K&L Gates LLP

K&L Gates LLP

Address: One New Change, London, EC4M 9AF

Web: www.klgates.com

Email: trainee.recruitment@klgates.com


Survey results


The lowdown (in their own words...)

Why did you choose this firm over any others? 
 '‘Opportunities to liaise with other offices without having the ‘large US firm’ mentality’; ‘small trainee intake but with the backing of a large global law firm’; ‘opportunities to explore different areas of law’; ‘strong growth’; ‘size of global footprint’; ‘work/life balance and diversity commitments’; ‘I wanted to be treated as an associate from day one’; ‘friendly work environment’
Best thing about the firm? 
 '‘The range of interesting work available’; ‘good feedback is given by supervisors’; ‘the work/life balance is very reasonable’; ‘more responsibility than larger firms with large intakes’; ‘more international aspects to the work’; ‘initiatives in diversity and inclusion go beyond mere box-ticking. This helps to foster an environment where all people can speak up’; ‘excellent supervision from approachable partners’
Worst thing about the firm? 
 '‘Internal communication can be poor’; ‘no international secondments’; ‘the coffee’; ‘the firm has cultural and structural issues regarding associate support to work through’; ‘work/life balance during busy times’; ‘lack of communication between teams at times’
Best moment? 
 '‘Being given a lot of responsibility in relation to exchanging on a high-value deal’; ‘completing my first deal in corporate’; ‘success on a project way in advance of our target date, giving us excellent credibility with the client’; ‘attending a large arbitration appeal with a multi-million dollar award up for negotiation’; ‘being involved in a big competition case’
Worst moment?
 '‘Bundling’; ‘being unable to prepare for your next seat because you do not know what it will be until the last minute’; ‘occasional long hours and weekend work can be draining and demoralising, especially when the task seems insurmountable. But in every instance so far I have not been the only one there’; ‘my real estate seat’; ‘bundling late into the night’'

If the firm were a fictional character it would be...

Eleven (Stranger Things) – intelligent and gets the job done whilst remaining friendly and approachable

The verdict

The firm

US firm K&L Gates has a global presence 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, public sector entities and educational institutions, among others. 

The star performers

Brand management; Commercial contracts; Commercial litigation; Construction (contentious); 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, £50m-£250m; Mining and minerals; Oil and gas; Partnership; Property finance; Retail funds; Securitisation

The deals

Advising Vanquish Properties UK Limited Partnership on construction documentation for 40 Leadenhall, a large retail and office space project in the City of London, worth £40m; advised Panmure Gordon, Canaccord Genuity and Pareto Securities as brokers on Eland Oil & Gas Plc’s proposed $19.5m fundraising; advised BYD (UK) Limited on supply agreements with UK bus route operators for the supply of electric buses; advising Furla on its international brand and design protection, clearance, design infringement actions and promotional activities; advised Halliburton on its acquisition of downhole sand-control technology company Darcy Technologies

The clients

ASA; Deutsche Trustee Company Limited; Faroe Petroleum; Laing O’Rourke; Nokia Siemens Network; Puma; TfL; TH Real Estate; West Indies Cricket Board; Zaha Hadid Architects

The verdict

K&L Gates trainees have the benefit of being part of a ‘smaller intake but with the backing of a global law firm’. This gives rise to a ‘wide range of international work’ on which recruits are given ‘more responsibility’ than some of their peers at other firms. There are ‘excellent opportunities to get involved with high-quality work early on’ and trainees feel that they are an ‘integral part of the firm from day one, which is incredibly valuable’. This is in addition to the ‘friendly work environment’ and the fact that there is ‘no face-time culture’, which contributes to a ‘better work/life balance’. There were some grumbles about the ‘lack of international secondments on offer at a junior level’. There are also some issues regarding the ‘lack of associate support’, although it was acknowledged that ‘active work is being undertaken’ to address this. Trainees are kept on their toes with work such as ‘preparing for and attending Financial Conduct Authority interviews’, ‘travelling to Gibraltar for client meetings’ and ‘attending a large arbitration appeal with a multi-million dollar award up for negotiation’. Conversely, ‘consistent late nights during a busy few weeks’, a ‘6am start on a Sunday’ and ‘bundling late into the night’ were less enjoyable instances of the training experience. It is, however, extremely encouraging to hear that the firm’s ‘initiatives in diversity and inclusion go beyond mere box ticking, which helps to foster an environment where all people can speak up’. If the prospect of training at a firm with ‘an excellent human touch’ where ‘you are not at all just a number’ excites you, take a closer look at K&L Gates.

 A day in the life of...

elizabeth saunders

Elizabeth Saunders trainee, K&L Gates LLP 

Departments to date:  Real estate, corporate

Degree:Law with Canadian Law, 2(1) 

9.00am:  I hit the gym in the morning and get in to the office for about 9am to organise my day. I am working on a number of different transactions which are all at various stages.

9.30am:  We are working on an AIM listing for one of our clients, and we have a weekly catch up call with the clients and advisors first thing in the morning. Our team have been working on the due diligence report so we provide everyone with an update on how it is progressing. The call gives everyone an opportunity to update the wider team, discuss the overall structure and timing of the listing, and agree on action points for the coming week.

10.00am:  I’ve also been working closely with an associate to draft a due diligence report for a purchase by one of our media clients, which involves reviewing the corporate contracts. The corporate team also needs me to liaise with various specialists in other departments, such as employment and IP, for the due diligence review. It’s great to be at the core of the transaction and to be able to see all the different angles within the deal. A number of the target’s contracts have been uploaded to the deal data room overnight and I review these and add comments to the due diligence report.

11.30am:  A deal I have been working on with the corporate and real estate department has recently exchanged and we are preparing the documents for completion. I’m really looking forward to completion – seeing a deal close is incredibly satisfying after months of hard work! I review the SPA and documents list that I prepared at the beginning of the transaction and complete the full set of ancillary documents to send to the buyer’s solicitors to be negotiated. Once they are agreed, we will have all the documents in place for completion of the deal.

1.00pm:  I grab some lunch with some of the other trainees and associates. As it’s great weather, we take our lunch up to the roof terrace to enjoy some fresh air and great views! Before my lunch finishes, I meet up with one of the associates in my previous department and go for a quick coffee.

2.00pm:  One of the corporate partners has asked me to liaise directly with one of our clients and to clarify the work involved. The client intends to set up a new branch of their business in Europe. The partner and I discuss what the client hopes to achieve and I then draft the documents. Throughout the afternoon I receive the further information I need to complete the drafts and I then send the final execution copies for use by the client. This hands-on client experience and level of responsibility is exactly what I was hoping for from my training contract.

4.30pm:  I am in charge of the post-completion matters on our client’s purchase of the entire issued share capital of a company. I have received the stamped stock transfer forms back from HMRC and I now have everything I need to update the company books and then send them out to the client to store at their nominated office. This is the final step we need to take in this transaction, and it’s great to be able to tell the partner that I’ve completed it.

6.15pm:  I leave the office to volunteer at a local legal advice centre. The centre is open to members of the public without the means to pay for legal services and we get to help with a wide variety of legal issues, that you wouldn’t normally have exposure to in a city law firm. After speaking with three clients, on problems ranging from housing benefits to employment queries, I update the legal centre’s online files and go to the pub with the other volunteers, before heading home.

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

Other offices: Austin, Beijing, Berlin, Boston, Brisbane, Brussels, Charleston, Charlotte, 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 is a fully integrated global law firm with lawyers located across 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.

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, 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

Total partners: 53

Other fee-earners: 84

Total trainees: 17

Trainee places available for 2021: tbd

Applications received pa: 1000 


First year: £41,000 (2017)

Second year: £46,000 (2017)

Newly qualified: £71,000 (2017)

 Application process

Apply to:Hayley Atherton, recruiting manager.

How: Online application.

What's involved:Online testing, full assessment centre and interview.

When to apply:1 November 2018 to 31 July 2019 for 2021 contracts

 Vacation schemes

Summer:July 2019 (apply by 31 January 2019).