If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Several Kingsley Napley trainees worked at the firm prior to commencing their training contracts and needed no more convincing that it was the firm for them. ‘I knew it was a top-drawer firm with an excellent culture’ said one, whilst another was confident that they ‘shared the core values of the firm’. Responses were littered with references to the firm’s ‘inclusive environment’ and ‘friendly and approachable colleagues’. Moreover, trainees receive ‘a lot more hands-on experience. We are expected to get stuck in with the team’s work and are not just seen as observers’. Little wonder that the firm has amassed six Lex 100 Winner medals this year, which include job satisfaction, quality of work, client contact and inclusiveness. Elaborating on the latter, trainees were very encouraged by the ‘strong focus on diversity and inclusion’. We hear that ‘the training contract is well organised and structured’ and ‘you know all of your seats six months before you even start’. Among the few negative comments were complaints about the IT system and concerns that ‘certain departments are less trainee-friendly than others’. It was acknowledged, however, that such instances are anomalies which ‘do not fit in with the rest of the firm’s culture’. ‘Meeting some really interesting clients’ was exciting, as was ‘being heavily involved in submitting representations on behalf of a corporate immigration client’. Unfortunately, vast amounts of client contact occasionally lead to ‘being shouted at by a client’ but this is all part of being ‘treated as a real fee-earner’. If you want to be entrusted with plenty of ‘casework responsibility’ in a firm which ‘obviously cares about training their trainees’, apply to Kingsley Napley.
A day in the life of...
Emily Elliott second-year trainee, Kingsley Napley LLP
Departments to date: regulatory, real estate, dispute resolution
University: University of Newcastle upon Tyne/College of Law
Degree: Politics 2(1)/GDL and LPC (Distinction)
8:45am I arrive at the office and pick up some of the fresh fruit and porridge from our department kitchen to eat while I look over my emails. Although we are not expected until 9:30am, I prefer to arrive slightly earlier so I can have a chat to my colleagues and so I have my to-do list ready for the day ahead.
9.15am We have a hearing today following a recent without notice injunction. Having checked all the bundles are safely in the suitcase, the Partner and I walk over to the courts while chatting about the marketing drinks with other fraud lawyers that we both attended the night before. KN welcomes trainees attending events, which is a great opportunity to network and meet other lawyers.
10.00am At court we have a quick meeting with counsel and the client before the hearing starts. During the hearing I take a careful note and flag the relevant documents from the hearing bundle to the Partner.
11.30am Following the hearing, we walk back to counsel’s chambers to have a debrief meeting with the client. I prepare a list of tasks during the meeting that I need to work on, such as preparing a Norwich Pharmacal application. As a Trainee at KN, you are often involved with all areas of the case: from chasing transcripts at the Court, to drafting affidavits or applications, to being part of all the meetings with the client. I have always been impressed with the fact that our input and opinions on the case are valued and encouraged.
12.30pm Once back at the office, I respond to any emails from the morning and join my fellow trainees to walk to the local food market on Leather Lane to find some lunch.
13.30pm Having reviewed my note from court this morning and circulated it to counsel, I start my work on the mediation I have been assisting with which relates to a multi-million pound professional negligence case. Part of the planning includes drafting the position statements, reviewing the documents and liaising with the other side regarding the bundle for the mediation itself.
3.00pm I join my colleagues from other departments for our regular charity committee meeting. At today’s meeting, we are in the middle of organising our Strictly Come Dancing event, which has “celebrity” dancers from each department (including Partners!). This year we are fundraising for SANE, a charity established to improve the quality of life for people affected by mental illness, and Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice.
4.00pm While tucking into (what feels like a) never-ending supply of cake and treats in the kitchen, I have a quick chat with my supervisor (with whom I share a room) about a blog we are drafting to do with a recent case development: she’s always on hand for any guidance or help.
4.15pm Before leaving for the day, I have been asked to research enforcement of a judgment in another European country. The Senior Associate reviews my memo and circulates it to the other lawyers involved with the matter (both here and in the other European country).
4.45pm I receive a call from a client about her on-going settlement negotiations arising from breach of copyright. We briefly discuss her queries and arrange a meeting with the Partner and counsel for the following morning. KN supports their trainees having client contact and it is great to have exposure to clients on all of the varied matters.
6.00pm After submitting my time sheets for the day, I join my colleagues for a free yoga session at KN before leaving the office to meet my friends for dinner in nearby Exmouth Market.
About the firm
Address: Knight's Quarter, 14 St John's Lane, London, EC1M 4AJ
Telephone: 020 7814 1200
Senior partner: Stephen Parkinson
Managing partner: Linda Woolley
Who we are: Kingsley Napley is known for combining creative solutions with pragmatism and a sensitive approach. We have a unique culture that we are extremely proud of and encourage individuals to be just that – individual, but also to work as part of a team to get the best result for the client.
What we do: Kingsley Napley is a litigation-led, top 100 law firm based in central London, specialising in a number of diverse practice areas including criminal litigation, dispute resolution, family, employment, clinical negligence and personal injury, and immigration.
What we are looking for: Successful candidates will have passion and a long-term interest in Kingsley Napley and the areas of the law that it practises in. While previous experience is not essential, we welcome candidates from all backgrounds and have trainees who joined us immediately following their LPC as well as those with an entire career behind them.
What you'll do: Trainees are given the chance to meet with clients and be responsible for their own workload. They are encouraged to take part in marketing activities and as far as possible, work as a qualified fee-earner would.
Perks: Private medical insurance; corporate cash plan; contributory pension; season ticket loan/cycle to work scheme; wellness subsidy; buy/sell holiday; will writing service; group life insurance; group income protection; travel insurance; long service awards; conveyancing contribution; discretionary performance awards.
Facts and figures
Total partners: 54
Trainee places available for 2021: 6
Applications received pa: 300
Percentage interviewed: 4%
First year: £36,000
Second year: £38,000
Newly qualified: £58,000
Apply to: Vicki Tavener, HR manager
When to apply:By 31 May 2019 for 2021 training contract.
What's involved: Psychometric test, assessment day (networking exercise, witness interview and case study, presentation), partner interview.