The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Originating in the US, K&L Gates has 45 offices worldwide and much of the firm's work is international in scope. The full-service firm operates across many industries and the client base comprises global corporations, SMEs, entrepreneurs, public sector entities and educational institutions, among others. In London, the firm has over 50 partners and over 100 fee earners.
The star performers
Brand management; Commercial contracts; Commercial litigation; Debt capital markets; EU and competition; Financial services; Fintech; Flotations: small and mid-cap; Fraud: civil; Fraud: white-collar crime; Gaming and betting; Health and safety; Infrastructure (including PFI and PPP); International arbitration; Islamic finance; M&A: mid-market, £50-£250m; Partnership; Retail funds; Securitisation; Travel: regulatory and commercial.
Acted for Nationwide Accident Repair Services in the negotiation of a business-critical £8m outsourcing agreement with RoyalSunAlliance; represented The Central Bank of Ecuador in longstanding proceedings arising from the 1996 collapse of Banco Continental; represented a Deutcshe Bank trader in investigations into the LIBOR scandal; advised LKQ Corporation on its acquisition of Andrew Page, including a successful request for derogations from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)'s interim hold separate order; acted for Faroe Petroleum on its $70m purchase of interests in five Norwegian North Sea assets from Dong E&P.
Boralex; Hometrack Data Systems; Formula One; Lucozade Ribena Suntory; MyLotto24; Nest Labs; Norbord; Puma; Smartgames Technologies; West Indies Cricket Board.
An 'ambitious, upwardly mobile' firm, K&L Gates offers 'real responsibility and tasks from an early stage'. Trainees enjoy being part of a 'small intake' and appreciate the 'direct partner supervision' they are afforded. There is a 'broad offering of services' at the firm, with a host of 'interesting departments' to whet the appetite of aspiring lawyers. The 'relatively relaxed surroundings' can be attributed to a 'non-competitive atmosphere for trainees' and a 'realistic outlook' championed from the top down which comprises 'reasonable hours for an international firm' and 'no face-time culture'. Client contact and responsibility are offered in abundance and the 'opportunity to undertake worthwhile and challenging work' allows trainees to 'develop an excellent skill set'. 'Sitting with a partner/special counsel' is also very helpful for trainee development. Despite the 'large number of offices across the world', there were grumbles throughout the feedback that there is 'no opportunity for secondments or international seats' at K&L Gates. On the plus side, there is clearly enough exciting work to motivate trainees, examples of which are 'working on a passing-off claim involving an Olympic gold medallist', 'assisting on a public takeover under the takeover code' and 'seeing a major M&A deal from start to finish'. Such high-profile work sometimes leads to 'late nights and high pressure' and can involve 'the occasional weekend working in the run up to deadlines'. On the bright side, there is a lot of 'encouragement to get involved' in pro bono initiatives such as legal advice clinics. To work at a firm which has a 'choice of seats, specialist areas and a friendly culture', take a closer look at K&L Gates.
A day in the life of...
Oliver Bates trainee, K&L Gates LLP
Departments to date: White-collar, corporate
Degree:Ancient History, 2(1)
8.00am: I am working on an acquisition that is due to complete today. Due to the cross-border nature of the deal, I have several emails that have been sent to me overnight from lawyers in Australia and Hong Kong. I respond to these on my journey to work and make a note of any follow-up that I need to do when I get into the office.
8.30am: I get into the office and catch up with a colleague while I make a coffee. I then return to my desk and see that I have been sent some of the signed completion documents by the sellers' solicitors. The associate working on the deal asks me to review these to ensure they are properly executed.
9.00am: Documents start to arrive from the various parties to the acquisition and I am asked to ensure we have everything required to complete later this morning. I begin the process of checking them off against the document list I created for the deal.
9.45am: We are still waiting on documents to be sent from solicitors in Hong Kong. The associate asks me to chase these as a matter of urgency. I make a call to the associate in the Hong Kong office and request that these are sent.
10.30am: I go through the documents list for the deal with a senior associate to ensure we have everything we need to complete.
11.00am: The deal completes and the purchase monies are received into our client account. The partner running the deal asks me to arrange for the transfer of the funds. I liaise with accounts and arrange the transfer of around £50m to the various sellers.
11.30am: We have recently been instructed by a Japanese client who is working on an intra-group reorganisation. An associate asks if I can assist with a share purchase agreement. A week earlier I produced the first draft of an asset purchase agreement, which was a great learning experience. As a trainee, you are rarely given a task that you have done before, but there is always someone willing to provide guidance. The associate asks me to produce a first draft of the share purchase agreement. This is also new to me but I am keen to have a go.
12.30pm: I go for lunch with the team that worked on the deal to celebrate completion.
1.30pm: Now the deal has completed, I have time to catch up on work for another acquisition I am working on that has only just started. I meet with an associate to review a due diligence enquiries document I drafted earlier in the week. After making a few amendments, I send this on to the client for them to review.
3.00pm: I attend a conference at the office on money laundering in the fine art market that I was involved in organising during my first seat in the white-collar crime department.
5.00pm: I return to my desk and sit down with my supervisor to discuss a potential new deal he would like me to work on with him. I then write a research memorandum on the target and a draft agenda for the kick-off call happening tomorrow. Once my supervisor is happy with the agenda, I circulate it to the client and the US lawyers that are also taking part in the call.
6.30pm: I leave the office and attend an event held by KPMG with some colleagues. I receive an email shortly after I arrive from an associate asking me to look at an issue for her tomorrow. I reply letting her know I am happy to do so and then return to the event for networking and drinks.
About the firm
Address:One New Change, London, EC4M 9AF
Telephone: 020 7648 9000
Fax:020 7648 9001
Managing partner, Europe and Middle East : Antony Griffiths
Total partners: 55
Other fee-earners: 75
Total trainees: 17
Other offices: Austin, Beijing, Berlin, Boston, Brisbane, Brussels, Charlotte, Charleston, Chicago, Dallas, Doha, Dubai, Fort Worth, Frankfurt, Harrisburg, Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Miami, Milan, Munich, Newark, New York, Orange County, Palo Alto, Paris, Perth, Pittsburgh, Portland, Raleigh, Research Triangle Park, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei, Tokyo, Warsaw, Washington, Wilmington.
Who we are: K&L Gates LLP comprises approximately 2,000 lawyers who practise in fully integrated offices located on five continents. K&L Gates represents leading global corporations, growth and middle-market companies, capital markets participants and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organisations and individuals. Our practice is a robust full market practice - cutting edge, complex and dynamic, at once regional, national and international in scope. Over each of the last six years our revenues exceeded $1bn.
What we do: K&L Gates is active in the areas of corporate/M&A, debt capital markets, private equity, restructuring and insolvency, banking and asset finance, structured finance, derivatives, aviation, funds, antitrust, competition and trade regulation, public policy, real estate, planning and environment, intellectual property, media and sport, construction, energy, infrastructure and resources, insurance coverage, regulatory, tax, employment, litigation, international arbitration, investigations, enforcement and white collar, plus other forms of dispute resolution.
What we are looking for: We are looking for highly motivated, intellectually curious individuals with an interest in commercial law, looking for comprehensive training.
What you'll do:We have a thorough induction scheme consisting of weekly legal education seminars, workshops and a full programme of skills electives. Emphasis is placed on early responsibility and client contact. Pro bono and CSR activities are also encouraged.
Perks: Subsidised sports club membership, season ticket loan, permanent health insurance, 25 days of holiday, life assurance, GP service, employee assistance programme and pension.
Sponsorship:GDL fees paid, plus £5,000 maintenance grant, LPC fees paid plus £7,000 maintenance grant.
Facts and figures
Training contract available for 2020: tbd
Applications received pa: 1,000
Percentage interviewed: 10
First year: £41,000 (2016)
Second year: £46,000 (2016)
Newly qualified: £71,000 (2016)
Apply to:Hayley Atherton, recruiting manager.
How: Online application.
What's involved: Online testing, full assessment centre and interview.
When to Apply:
Training Contract beginning in 2020: By 31 July 2018.
Summer Vacation Scheme: By 31 January 2018.