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. Mayer Brown has 88 partners and 180 other fee earners in the UK.
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; Financial services (contentious); Flotations: small and mid-cap; Insurance and reinsurance litigation; Insurance: insolvency and restructuring; M&A: upper mid-market and premium deals, £250m+; Mining and minerals; Pensions; Professional negligence; Property finance; Securitisation.
Advised Macquarie Bank International on a €200m uncommitted, non-recourse bill discounting programme for Apple Distribution International regarding the supply of Apple product to Dixons Carphone; advised Toro Gold on the financing and construction of the Mako gold project in Senegal; assisting GBGI on its admission to trading on the AIM, and on its £30m IPO of new shares; acted for MetLife Investment Management on a loan to Lone Star secured over a £2.3bn portfolio of real estate-backed loans originated by Aviva; advised Asia Growth Properties on the £155m purchase of the entire issued units in the Trust that owns 20 Moorgate, London.
AIG Europe; Aspen Risk Management; Barclays Africa Group; Breazley; Canary Wharf Group; EU Lotto; GBGI; MDO Management Company; Standard Chartered Bank; Wells Fargo.
Mayer Brown enjoys a 'good reputation in many sectors' due to the 'excellent work' carried out across the firm's 'range of departments'. This 'breadth of practice areas' impresses, though the firm's traditional strength is in the corporate finance arena. Highlight moments include 'meetings at the FCA to discuss regulatory matters', 'assisting on the IPO of a pharmaceutical company and seeing it announced in a news publication' and 'running the closing of a transaction, almost unsupervised'. These are instances of the 'excellent responsibility' available in this 'hands-on training contract'. A perceived 'lack of qualification opportunities' is a prominent concern, and one respondent feels that there is 'not enough transparency regarding NQ posts'. Given the 'global nature of the firm', trainees are frustrated by the 'limited availability of international secondments'. Still, respondents praise the 'international work', and one trainee cited 'being involved in a multi-jurisdictional closing' as a stand-out moment. Mayer Brown's 'commitment to training and learning distinguishes it from rival firms'. This is complemented by the 'collaborative culture' in which 'lawyers take the time to explain a matter or an aspect of the law to you'. Colleagues are 'very down-to-earth', and this contributes to the 'friendly environment' in the office. Respondents laud the client secondments. One reported that 'you experience the commercial needs of a client in a way you cannot see from within a law firm', while another secondee 'gained dramatically in confidence by taking the lead on projects and negotiations'. If you would like to be part of a 'medium-sized intake' at a firm which combines 'really great training, good work and a fair bit of client contact', consider applying to Mayer Brown.
Why Mayer Brown?
Michelle Ansah third-seat trainee, Mayer Brown International LLP
Departments to date: Corporate, client secondment, litigation (insurance)
University:King's College London
The vacation scheme was a great opportunity for me to experience the day-to-day activities of lawyers at the firm. During my two week Easter vacation scheme, I was exposed to two different practice areas and given tasks from my supervisor and other members of each department who were extremely helpful and took the time to explain tasks and projects they were working on and answer any general questions that I had. Our visit to the firm's Paris office, during the vacation scheme, was also a highlight and reinforced Mayer Brown's international presence.
After accepting my offer, I studied the LPC at law school alongside fellow future Mayer Brown trainees. This also provided a great opportunity to get to know my future colleagues. The firm was actively involved in our LPC course, which comprised key modules and carefully selected electives in order to prepare us for working at Mayer Brown. Alongside the LPC, the firm offers a bespoke course tailored for Mayer Brown trainees which allows for regular visits to the firm, which meant that I was already familiar with the office before my first day of my training contract.
I am currently in my third seat in the insurance department and, prior to this, sat in the corporate department before going on a client secondment. The insurance department is a component of Mayer Brown's litigation practice and, although insurance is a niche area of law, relevant training is provided to help with technical issues and terminology. So far, I have experienced a broad range of matters in the areas of product liability, professional negligence, political risk and policy wording. Matters in insurance are categorised under either coverage work (determining whether a claim or circumstance is covered under a policy) or defence work (cover has been confirmed and the insurer and insured are defending the claim). Sitting with my supervisor has helped me build my confidence to discuss legal issues and how best to approach them. The relatively smaller trainee intake has also been beneficial as this means more exposure to quality legal work. As my seat has progressed, I have been given more responsibility on matters I am working on. Highlights of my seat so far include attending a consultation meeting at counsel's chambers with the client and strategising the next steps, as well as drafting the front end of a 'report to underwriters'.
The firm is committed to professional development and organises many training sessions by associates and partners for its trainees. Mayer Brown also offers secondment opportunities during your training contract either to international locations, such as Chicago and Hong Kong, or to established clients of the firm, which further enhances one's training and professional network.
While at Mayer Brown I have participated in some of the many pro-bono initiatives the firm offers including volunteering at the Islington Law Centre and using my legal research skills to help draft reports for a pro-bono research project on debt incarceration. The firm also offers other activities including joining various sports teams, joining the Christmas choir and many charity events, such as the bi-annual charity football tournament and barbecue.
I am glad that I am training at Mayer Brown as it provides a supportive and collaborative environment in which to do challenging, rewarding and quality legal work alongside lawyers who are instrumental in their respective fields. I would strongly recommend considering Mayer Brown if you want to work at a truly global law firm that is committed to investing in your professional development as a lawyer.
About the firm
Address:201 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3AF
Telephone: 020 3130 8622
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, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore 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 one of the world's leading global law firms with offices in major cities across the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. In Brazil, the firm has an association with Tauil & Chequer Avogados. Through the association, the extensive international expertise of its lawyers and its presence in the leading financial centres around the world, Mayer Brown provides high quality legal advice and client-focused solutions to support many of the world's leading businesses.
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:One of the advantages of joining Mayer Brown is the choices available to you. As a trainee at the firm, you will be able to tailor your training contract across a broad range of seats, including our main practice areas in London (as listed above), and international secondments in either Hong Kong or the US. If you don't want to stray too far, you have the option to gain valuable in house experience by going on secondment to one of the firm's major clients.
Sponsorship:The firm will cover the cost of the GDL and LPC and provide a maintenance grant of £7,000 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
Training contracts available for 2020: 15
Applications received pa: 1,500+
First year: £42,000
Second year: £47,000
Newly qualified: £75,000
Total partners: 88
Apply to:Charlotte Hart
What's involved: Online application form, online tests and assessment centre.
When to Apply:
Training Contract beginning in 2020: By 31 July 2018.
Spring and Summer Vacation Scheme: By 31 January 2018.
We encourage students to apply for a vacation scheme as this is the main pipeline for our training contracts each year. We welcome applications from penultimate-year students, finalists and graduates too.