The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
London-based Kingsley Napley counts criminal litigation, corporate and commercial, clinical negligence, family, immigration and employment among its many areas of expertise. The firm’s client base is extremely varied and includes regulatory bodies and local authorities, as well as large public companies, owner-managed businesses and individuals.
The star performers
Administrative and public law; Banking litigation: investment and retail; Clinical negligence: claimant; Clinical negligence: defendant; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Contentious trusts and probate; Court of Protection; Crime: general; Employment: employers and senior executives; Family; Family: mediation; Financial services; Fraud: civil; Fraud: white-collar crime; Health and safety; Immigration; Partnership; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Professional discipline; Regulatory investigations and corporate crime; Reputation management.
Represented the son of a Kazakh businessman who was facing multiple claims of fraud related to his involvement with JSC BTA Bank; acted for Katie Hopkins in a defamation claim brought against her by food blogger Jack Monroe relating to alleged defamatory tweets; acted for the Education and Workforce Council for Wales in all of its disciplinary cases, a range of which involved sexual relationships with student minors; advised Northants with regard to its 620-acre mixed-use development site in North Wellingborough; defending Confiance Limited (a company registered in Guernsey that acted as a trustee in this case) in a major fraud case involving offshore trusts.
Baxter Properties; Butterfield Trust (Guernsey) Limited; Harwell Campus; Reditum Capital; Foster Care Associates; Health and Care Professions Council; Ravensbourne Property Holdings.
With 'expertise in many different areas and a strong inter-departmental approach', Kingsley Napley's 'varied work' ensures that trainees gain a breadth of experience throughout their training contract. Respondents have been 'assisting with “real” work on a day-to-day basis'. With highlights including 'working as part of a small team that intervened in a Supreme Court case, on a pro bono basis, during my family law seat', 'receiving a bottle of champagne and a thank you card from a happy client' and 'attending a client meeting alone', trainees report being given 'high levels of responsibility on a number of cases' as well as 'a great level of client contact'. This year the firm is named a Lex 100 Winner in an impressive six categories, including for client contact and work quality. This means that a trainee at Kingsley Napley 'feels like a real fee-earner rather than an administrator'. Few negatives were reported, with the most damning being that 'the IT systems are not as efficient as they could be'. Less exciting work moments included 'looking through six boxes of documents for a piece of paper that we later concluded did not exist' and 'staying in the office until late in order to complete an e-disclosure exercise'. Considerable praise is reserved for the 'ethos of the firm' which is apparent in the 'team spirit' and 'the obvious friendliness of each member of staff'. One respondent said 'it was sold as a firm that values individuals and personalities, and that has rung true'. To represent 'interesting clients' while undertaking 'good quality work' alongside people with a 'great sense of fun', consider applying 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
Twitter:@kncareers / @kingsleynapley
Senior partner: Jane Keir
Managing partner : Linda Woolley
Total partners: 54
Other fee-earners: 155
Total trainees: 13
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 practices in. Whilst 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 work load. 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
Training contracts available for 2020:6
Applications received pa: 350
Percentage interviewed: 4%
First year: £34,000
Second year: £36,000
Newly qualified: £56,000
What's involved:Vicki Tavener, HR Manager
What's involved: Online application, assessment centre and/or vacation scheme.
When to apply: 31 May 2018
What’s involved in application: Psychometric test, assessment day (networking exercise, witness interview and case study, presentation), partner interview