The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Hogan Lovells is a truly international law firm with teams of lawyers based across several continents. The firm acts for corporations, financial institutions and governments, and is highly regarded for its dispute resolution, IP, projects and real estate practices. The firm was named TMT Team of the Year at the Legal Business Awards 2018.
The star performers
Administrative and public law; Brexit; Commercial contracts; Competition litigation; Construction (contentious); Corporate governance; Emerging markets; Employee share schemes; Employment: employers and senior executives; EU and competition; Fintech; Flotations: small and mid-cap; International arbitration; Pensions (non-contentious); Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology; Planning; Power (including electricity and renewables); Product liability: defendant; Professional negligence; Rail
Acted for Cenkos Securities in the £572.7m AIM IPO of Eddie Stobart Logistics; acted for Eli Lilly on a Supreme Court litigation against Actavis whose generic version of the client’s oncology product, Alimta, infringed upon the brand name drug; advised Uber in its judicial reviews of TfL’s regulatory requirements and on the withdrawal of its licence; coordinating the multi-jurisdictional defence for Air Canada in the £5bn damages claims in the air cargo cartel case; advising King’s Cross Central Ltd Partnership on all construction aspects of the £2bn King’s Cross Central development, which involves an innovative cooling pod and a building enclosing a hydrogen fuel cell
21st Century Fox; Axa; BNP Paribas; British American Tobacco; Coca Cola; HNA Group; Pension Protection Fund; Shaftesbury Plc; Toshiba; Zimmer Biomet
A ‘strong litigation firm’, Hogan Lovells has garnered praise for its disputes practice. Trainees boast of the ‘high-calibre clients’ they work with, and relish having the opportunity to be ‘involved in cross-border work’. Their best moments came when they ‘drafted a mediation agreement worth tens of millions’, ‘prepared a witness statement that the partner thought was perfect’ and ‘successfully represented a pro bono client at a hearing on my own’. All this is able to take place because of Hogan Lovells’ ‘exceptional training’, but it’s the firm’s people who received the highest praise: ‘they are hands down the best thing about the firm’ say recruits. The teams are ‘driven but supportive and great fun’. HL has earned Lex 100 Winner medals for inclusiveness and vacation scheme. The distribution of work could be better: ‘certain departments haven’t delegated work evenly which means some trainees are extremely busy’. Despite the imbalance, respondents said that overall their working hours are better than that of their peers at similar City firms: ‘we have a better work/life balance’ and life is ‘less stressful’. Requiring improvement is the seat allocation process which ‘appears arbitrary and opaque’. ‘Being chastised by a fee earner for a mistake which wasn’t mine’, ‘missing my boyfriend’s birthday’ and ‘staying up all night checking definitions in a finance document’ were particularly low moments for HL recruits, but the opportunity to be trained by people who’re ‘genuinely interested in your development’ and ‘give good feedback’ is invaluable. The international secondment opportunities (for which the firm holds another Lex 100 Winner medal) are pretty cool too. If you want to work on ‘exciting, high-profile cases’ in a ‘fairly laid-back environment’, apply to Hogan Lovells.
A day in the life of...
Amoe Mkwena trainee, Hogan Lovells
University:University of Exeter
Degree:Law LLB 2(1)
9.30am: I arrive at the office having checked my emails on my work phone during my commute, to ensure that there is nothing urgent I need to respond to. The first thing I do is update my to-do list in light of the emails I received overnight and then I make myself a coffee, before catching up with my supervisor.
9.45am: I have been part of a large restructuring following the merger of two big confectionary businesses since the beginning of my seat; responding to emails from this deal often takes up my whole morning. At the moment we are reviewing and drafting documents for several ‘steps’ , which are mini transactions in five different jurisdictions. This means that we need to be careful to ensure that the English law elements of the steps are correct, as the rest of the local counsel will rely on our advice when completing each step. I then review documents from Hong Kong and make the necessary changes to our UK documents.
1.00pm: I usually have lunch in the staff cafeteria with another trainee in my intake. Today, however, I grab lunch with my mentee from one of our summer vacation schemes. I took part in a summer vacation scheme in 2015, which was such a useful and enriching experience.
2.00pm: The corporate team is one of the biggest departments in the firm and so there is an opportunity to get involved with a wide variety of work. Along with the restructuring of the confectionary businesses, I have been helping with a reorganisation of an insurance company. This is really interesting as we are using a scheme of arrangement to effect the changes to the rights of policyholders. This involves approval by the court. We need to be able to identify what rights the policyholders have. To do this we need to conduct very detailed due diligence, reviewing a variety of policy documents and marketing materials, to see what the company has offered policyholders in the past. I spend the rest of my afternoon reviewing these documents and recording my findings in a report.
3.15pm: I have a conference call with members of the Africa practice, about some work that might be coming in from an African bank that the team would like me to get involved in. I take notes on the call and afterwards we discuss how we might be able to help. It sounds like an interesting opportunity and is something that I am excited to be involved in, as I will be going on secondment to South Africa next month. This means I will be able to continue to help ‘on the ground’ during my time in Johannesburg. I have been interested in doing Africa work since I joined the firm, so I am looking forward to working on this.
4.00pm: I meet with the team working on the insurance scheme of arrangement to see where we are with the due diligence and report back any questions or anomalies in our findings. It is often the case in the corporate team that you work with a variety of people in different stages of their career so it’s good exposure. You get to learn from senior lawyers, get tips from more junior lawyers, and share ideas with other trainees. Plus, working in teams makes work more fun and sociable!
4.30pm: I continue with the due diligence in light of the feedback received from the senior associate in the insurance team. He is a leader in his field and always gives good, thorough feedback, providing a positive learning experience. For example, I now know exactly how my pension works!
7.00pm: I send a progress report to the associate with regard to how much due diligence I have been able to complete. I then check in with the trainee I work with on the confectionary restructuring, to ensure that we have covered everything from the email chain, before I go to the gym.
About the firm
Address:Atlantic House, Holborn Viaduct, London, EC1A 2FG
Telephone: 020 7296 2000
Chair: Leopold von Gerlach
Regional managing partner: Susan Bright
Other offices: Alicante, Amsterdam, Baltimore, Beijing, Brussels, Budapest*, Colorado Springs, Denver, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Houston, Jakarta*, Johannesburg, Louisville, London, Los Angeles, Luxembourg, Madrid, Mexico City, Miami, Milan, Minneapolis, Monterrey, Moscow, Munich, New York, Northern Virginia, Paris, Perth, Philadelphia, Rio de Janeiro, Riyadh*, Rome, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai, Shanghai Free Trade Zone, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Warsaw, Washington, D.C and Zagreb*. (* associated offices)
Who we are: Hogan Lovells has a straight-talking legal approach. Honest, deep client relationships. Continually evolving training. Global colleagues on the same wavelength.
What we do: Together, our 2,600 lawyers tackle intricate legal and commercial issues for prestigious clients, covering corporate, finance, dispute resolution, government regulatory and intellectual property.
What we are looking for: You adapt, think around obstacles with and understand business across borders. Cultural knowledge and commercial acumen are your tools of choice, with a strong academic record to boot.
What you'll do:Trainees take on four six-month ‘seats’ – practice area rotations including corporate, finance and dispute resolution, with opportunities for international and client secondment.
Perks: Benefits include: bonus scheme, gym membership/subsidy, life assurance, pension scheme with company contributions, private healthcare, season ticket loan, subsidied restaurant, access to a dentist, doctor and physiotherapist, and discounts at local retailers.
Sponsorship:Maintenance grants are available for GDL and accelerated LPC. GDL is £7,000 outside London and £8,000 within London. LPC is £10,000.
Facts and figures
Total partners: 800
Other fee-earners: 3,000
Total trainees: 120
Trainee places available for 2021: 50
Applications received pa: 3,300
Percentage interviewed: 8%
First year: £45,000
Second year: £50,000
Newly qualified: £78,000
What's involved:Online application, online critical thinking test, telephone interview, assessment day.
When to apply:
Training contract 2021 (London) (non-law and graduates): By 31 January 2019.
Training contract 2021 (London) (law): From 1 June-31 July 2019.
Training contract 2021 (Birmingham): By 31 January 2019.
Winter vacation scheme: From 17 September - 31 October 2018.
Summer vacation scheme: From 17 September - 6 January 2019.