The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
The LA-headquartered Gibson Dunn has offices throughout the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, and excels across the full suite of corporate and financial practice areas. Having had a presence in London for over 30 years, the office’s first trainee intake arrived in September 2015.
The star performers
Acquisition finance; Bank lending – investment grade debt and syndicated loans; Commercial litigation; Commercial property: general; Commercial property: hotels and leisure; Commercial property: investment; Competition litigation; Corporate crime (including fraud, bribery and corruption); EU and competition; International arbitration; M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+; Private equity: transactions: Large-cap deal capability; Property finance.
Advised Gala Coral on its £2.3bn merger with Ladbrokes; acted for Markit on the acquisition of three companies: CoreOne Technologies, DealHub and Information Mosaic; acted for Lone Star Funds in its $1.4bn acquisition of Hanson Building Products; acted for UBS regarding a number of global fraud investigations; advised Oaktree Capital Management on a number of deals, including the sale of a UK portfolio to Logicor.
Amazon; AnaCap; Apollo; HP; Kennedy Wilson Europe; Lone Star; Marriott International; Oaktree Capital; Schlumberger; UBS.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher is a new Lex 100 entrant, and the LA-headquartered outfit runs one of the City’s newest training programmes with the inaugural trainee cohort having started in September 2015. The early reports are promising, with one trainee stating that ‘the people are very friendly and down-to-earth’ while a peer agreed that ‘the people who work here’ is one of the best things about the firm. Favourable comparisons to other training contracts suggest there is ‘a lot more partner contact’ at Gibson Dunn, as well as ‘very good hours in comparison’. As part of such a small intake, one recruit writes that they are ‘not treated as a trainee’ and ‘do not feel like a number’, adding ‘my opinion is asked and I feel like part of the team’. Responsibility is forthcoming, and one respondent tells us ‘I have had the chance to be involved in the management of a free legal advice clinic and its training sessions’. Perhaps understandably, ‘as the training contract is not established there are a lot of changes as to what is being offered along the way’, and therefore some ‘seat and secondment options may not be available as originally thought’. Still, there are ‘lots of opportunities’ for trainees to get excited about, including ‘attending the new lawyer’s retreat in Arizona with everyone who is new to Gibson Dunn across all offices globally’. The pay is also excellent, giving the firm a Lex 100 Winner prize. Gibson Dunn will recruit larger intakes in the coming years, so to be among the first London trainees at the firm, keep your eyes peeled for further developments.
Three associates give their opinions on what it’s like to work at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.
I joined Gibson Dunn’s disputes team immediately after training at a large UK firm because I wanted an opportunity to work on high-profile, cross-border litigation, to travel, and to work in foreign languages. All of these expectations have been more than fulfilled. In only my second week, I attended an appeal hearing before the highest court in Luxembourg and since then have spent a considerable amount of time working in Luxembourg, Paris and Zurich for a major international client.
At Gibson Dunn, junior associates are given levels of responsibility and client contact that they would not get at other firms. I work with and present to very senior individuals within the client company on a regular basis. The challenge of continually having to deal effectively with difficult and unfamiliar situations is one I relish.
Gibson Dunn also encourages associates to get involved in pro bono matters. I am part of a team, led by Gibson Dunn partner Lord Falconer, that represents the Hillsborough Family Support Group and I was present in Liverpool Cathedral to advise the families on the momentous day on which the Hillsborough Independent Panel delivered its report.
Although Gibson Dunn is a large international firm with all the attendant resources and support network, the London office is relatively small and close-knit, making it a very pleasant place to work.
I joined Gibson Dunn’s labour and employment team in January 2015. One of the key things that attracted me to the firm was the exposure to a diverse range of work with a truly international client base.
Any day, I might find myself advising a client on issues as diverse as collective consultation obligations in a redundancy scenario, the employment, pensions and data protection aspects of public and private mergers and acquisitions, or working on employment-related litigation.
This is challenging but exciting and is one of the main reasons why I enjoy working at Gibson Dunn so much.
I joined Gibson Dunn in September 2012, seeking increased responsibility and exposure to a range of top-quality corporate deals at a diverse and ambitious international firm. Two years on, I have not been disappointed!
Gibson Dunn has given me the opportunity to get involved in an exciting range of international transactional work, ranging from aircraft financing, assisting a private equity fund to invest into a top luxury fashion brand, helping to set up investment funds in the Middle East, and helping English companies to list on NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange. I have also been seconded to our Dubai office, where I worked on a media M&A deal.
Gibson Dunn is a growing and ambitious firm, and associates are encouraged to be like-minded. I have been given a lot of responsibility on my deals, having been required to take the lead in drafting transactional documents and liaising with the client and the other side’s advisers. The partners and senior associates come from a range of diverse backgrounds, and so I am constantly learning from their wealth of experience too.
Gibson Dunn is genuinely collegiate and supportive. It has a mentoring scheme under which all associates are paired up with a partner who offers advice on professional and personal development.
About the firm
Address:Telephone House, 2-4 Temple Avenue, London, EC4Y 0HB
Telephone: 020 7071 4000
Senior partner : Jeff Trinklein
Senior partner : James Cox (London)
Managing partner : Ken Doran
Other offices: Beijing, Brussels, Century City, Dallas, Denver, Dubai, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Orange County, Palo Alto, Paris, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Washington DC.
Who we are: One of the world’s top law firms. Our lawyers provide legal advice on a wide range of business issues to internationally listed companies, large private companies and many other organisations with international operations and ambitions.
What we do: Our London office, founded more than 30 years ago, offers in-depth advice on all aspects of corporate work, including mergers and acquisitions, dispute resolution and international arbitration, private equity, commercial real estate, real estate private equity, finance, business restructuring and reorganisation, project finance, capital markets and taxation, competition, and labour and employment.
What we are looking for: Exceptional individuals from a wide range of backgrounds who are capable of taking the initiative and fulfilling our clients’ needs, who have excellent academics as well as strong interpersonal and organisational skills, and who can rise to the challenge of working within small, focused teams and having client contact early in their careers.
What you'll do:Over two years, trainees will have the opportunity to work alongside and learn from some of the best lawyers in their fields. Trainees may also have the opportunity to choose a seat in one of our overseas offices.
Facts and figures
Trainee places available for 2019: 6-8
First year: Competitive US rate
Total partners: 367 worldwide, 24 in London
Other fee-earners:913 worldwide, 53 in London
Total trainees:4 (from September 2016)
Apply to:Kathryn Edwards, London graduate recruitment manager.
When to Apply:By July 2017 for training contracts commencing in September 2019
July 2017-July 2018 (apply by February 2017)