The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
City firm Norton Rose Fulbright has over 4,000 lawyers based in 59 offices and 33 countries across the globe. The firm is recognised for its strength in the energy, projects and natural resources sectors. In June 2017, Norton Rose Fulbright merged with Chadbourne & Parke, taking the firm's US headcount to 1,000 lawyers, including more than 300 in both New York and Washington DC.
The star performers
Asset finance and leasing; Commercial contracts; Commercial property; Corporate crime (including fraud, bribery and corruption); Emerging markets; Equity capital markets; Financial services; Flotations: small and mid-cap; Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP); Insurance: insolvency and restructuring; Investment funds; Islamic finance; M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m; Mining and minerals; Oil and gas; Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables); Private equity: transactions; Rail; Trade finance; VAT and indirect tax.
Advised Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation on a JOLCO and lease financing for three Airbus A320 aircraft for Pegasus Airlines; advised Purplebricks on its £50m placing to fund its expansion into the US; acted for the Angolan Ministry of Finance as borrowers on the $4.13bn financing for the procurement and development of the Caculo Cabaça hydroelectric station; advised Eni on an investment in an $8bn oil and gas project in Ghana; assisted TH Real Estate with the €250m sale of three shopping centre portfolio companies in Italy and Spain to a joint venture between TPG Capital and Partners Group.
AXA; BP; Cannacord Genuity Limited; Commonwealth Bank of Australia; ExxonMobil; JinkoSolar; Monarch; Mubadala Development Company; ORIX Corporation; Towergate Insurance Group.
Trainees at Norton Rose Fulbright were 'impressed by the firm's ambition for growth and the international emphasis of the work', and one respondent praised 'the breadth of global offering and burgeoning relationships with the member firms which have joined in recent years'. The 'international secondment opportunities' are unsurprisingly popular as they provide 'an opportunity to develop connections' and are 'a really great opportunity to gain new perspectives on the legal industry'. The firm is named a Lex 100 Winner in this category. The NRF training contract offers exposure to 'a constant variety of challenging and interesting work', and stand-out moments have included 'finding out we won a high-profile planning inquiry that I had been heavily involved in' and 'stepping up in the run-up to a big closing when the senior associate was off sick'. One trainee feels that the 'obscure process for allocating seats' warrants criticism, while another complains of a 'lack of open dialogue with trainees as to how they want their training contract to pan out'. The 'supportive and friendly atmosphere in the teams' is a plus point, and 'colleagues are approachable'. On top of this, the 'departmental training is top quality'. Supervisors are 'genuinely invested in our progress' and partners 'take the time to explain the background of transactions'. There can be 'long hours sometimes', and one trainee cited 'working on due diligence after midnight' as a low moment. NRF seeks to foster an 'inclusive culture', and this was apparent to one trainee who 'thoroughly enjoyed my vacation scheme here'. To train at a City firm that possesses 'a broad range of expertise' while offering 'bountiful opportunities to work internationally', apply to Norton Rose Fulbright.
A day in the life of...
Gillian Jaravaza trainee, Norton Rose Fulbright
Departments to date: Corporate, general banking
University:University of Birmingham
Degree:Law with Business Studies (LLB)
9.00am: I arrive before 9.30am to review the emails received overnight. As I do this, I update the to do-list I had prepared the evening before with new tasks, amending the priority as necessary. In a banking seat, it is not uncommon to find yourself on numerous deals simultaneously. As a result, it is important to prioritise your work. I find it helpful to try and talk with the associates I work with every morning to gauge what their expectations are in terms of the completion of tasks.
9.30am: As I am nearing completion on one of the bigger real estate finance transactions I am involved in, I circulate the current version of a conditions precedent list (essentially conditions the lender would expect fulfilled before releasing any money to the borrower) to our property and tax colleagues for their updates. As real estate finance involves properties, it is important to liaise with other specialist departments within the firm such as property, tax and construction.
10.00am: I incorporate all specialist comments on the conditions precedent checklist into the master document and circulate this to the client in order for them to know where we are on the transaction. I also circulate this to the borrower's lawyers and schedule a conference call to discuss outstanding issues in order to avoid any delays to our client completing their transaction.
11.00am: I receive an email from a partner asking for details on a Nigerian company ahead of a call in the afternoon, requesting information on what the company does, its most recent deals and any details on its board of directors. As the research tasks given usually relate to current or potential clients, it is also a great chance to improve your commercial awareness by picking up on what the popular trends are for clients.
1.00pm: I attend the banking team meeting over lunch. A senior associate in the department is talking the team through his recent transaction. This is a great opportunity for the team to share their skills and knowledge across all experience levels.
2.30pm: I dial in to the conditions precedent conference call with the borrower's lawyers. I primarily take notes, however I respond to numerous queries as well. As a trainee in banking, you will be heavily involved in the conditions precedent process of any financing transaction. As such, in some instances you will be best placed to respond to certain questions and the team encourages trainees to get very involved.
4.00pm: I email the client with key outstanding items following the call. In a banking seat, you will get a lot of client contact as the department is generally document-heavy and you will likely get allocated your own set of documents to take charge of. The more you impress, the more you will be given to run with.
4.45pm: I go upstairs to our client reception in order to have documents signed by the client on an acquisition finance transaction we hope to complete the following week.
5.30pm: I receive instructions from an associate to conduct a company search on a potential borrower for a telecommunications loan. As the search results will only be returned the next day, I make a note to review the results in my to-do list.
6.00pm: I tidy my work space and create my to-do list for the next day.
6.45pm: It is not uncommon to attend social events with other members of the banking team, other trainees or a wider firm event.
About the firm
Address:3 More London Riverside, London, SE1 2AQ
Telephone: 020 7444 2113
Facebook:Norton Rose Fulbright Graduates UK
Managing partner : Martin Scott
Other offices: We have more than 4,000 lawyers and legal staff based in over 50 cities across Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.
Who we are: Norton Rose Fulbright is a global legal firm. We provide the world's pre-eminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service.
What we do: Recognised for our industry focus, we are strong across all the key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; as well as life sciences and healthcare.
What we are looking for: All applicants must have achieved at least AAB in their A levels or equivalent and be on course to achieve (or to have achieved already) a 2(1) degree or above.
What you'll do:Our four-seat training contract gives trainees an insight into our core practice areas and industry sectors. Trainees also have the opportunity to spend six months on international or client secondment.
Perks: Gym membership/subsidy, life assurance, pension scheme with company contributions, private healthcare, season ticket loan, subsidised restaurant, cycle-to-work scheme, private GP service, subsidised music programme.
Sponsorship:Financial support is provided for both GDL and LPC students. We will pay course fees and a maintenance grant to successful training contract applicants. We do not, however, offer retrospective funding if you have commenced the GDL or LPC prior to our offer. Our maintenance grants are £8,000 for GDL students and £7,000 for LPC students.
Facts and figures
Training contracts available for 2020: Up to 50
First year: £44,000
Second year: £48,000
Newly qualified: £75,000
Turnover in 2016: £1,156m (+3% from 2015) Profits per equity partner: £392,000 (0%)
Total partners: 1,100 (worldwide)
Other fee-earners:4,000 (worldwide)
How: Online application.
When to Apply:
Training Contract: From 1 October 2017 to 15 July 2018. Finalists and graduates should apply between October and March. Penultimate-year law students should apply after receiving 2nd year grades.
Winter Vacation Scheme: From 1 to 29 October 2017.
Summer Vacation Scheme: From 1 October 2017 to 31 January 2018 (penultimate-year undergraduates and finalists).