The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Mayer Brown is a global law firm with offices in major cities across the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The firm advises large corporations, including many Fortune 100 and FTSE 100 companies, and more than half of the world’s largest banks.
The star performers
Acquisition finance; Asset based lending; Banking litigation: investment and retail; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Construction; Debt capital markets; Derivatives and structured products; Emerging markets; Employment: employers and senior executives; Financial services (contentious); Flotations: small and mid-cap; Insolvency and restructuring; Insurance and reinsurance litigation; M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+; Mining and minerals; Pensions; Professional negligence; Property finance; Securitisation
Acted for Touchstone Innovations in connection with its takeover by IP Group, which was conditional on Phase 1 clearance by the CMA; advising Unilever CITIC Telecom CPC on the worldwide merger control aspects of its acquisition of the telecommunication assets of Linx Telecommunications; advised AllLife (PTY), a South African insurance firm offering technology providing prospective policyholders instant quotes, on its collaboration with a UK-based insurer for a novel product aimed at individuals diagnosed as diabetic; acted for Sinarmas Land, an Indonesian real estate development firm, on the £130m acquisition financing of 33 Horseferry Road by OCBC Bank; defending allegations of negligence and dishonesty made against two BDO partners in relation to the administration and sale of a hotel
Arm Holdings; Citi; Costain; Hachette, Investec; Morgan Stanley; Perrigo; PricewaterhouseCoopers; Royal Institute of International Affairs; Société Générale
Mayer Brown seems to have the whole package: ‘international work, a guaranteed secondment, a clear business strategy, an excellent vacation scheme and an established bank of clients in a variety of sectors’. Indeed, the firm is a Lex 100 Winner for its vacation scheme. With so much on offer, it is easy to see why trainees are so positive about the firm. There is a ‘strong commitment to learning’ at the US firm, as evidenced by the ‘excellent and (extremely) frequent training sessions which cover a wide range of technical and non-technical aspects of the department you’re sitting in’. Prospective trainees will probably not be surprised to hear that ‘the hours can be awful in transactional groups’, as evidenced by reports of ‘two weeks of 2-3am finishes’ and ‘working at the weekend’. But it was encouraging to hear that ‘supervisors and partners are very approachable and keen for you to learn’ and that this supportive environment ‘is apparent throughout the firm’. A ‘closing call with seven jurisdictions from Asia, Europe and the US’ was one trainee’s favourite moment so far, whilst another was enjoying their secondment to the firm’s Chicago office at the time of writing. The firm also offers client secondments, one of which was summed up as a ‘great experience for building client contacts and growing your confidence in giving legal advice’. The socials were praised: ‘there is always something going on and everyone gets involved’. To work at a firm with a more ‘nurturing approach, with strong support systems and care for individuals’ which is a ‘perfect dovetail of quality and positive working culture’, research Mayer Brown.
A day in the life of...
James England trainee solicitor, Mayer Brown International LLP
Departments to date: Banking and finance
University:University of Portsmouth
Degree:Law with Business, 1st
8.00am: Mayer Brown recently adopted an all year round casual dress policy, so I put on a pair of jeans and a shirt then travel to work (I keep a suit at the office for meetings).
8.30am: I normally arrive a little early and pick up breakfast and a coffee from the canteen. The office is quiet first thing, so it’s a good time to do admin, respond to emails and prioritise tasks before things get busy.
9.00am: My supervisor arrives – we joke around for five minutes, before discussing the status of the three deals we are working on together. One of these we are advising on is a refinancing of a luxury hotel in Mayfair.
9.15am: Our leveraged finance team has received a new instruction to represent the lender in a leveraged buy-out, in which the borrower will use the money to fund an acquisition. I’ve been assisting an associate to prepare the first draft of the loan agreement and spend an hour or so inputting changes into the draft.
11.00am: The training programme at Mayer Brown is comprehensive, with regular sessions designed to develop our legal and commercial skills. Today we have an external speaker coming in to talk to us about London’s position in global financial markets.
12.30pm: I review some amendments that have been proposed to the terms of an intercreditor agreement. I discuss these with my supervisor and we agree on our response. I then email the client to set out our advice.
1.00pm: I step out for lunch with the trainees in my intake – our offices are really well located opposite Old Spitalfields Market, so there are lots of good food options on offer. We have a relatively small number of trainees for a firm of our size, so all of the trainees across each intake know one another pretty well.
2.00pm: I have been working with our project finance team on a Kazakh mining deal and have been asked to chair an all parties’ call. The purpose of the call is to run through the conditions that need to be satisfied before the lender (our client) will make the funds available to the borrower.
3.15pm: I review a set of board minutes and shareholder resolutions to check that these have been prepared correctly. I mark up my comments, ready to discuss with the associate on the deal the next morning.
4.30pm: I have been helping a partner prepare a presentation he is giving on Brexit and derivatives contracts to a global insurance company. I spend some time doing some research into areas that haven’t been covered and make some amendments.
6.30pm: The banking and finance team has a drinks trolley event to welcome a new associate who recently joined, which means tools down for an hour – this is a great time to socialise with the associates and partners in the team; we usually have one or two a month.
8.00pm: I update my to-do list before shutting down, then head out for dinner in East London with friends.
About the firm
Address:201 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3AF
Telephone: 020 3130 8621
Senior partner: Sally Davies
Other offices: Bangkok, Beijing, Brasilia, Brussels, Charlotte, Chicago, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Palo Alto, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington DC.
Who we are: Mayer Brown was one of the first law firms to develop a global platform in recognition of the fact that many of its clients increasingly needed integrated, cross border legal advice. The firm is now a distinctively global law firm, uniquely positioned to advise the world’s leading companies and financial institutions on their most complex deals and disputes. With extensive reach across four continents, we are the only integrated law firm in the world with approximately 200 lawyers in each of the world’s three largest financial centers – New York, London and Hong Kong – the backbone of the global economy. We have deep experience in high-stakes litigation and complex transactions across industry sectors, including our signature strength, the global financial services industry. Our diverse teams of lawyers are recognized by our clients as strategic partners with deep commercial instincts and a commitment to creatively anticipating their needs and delivering excellence in everything we do.
What we do: Our lawyers have expertise across a wide range of areas including corporate, finance, real estate, litigation (including dispute resolution, construction, insurance and reinsurance, antitrust and competition), employment, pensions, tax, financial services regulatory and intellectual property.
What we are looking for: We are looking for candidates who not only have a consistently strong academic record including a minimum of a 2.1 degree (predicted or obtained) in any discipline, but also who have a wide range of interests and achievements outside their academic career. Additionally, we would like to see innovative candidates who can demonstrate a drive for results, good verbal and written communication skills, and an ability to analyse, with good judgement and excellent interpersonal skills.
What you'll do:Our trainees can tailor their Training Contract from a range of different seats, including our main practice areas in London, international secondments and our client secondments in London. For a global law firm, our London office remains a tightly knit team with an open and inclusive culture. You will nevertheless be given significant opportunities to assist on matters which may be multi-disciplinary, cross-border, complex and high-profile in nature. Trainees are given high levels of responsibility, case management and client contact from an early stage.
Sponsorship: The firm will cover the cost of the GDL and LPC and provide a maintenance grant of £10,000 for the LPC, £7,000 for the GDL in London and £6,500 elsewhere. The firm asks all LPC students to complete the LPC at BPP law school in London.
Facts and figures
Total partners: 75
Other fee-earners: 460
Total trainees: 30
Trainee places available for 2021: 15
Applications received pa: 1,500+
First year: £44,000
Second year: £49,000
Newly qualified: £78,000
Apply to:Danielle White
When to apply:By 31 July 2019 for 2021 contracts. However we encourage students to apply for a vacation scheme as this is the main pipeline for our training contracts each year; the deadline is 31 January 2019 for schemes in the spring and summer and we welcome applications from penultimate year, finalists and graduates too.
What's involved:Online application form, online tests and assessment centre.