assist in drafting a licence to assign and a rent deposit deed; we act for the landlord. I write to the client and the tenant's solicitors confirming that I will be dealing with this matter.
12.30am: I finish the first draft of the licence and send it to the partner for review.
1.00pm: I head out to lunch with fellow trainees. As Fladgate has a small intake we try to meet up often and share our experiences in the different departments.
2.00pm: I come back to an email from the partner telling me that the licence is fine and to send it out. I email the draft to the tenant's solicitors for comments.
2.30pm: I receive an email from our client saying that they have now agreed the sale of a property, attaching the heads of terms for our information. The partner in charge asks me to create a dataroom containing the legal pack to be sent out by the end of the day.
4.30pm: The dataroom is now up and running. I send the link to the partner to approve the contents. The partner thanks me for my hard work and tells me to send the dataroom out. One of the attractions of Fladgate is the culture of the firm. I always feel that my work is appreciated and it really does brighten a trainee's day!
5.00pm: An associate emails me asking if I have capacity to draft an urgent lease report.
6.00pm: I send the draft lease report to the associate for review and ask if he needs my assistance for anything else.
6.10pm: I double check that there is nothing outstanding I need to do for today.
6.15pm: I head out for dinner with some of my friends.
About the firm
Address:16 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5DG
Telephone: 020 3036 7000
Fax:020 3036 7600
Total partners: 75
Other fee-earners: 70
Total trainees: 12
Who we are: An innovative and progressive international law firm servicing corporate, institutional and private clients from modern offices in the heart of Covent Garden.
What we do: Corporate (including tax, private capital, IP and employment), litigation and real estate (including planning, construction and real estate litigation). 40% of our business is derived from international clients.
What we are looking for: We seek candidates who demonstrate high levels of commercial awareness and business acumen, enthusiasm and leadership potential. We value strong academics, previous work experience and an eagerness to take responsibility.
What you'll do:Training at Fladgate combines a first class education programme with real hands-on experience and client contact. A small intake of trainees each year means exposure to high quality work with lots of responsibility from an early stage. Each of our trainees will complete core seats within corporate, real estate and litigation, with the fourth seat either being a repeat of an old favourite or within one of our more specialist areas.
Perks: Contributory pension, flexible holiday scheme, life assurance, private medical, sports club loan (GymFlex), season ticket loan, childcare vouchers.
Sponsorship:GDL/LPC sponsorship with The University of Law (ideally Moorgate campus). Maintenance loan of £6,000 or £5,000 if undertaking the course outside of London.
Facts and figures
Training contracts available for 2020: 6 places available each year
Applications received pa: circa 300 - 400
Percentage interviewed: 7%
First year: £37,000
Second year: £39,000
Newly qualified: £63,000
Apply to: www.apply4law.com/fladgate/
How: Application form
What's involved: An application form with a series of competency based questions. If selected, an assessment day with both individual and group exercises. Finally, a face to face interview with a member of HR and a Partner.
When to Apply:Applications for 2020 open January 2018 and close July 2018.